The Buffalo Sabres, as the worst team in the NHL last season, are coming off their worst season in franchise history. Demand for Sabres tickets last year was almost non-existent. As a company, we lost a lot of money on our 100 Sabres season tickets investment. Our Williamsville office had been inundated all year with Sabres season ticket holders looking to sell their tickets.
In the ticket business it’s all about that simple economic principle of supply and demand. Thankfully, several years ago we started to spread our eggs out and invest with many other other NHL, NBA, NFL and MLS teams. Each year decisions are made to renew, add or subtract our season ticket inventory positions.
So imagine sitting at my desk when the 2014-15 Buffalo Sabres season ticket renewal invoice arrived. I opened the Sabres envelope nervously to find a renewal balance of $142,000!! My initial reaction was “what the hell are we going to do?”
My first thought focused on the stacks and stacks of tickets we had left over last season. I could have wallpapered my finished basement walls with these unused tickets. It’s so hard to look out the windows in summer and try to get into the mindset your clients and predict demand in fall and winter.
The more I kept thinking about our Sabres business the more positive my thoughts turned. I have two people in my office that I can trust and run these types of decisions by Alex Szczesny and Kevin Goodwin who are my right hand men and sports fanatics. They allow me to think out loud and our open debates help me make these tough decisions.
This year’s Sabres renewal decision was a lot more involved than just looking at last season’s Sabres record. Our debates and talk in the office turned to the overall sentiment in the City of Buffalo. The progress downtown is exciting and cannot be ignored. The developments at Canalside, HarborCenter, Medical Campus, Larkin District and all of the buildings coming to life along Main Street are all moving the city forward. Finally, this town is Talking Proud!
We feel that WNYers are starting to feel that downtown Buffalo is THE place to get out and enjoy a night on the town. All of those that rushed to the Burbs are now starting to feel it’s OK to go back to the city center. The Buffalo Sabres are a big part of that draw downtown and vital to the success of many downtown establishments.
Last season’s Sabres experiment of playing less back-to-back games led to so many home weekday game nights which failed miserably for them at the box office. The Sabres 2014-2015 schedule is now filled with weekend and holiday dates in which Sabres fans are far more accustomed to. The Sabres season ticket prices are far and away better than the individual game prices.
The people of WNY truly believe in Terry and Kim Pegula. With a deal imminent to buy the Buffalo Bills it seems that the Bills and Sabres future looks so bright and the teams are here to stay.
VIP Seats is proud to be headquartered where our heart is right here in WNY! From both a business and sentimental standpoint VIP Seats is heavily invested in OUR Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. It appears that we will be for years to come.