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What the Canucks have to do to sell tickets

Last Updated Oct 14, 2016 at 9:33 am PDT

Vancouver Canucks netminder Ryan Miller. (Photo via Twitter: @Canucks)

The team amassed 75 points last season and missed the playoffs

One marketing expert says the Canucks have to sell an entertaining experience to get people in the arena

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Vancouver Canucks season is just about to get started and fans may be on the fence as to whether or not tickets are worth buying despite some low prices.

Cary Kaplan with Cosmos Sports, a company that specializes in marketing for a number of NHL teams, says statistics support the claim that winning is one of the most overrated ways of getting people in the arena.

He adds the best way to sell tickets is entertainment. “Winning and losing is a small factor, if at all, and I think it’s the same thing. Make going to a Canucks game an amazing event for families, for millennials, for couples, grandparents and their grandkids. It’s the value that far exceeds the cost then people are going to go.”

Kaplan suggests looking at teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs that may not win consistently on the ice, but are winning when it comes to ticket sales. “A person living in Vancouver thinks win or lose, the best thing to do in the city or a really, really fun thing to do is go to a hockey game.”

He adds many US teams will pair up with big names to bring an increased level of entertainment to their games.

The team admits it may not be where it would like to be right now. “While we still have lots of work to do with our fans and our season ticket renewal rates are lower this year, we are also seeing some positive signs with new season ticket memberships and single game sales. As I said below, we sold more new season tickets this off-season (1,000) than we did in the past decade. And our single game sales are up 25 per cent over last year,” the Canucks said in a statement to NEWS 1130.

How will the Canucks do this season?

NEWS 1130 Sports Director Ann Schmaltz says what’s key for the team this year is that they’re healthy. At one point last year, eight veterans were injured, while seven rookies cracked the roster. “This version of the Canucks will be strong in goal and better on defence. The addition of Erik Gudbranson will provide toughness and his pairing with Ben Hutton will allow Hutton to be more offensive with the puck,” points out Schmaltz.

She warns there is a danger of the Canucks becoming a one-line team with the Sedin twins and Loui Eriksson, and that will be easy to defend, but you know head coach Willie Desjardins will mix up the lines to try and avoid that. “The power play should improve from 27th overall last season with Phillip Larson on the point and a healthy Brandon Sutter in the mix.”

Vancouver achieved only 75 points last season and missed out on the playoffs. “The Canucks will need to be playing meaningful games in March. They will need eight to 10 more wins to reach 95 points and that should get them a trip to the post season.”

The onus will fall up front but also to goalies, Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom to steal some one-goal games.

Vancouver’s first game of the regular season is tomorrow at Rogers Arena against the Calgary Flames.