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Not shocking: the Wild are selling lots of tickets

Jul 5, 2012, 3:13 PM EDT

Wild fans Getty Images

The massive investments in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are already paying dividends for the Minnesota Wild. As reported by the Star-Tribune, the club sold 500 season tickets in the two hours following yesterday’s big news. By the end of the day, it was up to 700.

“With the exception of the day the franchise was granted — and I’ve been here since then — no day matches up to this,” Wild COO Matt Majka said. “We’re enjoying every minute of this.”

Until yesterday, ticket sales had been a challenge. The club’s seen attendance dip the past two seasons as the team continued to struggle on the ice. In September of 2010, the Wild’s 409-game sellout streak officially ended. (We say officially because it unofficially ended before that.)

In 2011-12, the Wild’s average crowd of 17,772 ranked No. 16 in the NHL.

Presumably there won’t be many unsold seats at Xcel Energy Center this season. In fact, there probably won’t be any. And if the Wild can make the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08, that’s more ticket revenue for the coffers. Make it past the first round for the first time since 2002-03, even better.

Whether guaranteeing $196 million to two players will pay off in the end, we’ll have to wait and see. But if you have to spend money to make money, the Wild’s halfway there.

  1. mclovinhockey - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Sucks that they need to add huge players to sell tickets. Have lots of hope for this franchise, maybe now they will start getting a solid fan base for years to come

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      We have had a solid fan base here. Selling tickets wasn’t an issue until 2 years ago. The reason they stopped showing at the gate was because the on ice product was awful. Since then Fletcher has added many good pieces, and now that there is a reason to watch, people will show.

      • williplett - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:16 PM

        All you have to do is click on that second link for a quick refresher course as to why the team’s sellout streak ended and why they went so long between playoff appearances: bad players, bad draft choices and a reputation for crippling thriftiness. Doug Risebrough and the old ownership group ran this team into the ground and it is pretty damn amazing that Chuck Fletcher has been able to pull it out of such deep mud in just three seasons.

        Should be fun to see where it goes from here.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      mclovinghockey

      once again showing you know nothing of this sport outside of your teams bubble. Thanks for the laugh. LOLOLOL

      CLOWN!

      HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHHAHAHHAHHAAHHAHHAHHAHAHHAHHAHHAHHAHHAHHAHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHAHAHAHHAHHAHHHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        Dude, I’m as happy about the Wild as you are but you’re getting a bit ridiculous. Don’t wade into Pens/Philly trolling territory.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        @lostpuppy.

        You do realize I troll only the trolls right. So in other words that means, soupcanarmy / florida(whatever) / mclovin / obama …… unfortunately they make up 33% of the posters on PHT

        come on now.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        Fair enough. I just interpreted mclovin’s comment as legitimately ignorant rather than merely trolling. Carry on.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        Cheers :)

        Good times for Wild fans no matter what anyone says. If it wasn’t for the CBA, I’d say let’s drop the puck!!!!!

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      It’s impressive in its own right that they managed to sell out 409 home games with the awful hockey they’d been playing up until that point. There’s no lack of a fan base here. The real indicator of success is also the amount of season tickets they can sell, which clearly jumped up quite a bit yesterday. Just ask Winnipeg how much season tickets matter.

  2. hitem396 - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    its fortune for them. on Oct, they dont need to watch Twins anymore but Wild (hope not to be fantastic 4 with Morneau and Mauer in the villege)

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      What is this idiot trying to say?

  3. putyournameonit - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    The new additions are nice, but they are not a lock to make the playoffs.

    • porkchopexpress1969 - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      Haven’t you heard? They are a shoe-in for the Cup now. Its over. No need to even compete.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        Exactly! Thank you!

