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Report: The Atlanta Spirit are still selling tickets to Atlanta Thrashers games

May 20, 2011, 12:23 PM EDT


While many fans will criticize the Atlanta market for the very likely relocation of its second NHL franchise, people with more intimate knowledge blame ownership. Ultimately, the Atlanta Spirit never really did what was necessary to put a strong Atlanta Thrashers team on the ice. The team only made the playoffs once and failed to earn a single postseason win in that trip.

(It’s not like the Atlanta Spirit have been particularly outstanding at running the Atlanta Hawks, either. Joe Johnson is a talented basketball player no doubt, but giving him a $100 million contract is baffling.)

Still, one could give the Atlanta Spirit a break if they handled things with a bit more class. Instead, there are reports that they continue to sell tickets amid all the writing-on-the-wall rumors.

Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports the Thrashers are still selling season tickets today, with one being sold. (I guess that person or business group doesn’t follow the news very closely, do they?) The Atlanta-Journal constitution also runs a regular “Ice Man” column that provides a fan’s perspective via Ben Tiller, who wrote this about the team continuing to run their regular “Select-a-Seat” promotion on Saturday.

Finally, to the members of the AS, LLC I make this challenge. If the reports are true and you have been plotting and scheming for months to rip this franchise from this community, then cancel the Select A Seat event scheduled for tomorrow. Do not continue this ruse…this deception…this scam …this tease one day longer. Do not accept a single dollar for tickets to games for a season you know will not happen in Atlanta.

In short, do the decent, honorable and upright thing…for once…and let the fans know today the truth of the situation. Don’t give an eager media looking to depict the turnout misrepresent the reality of the situation.

That way, you can at least say you were up-front and honest with us if even just this once in your disastrous seven years as owners…and Saturday afternoon can be a time of support, remembering and good-byes for those who plan on gathering at the Gulch.

Somehow, given the history, I’m not holding my breath …”

As Tiller pointed out earlier in his column, that Select-a-Seat event would likely attract local media members to document a moment that would make the Atlanta Spirit look rather silly. Thrashers fans are planning a rally to save the team for tomorrow, but with last night’s rumors and word that ownership is trying to squeeze every last buck out of the situation, it’s tough to imagine that rally being particularly spirited on Saturday.

  1. govtminion - May 20, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Congratulations to Atlanta Spirit for finally proving me wrong. I figured it would be hard to find a team with worse ownership than the Blackhawks under Bill Wirtz. And what do you know, we’ve found our winner. Producing a lackluster hockey team year after year, that part is vanilla- the Panthers have that down to a science, after all. But selling tickets to games that you know will never happen? Epic. Just shy of evil. The only thing worse would be to have your ownership group show up Saturday to the rally in Jets jerseys- better get overnight shipping on those, guys!

    Atlanta fans- what few there are- deserve better than this crap.

  2. donttouchthedirtypenny - May 20, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Hey look, it’s the one guy who will show up to the Thrashers rally.

  3. ewass - May 20, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    This isn’t about Atlanta being a bad sports town; this is about inept ownership running a business into the ground. This is about acceptance of mediocrity. This is about an ill-fitting partnership group from the get-go. There are lots of examples; these just a few most notable….. Don Waddell remaining at the helm of this club after years and years with NOTHING to show for it, Heatley…gone. Hossa…gone. Kolvalchuk…gone. Sevard…gone. (Maybe they knew something?) Two playoff games in the entire history of the club. Thrashers………gone!

    I’m so disgusted that we’re losing hockey. AGAIN!!!! I was an Atlanta Flames season ticket holder. I was a Thrasher season ticket holder until I got tired of paying $236.00 a game to see a shitty product put on the ice night after night (I don’t fault the players). I was tired of seeing more opponent sweaters in the stands than Thrashers. As an Atlanta native, I can’t think of a time I’m more embarrassed for this city; at least in terms of sports. This ownership group has given us a thrashing…not Thrashers.

    Mostly, I’m sad for my teenage son who is clearly despondent over the Thrasher sale. A lover of most sports, but connected to hockey in the most profound way.

    An we’ll miss our beloved players. To you I offer my heart-felt apologies. As one says about someone who has passed…”Well, hopefully he’s in a better place”.

    We will both miss the energy, the speed. We’ll miss wearing our Thrasher sweaters and scarves at games…the horns and high-fives when the puck enters the goal. And Big Buf!

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