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Panthers to curtain off part of top deck?

Apr 8, 2014, 2:51 PM EDT


From the Miami Herald, which also provided the image you see:

The Panthers had a huge curtain cutting off part of the end zone at Tuesday’s morning skate and it looks like that may be a sign of things to come.

According to the team website, seats in those sections aren’t being offered as part of any season ticket plan. As you can see from the chart below, season ticket sales end at Section 306 and resume in 313*. It also appears the tarps are staying as ‘Goal Zone’ seats will only be sold up to row 10.

Click on the link for more information, including a season-ticket pricing chart that will make many NHL fans jealous. (Lowers for $25 a game? Yep.)

The Panthers’ attendance has been a source of embarrassment for the club. Officially, the average crowd this season has been 14,623, the third lowest in the NHL. But the announced number often appears inflated, with as many, or more, empty seats as filled ones.

According to Wikipedia, the BB&T Center’s capacity for hockey is 19,250, making it one of the bigger rinks in the NHL.

Cutting down the capacity with curtains and tarps doesn’t look great — especially while the club is asking for financial assistance from the county — but it may help improve the atmosphere in the rink while making tickets a slightly hotter commodity.

The Panthers have three home games left this season, starting tonight versus Philadelphia.

Yes, tickets are available.


  1. stratomaticfan - Apr 8, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Maybe the NHL should consider moving the team. Obviously the demand for hockey is not there. It’s not like they’re playing in a 50,000 seat stadium. If you can’t fill a hockey arena on most nights, you shouldn’t have a team.

    • bsaures - Apr 8, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      If that was the case then Boston, Pittsburgh, and Chicago would have been long gone as they were all basement dwellers in attendance for years getting fewer fans than Florida is now.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 8, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      Your right on the fact they don’t play in a 50,000 seat stadium, but BB&T Center does hold 19,250 which makes it the 6th largest in the NHL. The fact of the matter is, teams who don’t make the playoffs 12 of 13 years isn’t going to draw well in any sport in any market.

      • tdrusher225 - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:37 PM

        Struggling is one thing, but you have to admit this is taking it to another level. Selling that many tickets for such low prices and curtaining off sections of the stands is pathetic. This is one of the worst organizations in sports and being in such a bad market plays a role in that. If you don’t have the money to reinvest in your team, you can’t bring in or retain high end players. You can blame the attendance, viewership, and overall dismal financial situation solely on the lack of on-ice success, but the fact is being in Florida is a big reason why the Panthers continue to stink.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:29 AM

        The Panthers stink because they are in Florida is one of the most absurd things I have ever heard. Ever. How is it they struggle because they are in Florida, yet Tampa, which I’m lead to believe is in Florida also, doesn’t struggle, yet being in Florida.

        The fact the reason the Panthers have struggled is because previous ownership wouldn’t pay for free agents or resign any of their own talent. Heck, last summer the Panthers couldn’t even make an offer to resign Weiss because there was no ownership in place.

        However when Viola completed the purchase of Panthers in September, they went out and signed Tim Thomas, Brad Boyes, and Tom Gilbert before the season began. Also, have taken on the ginormous contract of Luongo. Based on those moves, and the fact that he’s stated Tallon can spend to the cap, there isn’t any reason to believe they won’t spend money in free agency.

  2. narfmoo12 - Apr 8, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Time to move this team. Plus it would be hilarious if they moved just as Luongo gets back to South Florida.

    • desertfan - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Luongo and Co. to Seattle.

      Welcome back to the wet coast LUIIIIIII.

      • brewinflames - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        Yep, just move them to Seattle.

  3. purpleguy - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    If they don’t move the team, maybe they should just install the curtain between the stands and the boards.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      brilliant. post of the day.

  4. 3linepass - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Lipstick on a Pig. I’m jealous of the prices, not jealous of the product.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      despite their record, it’s still a better win to dollar ratio. I’m still jealous they can get into a game vs the Flyers/Bruins/Wings/Rangers for about what I get into a Norfolk Admirals game for.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        oh that first part is a joke.

  5. thegreatmorpheos - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    The idea of an NHL team as far south as Miami was a joke when it was first introduced and the lack of attendance proves that it continues to be a joke. The problem is the egomaniac midget Bettman who can’t bring himself to admit the obvious mistake that it was to put a team there in the first place.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 8, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      As much as I hate Bettman, not every team in the south is struggling. Your going to struggle to get fans in the doors when you’ve missed the playoffs 12 of the last 13 years.

  6. sjsharks66 - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    My eyes nearly shot out of my head when I saw tickets for $4…. If that’s a not a sign to move a team ASAP, I really don’t know what is.

  7. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    $3 for tickets? Wow that’s even less than the price of gas here in Pittsburgh!

  8. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    My favorite line from a commentator came two years ago when the Jets were playing Florida (in Florida on Halloween)… ..

    Welcome to Florida folks as the Winnipeg Jets take on the Florida Panthers. The Florida fans are in the Halloween spirit tonight as it looks like the majority of them came dressed up as seats tonight .. ..

