Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Play Price-Chopper; Kiel Also to Be Redecorated

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Play Price-Chopper; Kiel Also to Be Redecorated

Article excerpt

In focus groups and luncheons with season-ticket holders past and present over the last six months, Blues President Mark Sauer heard the same message over and over.

Ticket prices were too high.

True Blues fans couldn't afford to spend between $25 and $95 for a ticket to Kiel Center, where the empty pink seats revealed the fans' discontent. So, Sauer, with the backing of Blues Chairman Jerry Ritter and the input of marketing director and longtime Blues fan Jim Woodcock, decided to make some changes. Both in style and substance. Sauer announced on Thursday that the Blues would slash ticket prices and give Kiel Center a $400,000 makeover that will replace the garish colors on lower-bowl seats. The purpose of the moves are twofold: 1.) to bring back the fans with more affordable tickets that will range between $15 and $75; 2.) to make Kiel Center seem more like a hockey arena than Barbie's Dream House. In doing so, the Blues and their owners acknowledged their past mistakes. "We responded to some criticism that we all know was out there," said Sauer, who was hired on Dec. 19 to replace Jack Quinn. "This is just common sense. We listened to the fans." The price cuts on 11,850 seats range from as little as $1 ($40 to $39) for the first seven rows in the mezzanine center to as much as $21 ($40 to $19) for the top three rows in the mezzanine center. The rows between these sections were reduced $6 ($40 to $34). Mezzanine high end seats drop $10 ($25 to $15). Mezzanine end seats drop $2 ($30 to $28). In the lower bowl, single-game prices for club seats were cut $20 ($95 to $75), and plaza high end seats on the side the Blues defend twice were dropped $5 ($55 to $50). The plaza, plaza end and plaza high end (on the side the Blues attack twice) remain the same - $55, $65 and $70, respectively. Season-ticket holders get an additional $5 off in all areas except club seats and the $15 and $19 seats, which number 2,800. Season-ticket holders also will be able to donate through the Blues unused tickets to youth groups and charities to cut down on problematic no-shows. Sauer said that if the Blues average attendance remains the same as last season - 16,807 - the reduction in ticket prices would cost the Blues $2 million. …

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