Ask any sports fan what one of their biggest pet peeves is, and you have to believe seeing opposing fans take over your team’s arena for a game is pretty high on the list. What’s worse than hearing a deafening cheer when the away team scores?
The Nashville Predators agree, wholeheartedly. They’ve spent their entire existence in a division with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, two teams who have diehard fanbases willing to travel anywhere to see their teams live. Already located in a non-traditional hockey market, the Predators have seen their fair share of Midwestern takeovers.
Well, it appears they’ve had enough. Knowing how many Chicago fans will attempt to invade the Sommet Center during the three games Nashville hosts the Blackhawks this year, ownership decided to get clever with ticket sales for these games.
Long story short, you aren’t going to be able to purchase single game tickets when the Predators host Chicago. If you’re looking to buy a seat to these games, you’re going to have to buy a ticket to another Nashville game as well.
“Our objective is to give our team the best home-ice advantage each and every game,” said Gerry Helper, Predators vice president of hockey communications and public relations, speaking with ESPN Chicago. “Our ticket plans benefit and appreciate our ticket holders by giving them the best possible pricing, sales and availability, so they can have the chance to purchase these tickets before anyone else, whether they’re from Nashville, Chicago or Timbuktu.”
Thanks to a recent interview Predators President and CEO Sean Henry gave Section303.com, it appears this movement has a name: “Keep the Red Out.”
“The best way to buy a Blackhawks ticket is to have a season ticket, a half-season ticket or a 15-game plan,” Henry told the website. “But we also realize that we’re still going to have to sell 3,000-4,000 single tickets for that game. What it’s going to do by forcing another game is we’ll almost direct it toward people that live in the general area, for the most part. And [for the pre-sale] only those in the zip codes that we unlock can buy the Blackhawk game and a second game. So we’re breaking down every barrier we can to keep the red out.”
The last thing Predators fans want to hear in their building is “Go Hawks Go,” and with Chicago just coming off a Stanley Cup Championship, it certainly would’ve been heard in droves this year.
Now, if Blackhawks fans are that desperate to see their team in Nashville, they’ll have to stay a few extra nights for another game.