Sunday, January 31, 2010

You Should Become a Season Ticket Holder

Tired of waiting in long lines for tickets outside US Bank Arena for Cyclones games?

The solution: become a season ticket holder.

This is not just a blatant shill for the team. It just makes sense. Becoming a season ticket holder saves you time, saves you money, gives you added benefits, and supports the team. I hate buying tickets at Ticketmaster outlets as much as anybody. For Cyclones games they default to "Best Available" and try to charge you $24.50 for first row VIP seats. The fees are high, and it's just a pain. But it is also a pain to go to the Arena in advance to save the fees. That leaves a lot of folks in long lines at the box office on game days.

Look at the benefits below of buying season tickets... First, you save $2.00 per ticket. You also are guaranteed to get all the premium giveaway items. Can't make every game? You can trade your unused tickets for future games. It's a great way to bring a few friends to enjoy the action and spread the Cyclones cheer. Full-season ticket holders choose their seats and have the same seats for every game.

Know for sure you can't make all 36 games? You can get the 18-game half season package and still get lots of benefits.

It just seems like a weird time of growing pains for the Cyclones and fans. Interest is building, excitement is growing, and attendance keeps going up and up. This is leading to crowds at the box office that are a great sign but frustrate everybody. The team needs to get to the next level, which is to greatly widen the base of season ticket holders. This guarantees attendance (therefore revenue) for the team and helps them stabilize their operations. They recognize that and give all the extra benefits and discounts.

It's a great deal, you should consider taking advantage of it!

Full Season Benefits:
  • - Same seat for every game
  • - Special season-ticket-holder-only premium item (full and 18 game ticket holders only)
  • - 10% off Cyclones merchandise
  • - Special postgame skate for season ticket holders only
  • - Preseason kickoff party
  • - Ability to purchase same great seat for playoff games
  • - Ability to pre-purchase conveniently located parking
  • - Ability to exchange unused tickets (certain restrictions apply)
  • - Guaranteed premium items (applies to all games included in your season ticket package)
  • - Personalized service from an assigned Ticket Account Executive

Season ticket prices are prorated according to the number of games left in the season when tickets are purchased!

Does your company entertain clients or employees? Call 513-421-PUCK and ask about the different season ticket Business Plans available. The Cyclones have the perfect package to cater to your needs.

Contact one of our ticket account executives at 513-421-PUCK

Joe Stills x354
Josh Burdine x391
Brandon Bernhardt x394
Matt Piening x 390

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Shoot The Puck" - not really the answer...

OK, if you're one of these people, I apologize in advance. We're all entitled to our opinions. Some of us just blog about it. Yes, this Cyclones' power play is frustratingly anemic, 18th out of 20 in the league, at 15.5%. For a high-power, skill team, especially, that is bad.

During the power play, I always hear people in the crowd screaming "SHOOT IT!" or "Shoot the puck!!." That really isn't the strategy on the power play. They don't want a mass of shots, they want a few quality shots and then hopefully a goal. Yes, it's frustrating, but that is the best strategy.

Penalty kill systems have gotten better and better, and so has goaltending - particularly since the advent of the "Butterfly" style. The defenders choke the shooting lanes and good goalies produce like the extra man. What you don't want is taking a bad shot, having it bounce off a defender's shin pads, and giving up a breakaway for the shorthanded team.

Take a good look at the puck and whether or not there is actually a lane through to the goalie. Usually, there is not because of that choke factor I mentioned. They keep the puck moving, trying to lure a defender out of position and catch the goalie having to move laterally (at the same time). That's when power play goals happen.

And believe it or not, the 5-on-3 is not a guarantee of a goal. The defenders just collapse in to a tight triangle in the slot and really choke the lanes. They let the power play team move the puck all they want around the outside, but simply never leave the slot unless they are sure they have a chance to clear the puck.

