Despite the fact that the NHL is on the verge of again destroying their fan base with their second lockout in the past decade, the Minnesota Wild are preparing to try and retain their loyal fans. Ben Goessling of the Pioneer Press reports that the Wild organization will pay 10% interest to season ticket holders who continue to have an investment in the club, a small monetary value when you look at the grand scheme of no hockey.
Considering the Wild gained over 4,000 new season ticket holders when the team went out and shocked the hockey world by signing by Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, keeping their fan base happy in any way possible only makes sense. As it stands, the Wild are said to lose around $1 million in revenue per home game that is cancelled because of the work stoppage according to Goessling who sites an inside source.
The Wild’s season ticket base had dropped to around 12,000 at the conclusion of last season and should the lockout proceed well into the regular season schedule, it would be difficult to believe that every fan would want to return to support the game. We saw it eight years ago during the last stoppage and the league struggled to build up the markets where the occasional fan found other means of entertainment in the sporting world. Not saying the Wild fans won’t return with full vengeance, especially given the talented roster they’ve assembled and we all know winning cures everything, it’s just a bitter pill to swallow right now when all we hear about are the two sides fighting over money.
Right now the outlook is grim to have the game we all love returned to us despite some analysts predicting a short lockout. Any type of work stoppage is too long when it comes to the NHL so if they can miraculously salvage a full season, perhaps fans can forget about the agonizing times when owners and players can’t agree on the financial side of the game. Having the Wild give back financially to their loyal fans is a start in helping us forget, but first and foremost we just want to watch some hockey.