Posted on: September 11, 2009 11:56 am

My Dwindling Bank Account and an NHL Rant

Wild tickets went on presale today - well, yesterday if you're in the warming house. I'm a 22-year-old grad student so even getting on the waiting list for season tickets is out of the question. It's tradition for me and my dad to go to one game a year. I usually buy the tickets as a Christmas present to him, and we've done this for four years now. My favorite moment as a Wild fan came at one of those games my dad and I went to. I splurged on two tickets right behind the Wild bench, they were $250 a pop. Ouch. Anyways, it was the 2007-08 season and the Wild fell behind the Oilers 4-1 in the second period. "Great," I thought. "$500 down the drain." Then the Wild came back to tie it, and Petteri Nummelin won it in OT. The place went nuts...I will never forget that moment. (Actually, neither did the players...I ended up taking a picture of Josh Harding at that game and I later met him during the 10,000 Rinks tour this summer. I gave him a copy of the print and had him sign mine, and he not only told me that he remembered the game, but he remembered me . I sat right behind him.)

But I digress. I usually buy my tickets off of StubHub or whatever so I usually get financially screwed on whatever tickets I buy, but when I bought my two tickets this morning, I felt jobbed as well. The only two-ticket package I could find were the $114 seats - $130 with the frickin' service charges. I understand that season ticket holders grab most of the seats, but the NHL is charging white-collar ticket prices for blue-collar fans. This is not what the game's about. I can't stand it when little kids are given $200 seats and don't even watch the game. Or when people arrive to the Xcel Energy Center in suits and text the whole game.

What is wrong with this picture?

It's becoming increasingly more difficult for true fans like myself to afford to go to NHL games. I recently moved to southwest Wisconsin so I can't even watch them without buying the expensive online package. No FSN North for me, it's not available with my cable provider (which I couldn't even choose, btw...thanks UW-La Crosse). I understand that teams are here to turn a profit, but at what cost? How cruel is it that people who don't even know the game get to sit up against the glass while diehards like myself watch from the couch? Granted, when I go to my fridge I don't have to pay $10 for a beer, but that's besides the point.
So long story short...I get to watch Jacques Lemaire's return to Minnesota in person come January with my dad. The bonding is priceless, sure, but it should not cost anyone $260 just to get in the building and watch a bunch of athletes skate around on ice. I'm oversimplifying things but I'm ticked off. The days that I can buy these tickets are disappearing fast. What's more important, two hockey tickets or two months' worth of groceries? Bettman and these greedy owners are pretty much choosing for me if tickets continue to go up. If it weren't for the price freeze that the Wild made last year, I probably wouldn't even get close to walking around the X this winter to see a Wild game.

I'm not just upset, I'm disappointed with the way things are being run here. The spirit of the game should not be muzzled by profit margins.

Keep your stick on the ice.

~ Robtangle
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com