So, yes I admit it is frustrating. And maybe in the closing 20-25 seconds of the power play they should just shoot it & see what happens. But by and large, that is not the best strategy. Like I said, watch the shooting lanes during a power play, see if you notice how there is rarely a clear path to the goal.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ice In The Desert

Your intrepid Zamboni Driver is far away from the winter doldrums of Cincinnati - visiting my in-laws in Phoenix. The Coyotes played Saturday night, but I did not go. We stayed in and watched football instead. I know, it's bad. But we don't see the family often and my wierd outlook is that I hate the cheap noseblead seats but I'm too cheap to buy lower-bowl seats for NHL games.

We did go by their home arena - Arena. Probably the worst sponsored name in all of sports; but it is a beautiful building. We saw a game here a couple of years ago and it was awesome. They have the distinct advantage in the desert to build without the restrictions of surrounding buildings. When we went, there was nothing for miles around, just the arena and parking lots. Now the Cardinals' football stadium, University of Phoenix Stadium, sits next door and they are both surrounded with shops, condos, movie theatres, etc. It's actually in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, Arizona.

What amazed me when we came to the game was the refrigeration system. It's 70 degrees right now in January and gets much hotter in the spring and fall. We get really antsy when Cincinnati gets to 70 - and here that is a low temperature. When we were walking back to our car, I noticed this huge building behind the arena. At first I thought it was their offices, or something like that. But then I noticed heavily insulated pipes running from the building to the arena, over the loading dock area.

At US Bank Arena, the chiller facility or "ice plant" is in a room probably 15 x 40 feet, with cooling towers outside. But at arena, that building is the "Chiller House" all dedicated to the massive refrigeration system needed to keep ice in the desert. The cooling towers are including within the building, but it is all simply huge. Pretty wild. Here are some pics:

First, a view of the arena and chiller house together, to show the persepctive.

Now here is the back side of the arena itself. You can see the loading dock and the large insulated pipes carrying the chilled brine solution to the ice inside the arena.

Finally, here is the chiller house. You can see the cooling towers inside the fence. The back 2/3 of the building contains the compressors, etc.

Finally, to prove I can laugh at myself, here is a picture of my hand with the Jumping Cactus impaled on my fingers. Stupid midwesterner! 20 barbs in three fingers. It's like getting 10 strikes with a Taser.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 Winter Classic, and other commentary

Well the Cyclones have the night off tonight, atop the division in first place. The odd thing is their two division rivals, Kalamazoo and Toledo, play each other tonight. If Toledo wins, they take first place; however, they have played more games so the Cyclones are likely to pass them. Kalamazoo won't not take first place, but they have played fewer games than the Cyclones so they have more games to catch up and pass our team. Who to root for? I don't know. I think instead the thing to want is continued good play from the Cyclones - let them control their own destiny.

I watched the 2010 Winter Classic today. Bruins vs. Flyers at Fenway Park. I thought it was awesome. The "pond hockey" theme is just a good marketing approach by the NHL (and I'm slow to compliment NHL marketing). It is odd, though, that a baseball park really looks like a horrible place to watch hockey. There are virtually no "premium" seats at all. Two of the corners have close seats but that's as close as it gets. The first few rows along the baselines look terrible, below the dashers. I guess the club seats are pretty good.

It's odd because I think hockey does not translate well to television at all - especially to novice watchers who don't understand the game. 16x9 HD TV format helps, but you still can't really see play developing, etc. But, the TV coverage of the Winter Classic was really good, the overhead camera was a nice angle.

I read an article about the future of the winter classic, suggesting possible locations. One that I thought sounded good is Michigan Stadium. 100,000 people at a hockey game. That's cool. Lambeau would be good for a Wild game, too.

We'll see who gets it next year. Too bad Cincinnati is a little too far south - a Blue Jackets game at OSU would be very cool.

From the ice meister perspective, it was interesting that they used smaller Model 440 Zamboni machines at this year's Winter Classic. They were concerned about weight on the temporary ice sheet, so they went with the smaller studio-sized machine.