- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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FRISCO -- Tom Gaglardi is ready to launch his first initiative as the new owner of the Dallas Stars. The team is cutting prices for individual tickets starting Friday. The new prices affect most seating areas of American Airlines Center.
“One of the first things we did as a management team was look at individual ticket prices,” Gaglardi said. “The fans spoke and we listened. We’re pleased that we can now offer a $9 ticket and we feel that these new prices make Stars games more affordable. Our team needs a full building every night to give us a true home-ice advantage.”
The new prices go into effect immediately for the remainder of the Stars games for the 2011-12 season. Highlights of the plan include:
Mezzanine (Upper Level) Pricing
*The introduction of a $9 ticket (down from $15)
*A re-pricing of much of the Mezzanine; 85.6% of the upper level is now priced at $25-or-less
*The best seats of the Mezzanine have been reduced to $40 from $45
Lower Level Pricing
*A re-classification in the lower bowl to two main price points: $70 and $110
*Almost two-thirds (63.6%) of the seats in the lower bowl are now $70
*Over 1,500 seats have been reduced 30% from $100 to $70
*The best seats in the house (center ice) have been reduced from $150 to $110
The goal is simple. The Stars want to get people in the building. The Stars rank 29th in the league with an average attendance of 11,469 so far this season. In 2009-10 they averaged 17,215, ranking 17th.
“It’s pretty obvious we have a challenge. Our team has been faceless and ownerless for a bit of time,” said Stars president Jim Lites. “We’ve seen an erosion of our season base and our ticket base in general. It’s always alarming and it happens in situations like this.”
The season ticket base is around 6,000 and the Stars have been selling about 5,500 individual tickets per game. Now, with Gaglardi and Lites at the helm, the Stars are starting the process of rebuilding attendance.
Since the new ownership came with the season already underway, the decision was made to tackle individual tickets first.
“We want to take advantage of the attention that is on us. The team is performing real well, so eyes are on us,” said Lites. “Tom said to me I want to react quickly, I want to do the right thing, what can we do? We studied what other teams have done where there was an ownership change in midseason, including the Texas Rangers in our market a year ago. Chuck Greenberg got a lot of positive feedback and fans by adjusting some prices. In their case it was less tickets and more concessions and parking. In our case we are starting with the basic premise of tickets because we need fans.”
The Stars did some market research and one issue stood out.
“Price, in every area of the building, is the first negative that our research revealed,” said Lites. “In talking about it with Mr. Gaglardi he said, ‘Jim, do what you’ve got to do to fill the building.’ I did some rescaling and simplifying of prices and some pretty dramatic changes in prices kind of across the board, almost everywhere. This is the result of the research that was done, what the fans were telling us and how Mr. Gaglardi and our management team have chosen to respond.”
The lower of individual ticket prices is one step in the process. Lites said addressing the season ticket sales will come down the road.
“We’re studying what the best franchises are doing,” said Lites. “What are they offering their season ticket holders? What’s special?”
Lites mentioned a YouTube video of Pittsburgh Penguins players delivering season ticket packages to season ticket holders. Don’t be surprised if Dallas Stars players are doing the same in the near future.
As for the new individual ticket prices, fans can take advantage starting Friday December 9 at 10 a.m. by going to DallasStars.com or by calling 214 GO STARS.
Individual Ticket Pricing Comparison
A pricing comparison of Dallas Stars individual tickets. 2001-02 was the Stars' first season in American Airlines Center.