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Sunday’s Heritage Classic not exactly a hot ticket in Vancouver

Feb 27, 2014, 2:16 PM EDT

B.C. Place AP

Back in December, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis expressed confidence that Sunday’s Heritage Classic versus Ottawa at BC Place would be sold out.

We wonder if he’s as confident today.

From The Province:

With the Heritage Classic just a few days away, it appears the NHL and the Vancouver Canucks are having difficulty selling the remaining tickets for the ‘outdoor’ game at B.C. Place Stadium on Sunday.

Amid reports of giveaways and deep discounting for tickets, the NHL’s executive vice-president events Don Renzulli said in a media briefing on Wednesday that about 90 per cent of the tickets for the game had been sold and that he was confident the venue would be full for the game. Renzulli couldn’t supply an exact number for the arena’s capacity for the one-off event, saying it was somewhere between 52,000 and 53,000.

Not helping sales? A struggling Canucks team combined with an opponent that stirs no real passion from the local market combined with high ticket prices combined with a venue that’s hardly up there with, say, the Big House in terms of its iconic nature.

But hey, at least it’s supposed to rain.

Related: Here are the jerseys the Canucks and Sens will wear in the Heritage Classic

  1. hallforpresident - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Maybe people are bored of all the stadium series games…

    Or maybe all of the Canucks fans are total bandwagoners?
    If Edmonton did a Stadium Series game this year, even being in the sewer AGAIN, I guarantee you that it would sell out.

    • jovocop1989 - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Really crappy seats with terrible visibility are going for $100+. That’s a tough sell, even against our heated rivals from 100 years ago.

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 27, 2014 at 7:17 PM

      no one is bored of stadium series games, but who’s gonna pay big money for bad seats?…

  2. patthehockeyfan - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Just to be clear, the NHL considers it a sellout when all tickets have been distributed, not necessarily sold. According to the NHL, it’s a sellout even if still has tickets for sale, those tickets having been ‘distributed.’

  3. nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    However, tickets are nearly all gone for the traditional Post-Game Riot. Some of those convicted after the highly popular 2011 event will reported be on hand to sign autographs.

    • jovocop1989 - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      What a ridiculous comment. Why would we bother to riot in the rain? There’d be no point in lighting our cop cars on fire.


  4. c9castine - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    the pens play the blackhawks like 1 time every two years. tickets sold out in less than 24 hours.

    the difference? patrick kane, johnathon toews, evgeni malkin, and sidney crosby will be on the ice.

    • mikebel11 - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      I’d say the three Stanley cups in recent years would probably have a lot to do with it. So would the fact that it’s actually outdoors as opposed to being an indoor game where you pay more for crappier seats.

      • c9castine - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        yeah that too i suppose…i guess when you think about it they just found a way to get a bunch more people in to see a hockey game. no benefits in fact like you said drawback is really expensive crappy seats.

        not even the Heritage Classic title is enough to draw canadians in and they eat that “hockey history” stuff up like birthday cake.

      • bsaures - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        That is a huge part of it. go back to pre toews and Crosby era in Pitts and Chicago they would be lucky to get 15000 fans to come between the two of them.

  5. penguins87and71 - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Maybe because most of it is indoors.

  6. blomfeld - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:18 PM


    With all due to respect to comrade sports writer Brough and the rest of you people above, I Blomfeld am a Vancouver resident living within a ‘brisk’ walk of BC Place Stadium … and therefore I ‘know the deal’ here, believe me. Funky, wacky, quirky and eccentric are just some of the adjectives used to describe Vancouverites, but ‘dumb’ they are not. The bottom line is that the the old Empire Stadium would have made for a ‘vastly’ superior venue … one so superior in fact, that the Canucks would’ve likely surpassed even the numbers garnered at the ‘Big House’ in Michigan ! As it is however, this ‘ersatz’ garbage will draw likely less than 40 K, with at least ‘75%’ of those tickets sold being ‘financially’ compromised one way or another … and that’s a shame.

    Blomfeld sidebar: in the summer of ’78, yours truly went to Super Sunday at Empire Stadium here and ‘fell in love’ with the following beautiful songstress ! :) … good times ! :)

  7. Wineshard - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    I used to go see the Whitecaps at Empire Stadium and I don’t think you could fit 110,000 people there. Maybe 1/5 of that.

    • blomfeld - Feb 28, 2014 at 12:14 AM

      friend … it could have been cheaply done with ‘temporary’ erected seating, trust me … and all that would’ve been required is the vision and the will, which the Aqulini brothers were apparently lacking here for some reason ?

      ps: I also saw some Whitcaps’ and Lions’ games there back in the 70’s ! :)

  8. pigpen1013 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    I ‘appreciate’ your ‘comments’ ‘regarding’ this ‘situation’.

  9. pigpen1013 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    But in all seriousness, I think the spectacle of stadium games is pretty much played out. Maybe the occasional college game in Michigan is relevant, but this is the NHL. Does it really add all that much to see high end players scramble around on terrible ice while sitting in the cold and fans having to use binoculars to see the game properly (possibly even while covering one eye in order to subdue the double vision incurred from one too many overly expensive stadium beverages that were a necessity to fight off the cold)? And if Gary Bettman insists on continuing with this nonsense, why not stick with markets that could actually see real ice at some point during the season? That game at Dodgers Stadium was a joke. Why not pit Florida against Tampa in April and see what happens. Move the games back indoors and the fans that really care about the game will pay the insane ticket/food/beverage/souvenir prices and the NHL will still walk away with a pocket full of money.

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:16 AM

      I think Bettman’s next move is to have an outdoor game for the Florida Panthers. Clear out part of the Everglades to build a rink (screw the environment). Have a moat surrounding the rink, fill it with alligators. The penalty box can be a floating chair on the moat, making whoever is penalized especially careful not to rock the chair.

      Now, THAT would be a watchable spectacle worthy of Bettman.

      • blomfeld - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        seriously friend … that would be fantastic ! :)

  10. pigpen1013 - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:53 AM


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