    • bethgoesglobal - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      More often than not people in MN Know their hockey. Maybe I’m giving them more credit than I should, but when high school hockey is covered almost as much as college hockey (which is HUGE here), they probably should get some credit. As such, I think most Wild fans are a lot more realistic about the Wild’s progress this year. I think they have a pretty good chance of making the playoffs this, but beyond that, well who knows.
      We know that ZP + RS does NOT= Stanley Cup, after all it is a TEAM sport. It will still take some time, especially in terms of developing their young players& prospects. BUT, the 2 of them can be good leaders for the youngsters, AND their can help draw in other quality players.
      So, no the Wild are not a “lock” for the playoffs, much less the Cup finals. However, it’s progress not perfection and yesterday the Wild took a big jump down that path.
      I for one, am excited to see this team Develop over the next few years and hopefully become a perennial playoff team for years to come. (after all once you get into the playoffs anything can happen)

  4. buddysguys - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Wild are still 4 or 5 players away from being a contender… i like that Heatley lied to them about being able to win

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:37 PM

      Try 2, they need a center and a defenseman.

      Heatley, Koivu, Parise
      Setoguchi, Granlund, Bouchard
      Cullen, Brodziak, Clutterbuck
      Powe, Konopka, Mitchell

      Compared to last year, that is much deeper. No longer having to see Jed Ortmeyer and others who don’t belong on NHL rosters playing on the 3rd line is much deeper.

      Suter Gilbert
      Scandella spurgeon
      Stoner Prosser

      They could still use another quality defenseman. Suter instantly makes this team deeper.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        I’m looking at that lineup and then I’m looking at the Flames lineup and truthfully I’m not seeing much difference talent wise, if anything I’d lean towards the Flames being deeper, but since I’m a Flames fan I’ll admit bias and say the two rosters are probably equal.

        Since the Flames are generally the 9th team in the west, I’d say the Wild still have a ways to go before they’re a playoff lock.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:26 PM

        @atwatercrushesokoye, While I’d agree that the lineup isn’t immediately impressive, the difference is some of the kids who will be moving up in the near future. This is what really separates Calgary from Minnesota. I’m not too familiar with Calgary’s prospects but the only blue-chip players I see in their prospect pool is Baertschi, Reinhart, and Brodie. I highly doubt that the current Wild roster is what sold Parise and Suter. They didn’t sign 1 year deals here. However, if PMB can stay healthy (I wouldn’t bet on it), I’d say they stand a very good chance of being a top team in the NW div, if not the Western C.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:00 PM

        The division is Vancouver then everyone else, not much difference between Minnesota, Colorado and Calgary right now, so if you mean a top team like top 2 in the division I can buy that. The conference has 5 big teams, Vancouver, LA, Detroit, Chicago and St Louis then everyone else, not sure Minnesota is ready to break into that group yet.

        Quick question (and I’m genuinely asking cause I don’t know) I’ve read a lot of Minnesota fans talking about the top ranked farm system, but I looked them up and according to Hockey’s Future they’re ranked 17th, so I’m just wondering what site do you guys use? And again I don’t mean that as an attack, I’m genuinely curious, mainly cause I’m hoping someone sees the Flames’ 25th ranked farm system in a better light!

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:08 PM

        Never mind I just found it, I was looking at preseason rankings, in the updated rankings from May the Wild are now 2nd. Flames have climbed to 23rd, woohoo!

      • ThatGuy - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:30 PM

        atwatercrushesokoye – You clicked on the link from their home page, they haven’t updated that for some reason. They released their new rankings about a month ago and the Wild were two, with the one problem being lack of depth behind of Brodin. Dumba fixed that. Link below

        http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/72103/hockeys-future-organizational-rankings-spring-2012-1-10/

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:51 PM

        While I agree Vancouver is the best team in the Northwest, let’s see how they do when (not if) they move Luongo. Schneider is a good back up, but let’s see how he does before we just hand the Canucks the division.

        As far as your top 5, I’d start sliding Detroit. They lost both of their top 2 defenseman and struck out on Suter. Holmstrom (as far as I know) haven’t said he’s coming back or not. Their a team of aging stars, which will probably take another step back this coming season. Here come the thumb downs from the Wing fans who are in denial about that.

