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Amid financial struggles, Panthers change sales staff

Jun 2, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

Panthers crowd1

The Florida Panthers aren’t just shaking up their coaching staff. They have reportedly fired almost their entire sales staff as well as personnel from other departments, according to 940 WINZ’s Andy Slater.

The Panthers addressed the changes without confirming the extent of them in an email to season ticket holders.

“As part of any organizational review, there are typically changes in staff as the business model continues to evolve and the business is restructured,” the letter states. “Some of the sales and services representatives with whom you may have worked in the past will be changing.”

This comes during a time when the Florida Panthers are trying to find their footing financially. The Panthers have previously confirmed they’re losing millions annually and in April the team has asked Broward County for a package in excess of $80 million.

The Panthers attendance average was just 14,177 last year, which put them in 29th place, per ESPN.com.

  1. vancouversportsbro - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    What can you do.

    Team has made the playoffs probably once in ten years. Nothing to really look forward to in another three years. Most fickle fan area in America besides maybe California. Miami Heat play ten minutes away, etc.

    Them and Phoenix are on life support.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      Actually 10 years is being kind. Once since the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets joined the NHL. Prior to the 2011-12 playoff appearance (they did take the eastern champions to overtime in game 7) the last time they made the playoffs was 1999-2000 or when the Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets) were in their inaugural season.

      The past 2 ownership groups have been ridiculously cheap, not even matching Stephen Weiss’ contract Detroit offered him, when he came back to them with it and wanted matched. He was the face of the organization at the time.

      If this new owner is going to spend money like he claims he will, the Panthers do have a bright future with Barkov, Huberdeau, Gudbranson, and Bjugstead. With a lot of cap room. Don’t forget Tallon is the GM who built the Blackhawks to who they are now. It looks a lot like how Chicago was built. The key is to hit on the high draft picks.

      Given a decent product the fans would show. Go look in December when the Panthers had won 5 games in a row. Lot was close to sellouts then.

  2. bigtganks - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Slogan should be:

    “Bingo Bango Bongo, his name is ROBERTO LUONGO!”

  3. thewalkoffktxt - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    The NHL is strong! This team isn’t.

    Is moving the team a real option right now? We may kick and scream that is should be, but will the NHL do it?

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      No it isn’t an option. The Panthers for how bad they are, are still top 5 in the NHL for ad revenue. Just imagine if this team actually, you know, had a competitor product to watch. As I said above when the team is winning, the fans will show as supported by the sellouts (or close to) during their 5 game winning steak in December.

  4. pjblake2redwings - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    sales isnt an easy job in the first place but you make it a bigger challange when the product cant win games. Panthers need to step it up if you want ticket sales to go up and land a franchise player for the face of the team like a Stamkos, or Taverse.. maybe next year they can land Connor McDavid

  5. canucks30 - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    Great. Now Gary Bettman can use this as an excuse for the impending 2021 NHL Lockout.

  6. channelguy - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Id like to know how many of those tickets were PAID. Panthers sales people were giving tickets to Friday games away for FREE at grocery stores — until they got Luongo.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:05 PM

      I live down here and that is absolutely not true, or I would have gone to Public myself to pick them up.

      • stixzidinia - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Agreed. I live 20 minutes from the arena and never saw tix being given away in either Publix or Winn Dixie.

  7. alicesrightfootesq - Jun 2, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    I’m sure this means they’ll move to Quebec now guys. Just like when Hartford cleaned out their sales staff before heading south.

  8. davemeisner - Jun 2, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    bull crap they sold an average of 14,000 a game.

  9. tfilarski - Jun 2, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Seattle [insert animal] sounds really good

  10. jwalsh217 - Jun 2, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    How can bettman talk about expansion when florida and phoenix are still in the league?

  11. hojo20 - Jun 2, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    MOVE TO HARTFORD……PLEASE!

  12. timmons94 - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Sad. Panthers have some nice young talent and a beautiful arena. But I agree send them to Hartford….

    • stixzidinia - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:32 PM

      As much as i’d love to have the Whale back in the NHL i just don’t think the franchise would be any more viable than before with such proximity to other major market sports teams.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 3, 2014 at 12:04 AM

      And exactly and specifically why do you feel that way?

  13. pr0jecktpat - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Doesn’t matter what sport you play, or where you are located, if you don’t win games people aren’t going to come and spend their hard earned money to watch losers. It is just a fact of life that they need to understand.

    That 14,177 attendance number from last season is rather dubious because I’d like to know how inflated that number is; no way they had that many people at games on average.

    Gary Bettman, and the NHL, need to get off of their high horses and see that this market is failing horribly, move the team to an area that actually is willing to pay to see professional hockey. Putting another team in Canada isn’t the worst thing in the world, and for some reason they seem to fight that idea tooth and nail.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

      You had me at the beginning because your absolutely correct it doesn’t matter what market your in. If your team doesn’t win it won’t sell tickets. Look at Pittsburgh between Lemieux/Jagr and Crosby/Malkin or Blackhawks between Cup runs in early 1990 and Towes/Kane came. Look at Minnesota and basketball same analogy. Fans showed up for Garnett era and now can’t find elementary schools to go to games.

      14,177 is probably pretty accurate. I attended close to half the games this year. When the team was winning in December it was close to a sellout. In April who the hell is going to a meaningless Panthers/Hurricanes game?

  14. gojetsgo33 - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Why is the league still in Phoenix & Florida when they have to give tickets away to show that fans are actually in the building?

  15. uknownothingatall - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Hello Milwaukee and their new arena in 2017 with the help of new Panthers owners moving the franchise to a hockey market.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      The 17 people in the Chicago suburb of Milwaukee would be happy

  16. stixzidinia - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    Typical board room think. Sales aren’t where you want them so fire the CSR’s…..that’ll do it. LOL.

    It’s funny, for supposedly being such intelligent business people, high powered business executives are usually pretty short on common sense. They can’t blame themselves for their shoddy product, so they fire the people tasked with selling their shoddy product. Never mind actually FIXING what’s wrong with the shoddy product in order to make it an easier sell.

  17. blackhawks2010 - Jun 3, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Seattle awaits their new NHL team……

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