Steve Zipay at Newsday posts this e-mail exchange between a Rangers fan, Joseph Hellman, and owner James Dolan on the lack of fan outreach by the Rangers since the lockout ended...
“With all due respect,” Hellman wrote, “I think the way the New York Rangers organization has responded to the NHL lockout is terrible. In other cities, there have been open practices, sales at team stores, fan rally’s, deals on tickets, etc. The Rangers have done nothing for fans to show a hint of remorse over taking away our game for four months…”
“I’ve always thought the Rangers were one of the classiest organizations, not just in hockey, but in all of pro sports. This slap in the face to your loyal fans is inexcusable. I won’t complain about ticket prices. I understand attending games is a luxury. I would, however, sincerely appreciate some explanation as to why there’s been no outreach to fans in the wake of the ridiculous lockout.”
“Joseph: There are several reasons for this. Most importantly, we have little time to get ready and all of our focus is bringing our fans a championship. Please be patient, and we will return to our fan engagement tactics soon. As far as remorse goes, no one wanted to play hockey more than the NY Rangers.”
...cough...bullshit...cough. Why is it every other team had enough time to setup discount season tickets, merchandise sales and open practices?
...it's bad enough the Rangers aren't offering any thank yous to their fans, now I have the owner thinking his fan base is stupid enough to believe the crap he's selling. Remember two weeks ago when I was praising Dolan for his working during the lockout? That obviously didn't last long.
I have been a seasons ticket holder since 1972-73 season. Since Cablevision came into the Garden ownership the respect for fans has gotten worse every year. Now I refuse to spend 1¢ above my inflated blue seat ticket price. I refuse to buy anything at a concession stand...refuse to purchase anything from the nhl.com/Rangers fan shop...dropped Cablebision after the last lockout and have DirecTV. Hit the bastard where it hurts..in his wallet. Ticket prices are out of control. We were promised improved sightlines with wider seats and more leg room with this transformation. WHAT A CROCK...Sat 9th row behind the goalie at the UMich vs Cornell game in Nov and couldn't see the goal line and had to stand up every time the puck came into our end. Sat last row of Sec 223 at the 12.12.12 concert where the patrons are cramed into smaller seats with NO leg room. We all had to sit on top of our seats it was so uncomfortable. If you're over 5'2" tall you are screwed. Accommodations for the disabled are just horrible. As a paying customer I am totally disgusted at how little thought went into this transformation except to the concession stands where it seems most of the money went. I'll keep sneaking my own bottles of water in..nobody can justify charging $5.00 for a freaking bottle of water. And..Jimmy is sitting pretty in his luxury box saying to himself over and over...gotcha you dumb bastards...hehehhe!
We've now also paid for smaller seats and less leg room..Seating in Garden is now more uncomfortable tban it was before the transformation. More Dolan lies.
As far as the open practices are concerned Jim Cerny has tweeted several times that the rink is too small to host a large crowd. Also, I doubt Torts would want that distraction. In general, this team is a lot less accessible than teams in the past because of Torts leadership and I don't mind that. Whatever it takes to keep them focused in such a distracting market.
I also believe that Nolan was one of the owners pushing for the lockout to end throughout even though he was never allowed to voice his opinion other than "we want to play hockey." Realize he just spent a crapload of money fixing up the Garden and he has a championship caliber club for the first time in many, many years. He wants to play.
As far as the discounts on tickets and merchandise. Let's wait and see. If nothing happens during the season, then we have every right to complain.
@GiveGartneraCup Agreed but sometimes Ranger fans have this sense of entitlement that really they don't deserve. The Rangers might be the only team that could win the Stanley Cup and have their fans complaining about it.If James Dolan had his way there never would have been a lockout to begin with.
@GiveGartneraCup They could have had an open practice at teh Garden. The Knicks are in London. Lots of teams are doing scrimmages in home arena with AHL team.
@KevinDeLury Perhaps this is why:
Chris Botta @ChrisBottaNHL
#NYR debuting new lighting, dasherboards, glass, player safety features at Sunday's opener. Details later today @SBJSBD
How hard is it to take a price and change it in a computer ? ... Ok so they didnt have to for this game , well there are 47 more games to go big guy so get out your red marker and start slashing prices like crazy eddie..