  9. greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    First of all the 300 section isn’t even the highest level. The 300 section that this article mentions that doesn’t have season tickets available (even this year) because that’s the ADT Club which comes with all you can eat food and drinks. Just more misinformation from this site that makes the Panthers look worse.

    You can make make fun of the price for tickets, but if you look on stubhub you can find other teams (such as the islanders) for $2 a seat. So let’s not pretend it’s just Florida that struggles with attendance.

    This market will support a good product. Go back and check the attendance the following season after they made the playoffs. The numbers don’t lie, over 93% to capacity in the 6th largest NHL building.

    • grocerystick101 - Apr 8, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      Sometimes I feel like PHT has an agenda to go after the Panthers.

      It’s non-stop and really the only informative article I’ve read on them was the one that explained the BB&T lease situation and how the previous owners used the losses from the team to offset the gains on the lease agreement, which was contingent on the existence of the team.

      Not sure how this is affected by the new ownership or pending agreement with the county. But either way it goes to show that there is a lot more to a franchise than just putting bodies in seats which as you point out, is vastly over-exaggerated on this website as well as others.

  10. jwalsh217 - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Bettman couldn’t be more right. great call listening to expansion proposal when you still have this embarrassment as part of your league…

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 8, 2014 at 6:41 PM

      The only embarrassing thing here is that you apparently forget the Panthers are locked in a lease until after the 2027-28 season. There is zero chance Broward County will let the Panthers break the lease and walk free, especially after the county just forked out $4.2 million for a new scoreboard.

      Do you honestly think Bettman and his cohorts are going to let a team that is top 5 in the NHL (let me stress top 5, not bottom 5) in ad revenue leave. Top 5 as a

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 8, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      The only embarrassing thing here is that you apparently forget the Panthers are locked in a lease until after the 2027-28 season. There is zero chance Broward County will let the Panthers break the lease and walk free, especially after the county just forked out $4.2 million for a new scoreboard.

      Do you honestly think Bettman and his cohorts are going to let a team that is top 5 in the NHL (let me stress top 5, not bottom 5) in ad revenue leave. Top 5 as a perennial last place team. Imagine if the Panthers actually won a few games. Of course you need spend money on talent, something the previous ownership lacked.

  11. ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    I’m no marketing expert, but wouldn’t those seats be better served if they literally gave them away? they may actually have people filling them and buying beer. I don’t see how it could cost them any more money than what the ticket paper cost them. And if people aren’t flocking to buy the $3 tix instead of the $25 ones, I doubt they’ll be flocking to the free ones either; so no impact on regular sales. No need to over-staff for concessions, as I don’t think anybody that didn’t pay for the game is stressing too much about missing any of it while they’re in line. w/e. I guess that’s just another “lipstick on a pig” situation.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 8, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      I get what your trying to say with giving them away for free, but if you do that, then your going to piss off the real fans who do pay the big bucks for their season tickets. I’m not talking about the $25 lower level season tickets, but the ones who do pay $175 for the lower level tickets. When ever I buy my tickets to games on stubhub or whatever secondary market, the real ticket price is still fixed on the ticket. I’m glad I’m buying them for $15 and not $150 a piece

  12. muckleflugga - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    maybe they should move their farm team to cuba … fan transition would be natural

    but hey, move them to seattle … just another reason for me to visit the spectacularly beautiful pacific northwest


    what a howl … thanks for the laugh

    my favourite is still jim hughson calling a flames v. northstar game … flames were down a man in a close game and frank musil took a terrible penalty leaving flames down two

    hughson taking the part of guy charron and remarkably in tune sang

    you picked a fine time to leave me musil

    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      or conversely, maybe there’s a few Cubans that would enjoy seeing a hockey game in Florida and just don’t know it yet. ship ’em in!

  13. westinpat - Apr 8, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    I went down to the Sabres game in March. My buddy and I had the entire tenth row behind the penalty boxes to ourselves for the first two periods. The game was a bore but at least there was room to stretch out.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 8, 2014 at 5:57 PM

      You pretty much just said what needed to be said. The game was a bore. 2 bad teams after the trade deadline with nothing to play for…

  14. chanceoffleury - Apr 8, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Fun fact of the day: 2 of my friends from college bought tickets to the Boston-Florida game in Sunrise because they got both the plane tickets, a hotel room for one night, and lower bowl seats at BBT Center cheaper than just buying 2 lower bowl seats at TD Garden………………………yeah.

    We’ve had Pens season tickets in my family since 1996, but since it’s split between the 5 brothers and my grandpa it’s 7 games a year per family. I miss the 2001-2006 era when my dad would come from work and take my sister and I down to the Pens game and we’d sit in the lower bowl for $20 apiece at Mellon Arena. It was awesome. We probably went to 15 additional games a year when the tickets were cheap like that. I remember going to a Blackhawks-Penguins game and sitting like 5 rows off the ice in the 2004 season for like $30 and there was literally nobody there. They were both so, so awful. Now on top of the sticker price you’d have to give your right arm, your first born son, the cure for cancer to get seats to that matchup in the UC or CEC for $30. Enjoy it now, Panthers fans. Before you know it your high draft picks reek utter havoc on your precious tiny ticket prices!

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