I think every fan is praying for the day that we hear “we have come to an agreement”. I know I am wore out, sick and tired of riding this roller coaster called the NHL Lockout. Many innocent people, from many professions are suffering financially because of this lockout. That is the saddest part of this whole aggravating process. Another person that has no control, and is suffering is you “THE FAN”. Well, we have no say in this process, but we are the ones that pay for tickets, buy merchandise and concessions at the games. Does not seem right does it? Well it’s not! We love the game, and all we want is to watch games, and be able to talk about games. Although the fans have no control of the greed, and economic posturing that is taking place. It is us that the owners and players will be looking at to support them when this is done. I would love to say “no, you screwed us and we are not coming back,” but that is not realistic. I love this game, and no matter how mad I am, I will be so excited for that first night back watching live games. I can’t help but feel that the players and owners owe us something for being understanding, while they decide how to split up the billions of dollars. So what do they owe us? Well here are some ideas.
The Owners can start by offering discounted merchandise and concessions at home games. I understand they cannot mess with ticket prices, because they get direct revenue from this. It is also hard to discount tickets because of the difference in markets. I know some markets will have to offer huge discounts to even get close to filling their building. They can offer game night promotions on merchandise, or food at the games. They can also host a few post game parties for fans.
The NHL will have a lot of work to do to ensure that they did not lose too many borderline fans. It won’t be an easy task. The first thing that they should do is offer the Center Ice television package for free. They should also offer the NHL Gamecenter computer and mobile device live game feed for free. The league has to get fans back watching, and what better way than to make it accessible, easy and best of all free.
The Players will have their work cut out for them also. I used to always tell people that hockey players are different. They aren’t greedy, self-centered athletes like the other professional sports. They care about the fans. Well I am not saying that this is not still true, but I am starting to wonder if I was wrong. I understand that they want the best deal that they can possibly get, and I don’t blame them for this. I do disagree with who they have representing them, and how it has been handled. When this is over, its time to prove to me and other fans that you are different from the athletes in the other sports. The first step would be to have player autograph sessions on a weekly basis after games. Have five players each night sign autographs and interact with the fans. It’s a start, we love cheering for you guys, just prove to us that you respect and appreciate us.
Lets just all hope this gets solved soon. I can’t wait to get back to the excitement of a game. I also know, that after this is solved I do not want to hear the phrase COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT for a long, long time!