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17/08/2010 / Hackett

Tickets On Sale, Hawks Fans Pissed…What?!

Now Playing: Silversun Pickups – Swoon

Being a Chicago Blackhawks fan used to be simple.  It was accepted that we were pretty much personae non gratae in the Chicago sports world (not at all unlike the team in question here).  We would bitch and moan that no one paid attention to the once-great franchise that dominated this city’s heralded sports landscape.   It was a Stonecutters-esque fraternity of unappreciated sports-loving masochists that made up the paltry (albeit publicly inflated) attendance numbers at the United Center year after year to watch sub-mediocre teams play to, and often below, the level of their opponent.   

Fast forward to oh, say, the last two and a half years, when a new regime took control of this blogger’s favorite franchise.  They have drafted one future superstar after another, not to mention developing and trading for a handful of fan favorites and assaulting the local and national media with press conferences for things as menial as considering a change in straw suppliers for the soda vendors.   

Don’t get me wrong, Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough, and Jay Blunk have done an incredible job of making the Hawks a top-of-mind franchise to not only hockey fans, but all sports fans in Chicago and across the nation.  They have re-energized a proud hockey contingency in the Windy City, and, on a personal note, validated a tattoo that was once mocked and made the butt of many a joke.  But as the adage goes, no good deed goes unpunished.

As Blackhawks single-game tickets went on sale at 10:00 AM CT today, I witnessed a torrent of Facebook and Twitter feeds getting downright livid at the proliferation of so-called “bandwagon fans” buying up all the tickets leaving none for the (often self-proclaimed) “true fans”.  Many of you have met and/or read me before, and are aware of my allegiance to the Indian Head.  But even I think this kind of reaction is on the wrong side of ridiculous.

It’s absurd to want your favorite team to be the focus of all local sports coverage, have national stars, AND win the most cherished trophy in professional athletics and then expect everyone to say “Oh, my mistake, you’ve been a fan longer than I have, I’ll let you cut in the ticket-buying line for next season”. 

The reality is the Blackhawks are the toast of the town, and everybody (right, wrong, or indifferent) wants a piece.  Another reality is, the people who haven’t seen a game before 2008 are the ones that will make Rocky & Co. the money to keep doing the things they have done to resurrect an Original Six franchise. 

I was THERE. I was in the building in the 2003-2004 season when they won a total of TWENTY GAMES in regulation, when the organization was feeding us the line that the A-B-C line was the second-coming of M-P-H, and using an astounding six (count ’em SIX) goaltenders (two of which the Hawks faced this year), and the recently re-famed anthem was only accompanied by myself, 4 other knuckleheads, and crickets.

But all these “credentials” do not put put me, nor anyone else in front of anybody with the same currency at the ticket line.  I’m thrilled that the Blackhawks franchise (and just as important, the sport of hockey) has garnered some sports credit once again in this city.  I welcome all fans, new, renewed, and old into the United Center, because like I’ve said before, when the building is empty, it’s a LOT less fun.  While that may mean less available tickets for many of us, if it means more success and recognition for the team sporting the best logo in professional sports, that’s a bullet I’m willing to take.  And now I’m off to get my newest Blackhawks ink.  Let the arguments commence.

“If I go everywhere you want me to go / How will I know you’ll still follow?”

-Hackett

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13 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. heathenbreeder / Aug 17 2010 00:49

    ya know,you put a tear in my eye……You have a great way with words! Keep it up!

    • Hackett / Aug 17 2010 11:56

      Many thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts and reactions! Your words are very kind. =)

  2. BlackhawksDL / Aug 17 2010 00:53

    I’ve been mulling this issue over in my head all day and I think you put it very well. Rocky and Co. know that Joe Diehard will be around even after the casual fan leaves. That means that they can get away with dicking those fans around a bit.
    Does the fact that I’ll be at a max of 3 games this season mean I’ll love this team any less? Hell no. I loved them when they tried to pass off Marty LaPointe as a first liner. Why would I abandon them now? Because they’re a well run business looking to make money? That doesn’t make much sense. They delivered on the promise of the Cup. How can I possibly hold that against them?
    A lot of people out there feel a sense of entitlement because they’ve “sacrificed” for their fanhood already. I can honestly say I feel that way at times. But the Hawks just delivered on a Cup, something we’ve all been praying for. That is where the sacrifice pays off. Enjoying the playof run, seeing that Cup celebration and presentation, seeing the parade, those moments meant more to us diehards than those “casual fans” in the same way people cherish their money more when its earned instead of when its given to them.
    The last time I was at single digit Hawks games was when I was 16 in 05-06 and I went to 5 games. At least this time I’ll be able to watch all the games I can’t be at on tv.

