With a big event like the 2016 All Star Game on the horizon for Nashville, this year, probably more than ever, is a big year for Nashville Predators season tickets holder. With the renewal process just beginning, there are plenty of questions that come with it. From renewals to All Star Game priority and future perks, we spoke with Nat Harden, Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales for the Nashville Predators. Due to the large amount of information provided, we went with a simple question & answer format.
Penalty Box Radio: It looks like season ticket holders that were not up for renewal this year haven’t received an email yet about playoffs yet. When will they?
Nat Harden: They’ll receive something this week. All season ticket holders will actually receive a brochure. What we sent out so far is an email to full and half season ticket holders that were up for renewal, which is about 65% of our base. Then this week, the other 35% will receive a paper brochure. The accounts up for renewal will also received the brochure as a reminder. Mini plans will also receive this brochure for playoff and All Star Game information.
2016 All Star Game
PBR: If a season ticket holder isn’t up for renewal this year, what can they do to make sure they are placed in the top priority for the All Star Game?
NH: If you are a full season ticket holder renewed through 2016-17, you’re in the top tier. If not up for renewal this year, season ticket holders that are not due until next year will have the opportunity to extend to 2016-17, which will get them into the top tier. If they choose not to extend, they will be in the second tier of full season ticket holders.
PBR: Are the events for the All Star Game sold as a package deal or can tickets be purchased to the Skills Competition and All Star Game separately?
NH: It will be sold as a package deal. One thing I want to preface though is that this is an NHL event. As far as pricing and seat locations, we’re providing the venue for it and can guarantee our season ticket holders the opportunity to purchase seats, but we can’t guarantee them their same seats. We’re somewhat limited on what we can do.
PBR: The All Star Fantasy Draft is usually held on the Friday of All Star Weekend. How will that work in regards to tickets?
NH: I am not sure about that at the moment. Usually the draft is at a smaller venue, but I just don’t have the answer to that yet. The NHL controls the entire event and they will release more information later.
PBR: How many tickets can be purchased for All Star Weekend?
NH: We have a good idea of how many tickets we’ll have access to from the NHL. To make sure all season ticket holders have opportunities to purchase tickets to the event, it will work like this:
- Full season ticket holders can buy up to the number of tickets on your account, not exceeding six seats. So if you have four seats on your account, you can purchase up to four seats for All Star Weekend.
- Half season ticket holder can buy the number of seats on your account up to four seats.
- Mini plans can buy up to two seats.
The reason we structure it that way is so that everyone will have an opportunity to buy tickets to the event. Once we finish the priority process and if there are still seats leftover, we’ll go to the full season ticket holders that have renewed their seats and see if they want additional seats for the event. Since we just don’t know the numbers yet, this is what we can commit to.
Additional information on the 2016 NHL All Star Game.
Season Ticket Renewals and Perks
PBR: Many fans have noticed that there are increases in ticket prices for the next season. What is the reasoning behind this?
NH: I like to think we’re putting together the best team in the league on the ice and we offer the best benefits package in the league, and we provide great value to our season ticket holders. We have one of the lowest average prices in the entire league. For us to maintain a competitive advantage in the league as far as on-ice product and to continue to offer Smashville Rewards, free concert tickets, etc., we have to take things like increases into consideration. It’s just a matter of us having one of the lowest prices in the league and for us to be a successful organization and maintain the success we’ve enjoyed this year, we have to have price increases. It’s just the nature of business.
We are price sensitive when it comes to our fans. We want to make sure it’s as fan-friendly as possible. We offer 12-months interest free payment plans for season tickets, one of the only teams in the league to do that. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy season tickets. We offer tickets as low as $15 day of game. We’ll maintain those fan-friendly payment options and day of game entry points.
PBR: One of the things that was noticed on renewals is the Capital Improvement Fee. What is it and what does the money go towards?
NH: A lot of the improvement go from different restaurants in the building to the sound system to WiFi to next year it’ll be new seats in the lower bowl. There are parts of the lower bowl that need to be replaced badly because they won’t push all the way out. Some of our lower bowl season ticket holders are kind of scrunched up in their seat. That’s one of the reasons why we’re replacing lower bowl next year before we do the club level and upper bowl in the following year. We want to re-invest in the building to provide a better experience for fans. That is exactly what the fee is for.
PBR: Variable pricing isn’t new to sports, but for those that may not understand, can you explain what it is and why some games will be more expensive than others?
NH: I like to think all games are created equal, that Tuesday night Vancouver games are just as valuable as a Saturday night against Chicago or Detroit, but it’s just not. If you’re selling any product and you can’t recognize that, you’re fooling yourself. For that matter, you’ll see something like a Tuesday night Vancouver game essentially go down, but the Saturday, premiere game, the value is higher. It’s just trying to price things appropriately. In the past, all one price mean you overprice some games and underprice the others. You want to make sure you’re providing the value that’s appropriate.
PBR: It’s been mentioned that there will be perks to encourage season ticket holders to come to games where out of town fans tend to flock. Have these been decided yet?
NH: We’re still in talks for them. What we have in the renewal package is that if you’re a full season ticket holder and you renew for two years, you’ll receive a co-branded Predators/All Star pullover. We’re offering All Star/Predators branded hats, pins and patches for renewals. It’s all based on what type of package you renew with.
With season ticket holder only benefit/perks, we’ll have that as well for premium games with red in the building. We just don’t have those perks worked out yet.
PBR: What are the plans for giveaways at the door next season?
NH: We did the six bobbleheads this year and we want to continue to offer great, premium items at the doors. We’ll probably increase that next season. We don’t have the exact number, but the plan is 10 nights.
An example, season ticket holders will be receiving a Tomas Vokoun lithograph print and will be able to pick it up on the 28th or any game after that. That’s just something we made for season ticket holders.
PBR: Giveaways and perks for season ticket holders are limited to one per account instead of per how many tickets are on the account. Some people split their accounts into two in order to double up on these perks. Are there any downfalls to this?
NH: If we did one per ticket, it makes it more difficult to give away premium items, like jerseys. We did one per account with ability to purchase additional ones at cost. If it was one per ticket, it would make it more difficult to offer jerseys or pull overs, things like that. We realize that people will move accounts and split it off, but if that’s what they choose to do, that’s fine. We don’t lose sleep over it, but we want to be able to continue to offer premium items.
One thing to consider however, is that when we do offer All Star tickets and we offer only tickets up to the number you have on your account, then you can only get one if it’s separate, with no guarantees tickets will be together. It’s kind of a double-edged sword to do that.
See chart below for some of the perks. Download the full list of perks.
If you have any additional questions, please make sure to contact your representative.