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Canucks tickets still hot item as shortened season unveiled

By Tyler Orton, 24 Hours Vancouver

The Vancouver Canucks rolled out an array of incentives Sunday aimed at winning back fans following the 113-day NHL lockout that left the league with a shortened season that finally kicks off this weekend.

Although discounted ticket prices aren’t on the table, fans hitting up Rogers Arena for Saturday’s home game versus Anaheim — and the next two games after that — get 50% off Canucks Team Store merchandise and half-price food at concessions.

B.C. Institute of Technology marketing instructor Clayton Mitchell said while some NHL teams will offer cheaper tickets to win back fans in softer American markets, Canadian franchises have little reason to go that far.

“In Vancouver, we’re stuck paying ridiculous (ticket) prices,” he said.

Ticket broker Kingsley Bailey said he was expecting a lot of resistance from Vancouverites after the league and the NHL players’ union brokered a deal last week to get the season back.

“Vancouver is an anomaly and we are being inundated with requests for tickets and pricing,” he said.

ShowTime Tickets CEO Mario Livich said he’s seeing a more mixed response, noting many disgruntled season-ticket holders plan to sell off their seats — meaning a lot of good deals will be out there thanks to greater supply.

“Like any relationship, (fans are) hurt right now,” he said. “After a while they’ll forgive and be back in full force.”

As for the discounted jerseys the Canucks franchise is offering, Vancity Sports owner John Czvelka said it’s “annoying” the team is undercutting the small businesses that have suffered considerably during the lockout.

He added jersey sales at his Seymour Street store are down 60-70% compared to September 2011, the last time Canucks fans geared up for the start of the season.

Single game tickets for all January outings go on sale Tuesday.


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