    • Hackett / Aug 17 2010 11:55

      Very well put, buddy. Some of the very points I was aiming for. We’ll have to get together to watch or go to a game this year. Thanks for reading, passing it on, and sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated!

  3. C. Shuy / Aug 17 2010 05:41

    Ummm…

    it’s not that I objected to the tickets were so quickly sold out. It is the fact that I could ALMOST IMMEDIATELY go onto StubHub and find that there were PLENTY of tickets sold at a seriously inflated price (almost $90 for SRO seats?!)…

    I was at the ticketmaster site and was ‘in line’ at 10am when I tried to pick my tickets, watching as the ‘wait time’ went from 2 minutes, up to 8 minutes, and then VERY SLOWLY ticked back down to 2 minutes and stayed there for at least 2 more minutes before coming up with the ‘no tickets matched your request’ screen.

    I did buy some tickets from StubHub, but they only had a slight markup – likely because it is for a game against the Sabres – instead of the aforementioned almost $90 for SRO seats against the Penguins.

    And as for those people who never saw a live game prior to 2008… I was not living in the area prior to the 2007-08 season, and as it is now I have a 3 hour drive (as compared to a 4 hour flight prior to that) so I have to plan accordingly. I have only been to 1 game a season since moving closer, and last season’s game was a PREseason game.

    I do remember Daze, and the A-B-C line… and when the big names on the team were Chelios, Roenick, and Amonte.

    I admittedly don’t know why I just told you all of this considering it is likely you don’t care…

    • Hackett / Aug 17 2010 11:50

      I absolutely appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts, thank you. I know the markup leaves a lot of fans frustrated, and I completely understand that. It’s just one of those things that goes with the territory of having a wildly successful team. If it makes you feel any better, I was busy working to earn money to pay for grossly inflated ticket prices on the secondary market. =/

      P.S. And yes, I also think TicketMaster is HORRIBLE.

  4. tinao37 / Aug 17 2010 08:20

    Great job! I knew going in to the day that I probably wasn’t going to get tickets the old fashioned way. But I tried. Only gripe I have is Stub Hub charging 6x the face value for SRO. That made me laugh. A few more nights on the street corner and I may be able to afford tickets to first game … ha ha ha! Keep up the GREAT work Ryan.

    • Hackett / Aug 17 2010 11:51

      Thanks Tina! We’ll just have to tap some of our sources, ehh? =)

  5. Msblackhawks / Aug 17 2010 09:12

    I had no problem that people were buying the tickets. I was pissed at ticket master. The worst site to buy tickets from. And from what I saw on Twitter that’s what most people were pissed about. I agree with you on everything else. It’s like what can you do? When you have a great team people are going to buy tickets. Packed houses are better than empty houses.

    • Hackett / Aug 17 2010 11:53

      TicketMaster has sucked for a looooooong time, I’m well aware. And ticket brokers got some people’s dander up as well, but there were plenty of folks calling out “bandwagoners” for buying all the tickets. It may have been just frustration with the whole thing, and I get that. Just something I wanted to get off my chest. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  6. Sally / Aug 17 2010 12:14

    I’ve NEVER bought my tickets at Ticketmaster! Maybe these are new fans who don’t know how to get tickets, but there are plenty of tickets out there. I’ve got my tickets for the games easily enough-and NOT STUBHUB either! EBay, Ticket Liquidators, etc, there are tons of site with tickets. My best one was $120 a ticket for 18 rows from the ice!!
    Since they’re are more people who want to go see the games now, tcikets will be higher of course, just have to look around

  7. dribsndrabs / Aug 19 2010 09:19

    As a long-time Red Sox fan, it’s really refreshing to read this. The Fenway Faithful had a similar experience, and well, in some ways it kind of sucks. Fenway was never empty the way the United Center was, but like you said: more fans = more fun. (And more revenue to fund the franchise.)

    I now live in Chicago and the Blackhawks ARE fun. (Snobbily, I’m also glad that they’re a “real” team and not an upstart franchise. Real being my term.)

    • Hackett / Aug 19 2010 11:57

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. It’s kind of foreign to many Blackhawks fans because many have grown accustomed to being somewhat of an afterthought in this city for the better part of the last 2 decades. I think if people step back and just enjoy the revival this franchise and fan base has seen recently, they’re more apt to appreciate it. Hey, and at least we can see ALL the games on television!

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