  5. northstars17 - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    something isn’t the same with Minnesota hockey ever since the Northstars left. I’m a fan of Backstrom in goal but the team is stale in my opinion.

    • porkchopexpress1969 - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      Coaching.

  6. bigpara - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Good signing but better hope it doesn’t turn out like the Rangers did when they signed Gomez and Drury a few years.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      Not just Drury and Gomez, most of the time the big free agent signings lead to nothing in the end. I always think back to Colorado signing Kariya and Selanne and most media assuming that the Avalanche would easily win the Stanley Cup, I remember even reading that it was likely they wouldn’t even lose 10 games that year, guess that didn’t work out.

    • imacdane - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      Actually I hope it turns out exactly like that

  7. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    That’s about $11,000 per seat to match their salaries (forgive me a bit, I’m eyeballing). Over 13 years, that mark seems dubious given other expenses, such as teammates.

    • bethgoesglobal - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:16 PM

      Your forgetting income that comes from merchandise, concessions, advertisers, broadcasting networks, and more. In addition, they play 42 games a year in their arena, making it just under 550 games over 13yrs. If 17,000 people come to each game and they sell each seat for only $50 that makes them $464,100,000- more than double what they’ve spent (and come on, how many tickets are sold at only $50).
      Roughly $465 million plus all the additional sources of income and the actual prices of the tickets is NOT dubious, even with all the other team expenses.

      Besides EVERY NHL team incurs hefty expenditures every year, including players with high cap hits, and in the scheme of things a $7.5million cap hit is not earth shattering by any means.

      Ex. As of Today:
      – Wild- $69/23 players….next year $51/16
      – LA- $62/23…. $49/12
      – Vancouver- $65/21…. $51/12
      – Calgary- $67/23… $48/14
      (#’s approximations from Capgeek)

  8. mclovinhockey - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Who is fletcher???
    Why does he for any reason at all think I am a troll or that he knows even half as much about this religion as I know?

    I have been to the birth place of hockey, I know more about this sport than most hardcore fans. FYI I am not going to use google to tell you hockey started with 9 players on each team on the ice at a time and before there was a puck it was a 3 sided square…. I know that sounds odd, it’s hard to describe.

    Hockey is my life.

    The wild are a good franchise who for some reason the fans started to lose interest in, just like in Dallas. Now the stars and the wild have both grabbed big names to help put their franchises and fan bases back to what they used to be.
    Those two fan bases used to be very good. Sorry fletch but to say I am a troll and a clown, and to say I don’t know hockey out of my own teams bubble is absurd.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:54 PM

      Because even I have seen your posts. And quite frankly, they are moronic and the majority of them sound like they are written from a 12 year old who might know about their local teams top player and nothing else.

  9. malkinrulez - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    I find it amusing that the state of hockey is drooling all over Ryan Suter.when he was at UW I had to listen to gopher fans rip his game, now they think he is the greatest. Ironic a badger and sioux are to be the saviors! Let’s go red!

    • bethgoesglobal - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      That can’t possibly surprise you. College rivals will always stand, but in the NHL market those from ND,SD,IA,and WI are still considered “locals” in the scheme of things. Much like players from VT,NH,ME,NY (at least parts),CT,and MA could all be seen as local for the Bruins.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:25 PM

        and every Gopher fan hated Zach Parise….

    • bethgoesglobal - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      In a Pittsburgh comparison think of WV. Penn State and UWV are Major rivals, but should a UWV player play for the Steelers, they would be seen as local.

  10. capsrockva - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    granted I don’t know much about Western Conference teams cause I’m a caps fan but it would seem to me that having both on your team would be a great asset to your team

  11. danafla - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    An average of 17,772 is pretty good considering the X only holds 18,064.

    • ThatGuy - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:37 PM

      Its percent of capacity that matters, which the Wild were actually a bit worse at finishing at 18th with 98.4%.

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