Another example of how much of a scumbag Dolan is. He could care less about the fans... and only the teams who are having trouble selling tickets are doing these promotions? That's total crap. The Penguins are doing it and selling tickets aint a problem for them. It's called being responsible for what Dolan has put the fans through.
A surprise on rangers home opener. Really wish it was Sunday. As for what Dolan said, complete BS. They should give free tix to another game to those who purchased tickets.
I bleed blue but I live in the State of HOckey. Last night the Wild (and their AHL team) put on a scrimmage (not just practice) at the X, including 5 min OT and shootout. OT and shootout were planned regardless of score during regulation. There were 10,000 fans in attendance and organization handed out $10 concession vouchers. This team didn't need to do this to fill seats - regardless of the product on the ice year in and year out, games almost always sell out.
So much for the Rangers being one of the classiest and profitable organizations in the league. Fans waiting for "engagement tactics" are the same ones who felt the organization was going to have a Boogaard tribute, RIP.
No one asking for free stuff..but as a partial season tix holder..I should get a slight break intix prices
As a season ticket holder Dan i love my Rangers like no other. But we had to start paying for our tickets in July...yes July..and for those of us who paid on time and had to endure 3 1/2 months of bullcrap because the owners and players were being stubborn is a complete lack of respect for a fan base that has 1/3 the fans of any other sport. We make up for it with passion for the teams we cheer for. At the very least they could have discounted the opening game by half of the price per ticket. T-shirt an old time player is ok but in these circumstances they needed to GIVE back to the fans. Not put a band aid on their booboo. WE PAY THE PLAYER SALARIES not the owner. And we paid for the refurbished garden. Concession stand pricing is ridiculous. That being said im ready to screen like a lil girl when OUR RANGERS hit the ice #BleedBlue4Life!
I think they'll do something. As pissed as I am, I will reserve judgement on the way they dealt with it until post-season.
@johndelfino1126 That's fair. I just don't like Dolan blaming time.
@johndelfino1126 They had 4 months!
@KevinDeLury Also fair. Time was not a deciding factor. I think timing may have been--not every team spent however many million redoing their arena in the offseason, and it seems logical that they would want to recoup some of that before shelling a discount. Speculation, obviously, but it's a thought.
@Beckfan5 Imagine they give away crappy extra large t-shirts before certain games? Oh yeah, they do that already.
dan the casual fan has no idea what we go thru as season ticket holders with playoff tickets now double in price when they used to go up marginally in the playoffs. in 1979 my tickets went from 6.00 in the reg. season to a whopping 10.00 in the cup finals. dolan would pass out if he did percentage increases like that today. bottom line msg could give a rats ass about its fan base.
Why should the Rangers do anything they don't have problems selling tickets only the teams that are having problems around the NHL are doing ticket discounts and thats a fact.
and the Islanders all they doing is specials in team stores if you spend this much u get this free or that free
dan when u have season tickets like i do for 37 years you can speak about not expecting something, i totally disagree with you. the penguins in a small market have free food for the 1st 4 home games to ALL fans not just season ticket holders & 50% off merchandise for those same 4 games. how can a small market team do something who also has a long wait list but the biggest market in the world arguably doesnt do a thing? reason because dolan is a pure outright liar to the fans. MY TICKETS HAVE GONE UP OVER 300% since the 2005 lockout. i had to move and lose my life long spot because of dolan. the fans didnt ask for msg to be renovated plus the new sightlines suck. they have so many obstructed view seats its a joke. i did a 2 hr private tour as i rep and i laughed about it. his answer to me.. jimmy does whats good for jimmy and this came from an 11 yr nyr employee.
because people were pissed and the Rangers responsed by sending him a list of stuff they doing for the home opener
Alumni handing out T Shirts for Sunday's game isn't doing much for those who aren't attending that particular game...I disagree...The Team and the NHL owe us EVERYTHING! We are the ones giving them all their money, and following!
ticket prices have gone up so much i have had to downgrade twice rangers blog. this is my 37th yr as a season ticket holder and this is the thanks i get. i had center ice on the aisle for 35 yrs but had to move when they went from 58.50 to 210.00 in just 7 years.