While I applaud Columbus’ ingenuity in allowing fans to pay for tickets in installments, what does it say that you need an installment plan to have a few days or nights out at a hockey game? The Blue Jackets play in Ohio, a severely depressed state. The fans are there, but they’re not going to spend around $20 a ticket (plus overpriced food and parking) to see an 11-13-3 team with one genuine star.
If the Blue Jackets really want to get fans into their arena, they should let the fans sign up for the one-on-one conferences coach Ken Hitchcock is now conducting with the team. For $30, you get five minutes with Hitchcock. Maybe he’ll critique you. Maybe you’ll just make awkward small talk. And for $50, he’ll berate you. I think there’s real money to be made. In fact, if they can get him, I bet Columbus could make some serious scratch by letting fans talk to the super candid Barry Melrose for three minutes. He’s got some downtime before he returns to ESPN. It’s win-win. Except that Melrose has no connection to the Blue Jackets or Ohio. That might be a better promotion for Tampa.