B.C. Place was considered a perfect site for the 2014 Tim Horton’s NHL Heritage Classic between the visiting Ottawa Senators and the Vancouver Canucks, but just days away from Sunday’s puck drop, ticket sales are underwhelming to say the least.
Ticket prices are said to be a major factor here, starting at $104 and going up to more than $300. That’s proving a tough sell when you’re trying to fill a facility that seats more than 52,000 fans. There are conflicting reports as to just how many of these tickets have been sold.
“I think the NHL dropped the ball on this,” Kingsley Bailey, owner of Vancouver Ticket, told reporters.” They could’ve gone a lot more reasonable in price and filled the place, and especially in the seats where the sightlines aren’t that good.”
The NHL said earlier this week that “90 percent” of tickets had been sold. That said, there have been reports claiming that many of these “sales” have actually been giveaways, while other tickets have seen their prices slashed considerably in an attempt to get fans in the stands.
It’s not the most appealing game either. Vancouver has struggled this season and is dealing with a bunch of trade rumors surrounding star players like Ryan Kesler and Alexander Edler ahead of the March 5 trade deadline. Plus, it’s not like the Canucks have much of a rivalry with the Senators.
“It’s like trying to pull teeth,” Bailey added. “It’s a tough sell because Ottawa is the worst team we could have gone up against. People want to see Toronto or Montreal, Original Six teams — even Winnipeg would have been better.”
Well, at this point, the fans at B.C. Place are stuck with the Senators and Canucks. Both of these teams need to start stringing wins together to stay in the NHL playoff wild card race too. Vancouver currently sits in the last wild card position in the West, but there are four other teams trailing them by five or fewer points. The Senators head into Thursday’s action three points back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the last wild card in the East.