- Sunday, August 26, 2012 6:16 PM
- Written By: Josh Marks
Why don't the fans get a seat at the table during the National Hockey League's labor talks? After all, aren't we the ones actually paying the multi-million dollar salaries of the players and owners? Aren't we the ones forking over our hard-earned money to make sure the NHL doesn't go out of business?
So, I ask again this question to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr -- why don't you give fans a voice? Why don't we get a representative at these labor talks? Maybe if there was a fan rep, let's say number one Bruins fan John Smith from West Roxbury, Massachusetts as a random example, he could fly up to Toronto and address some grievances thousands of hockey fans have.
For example, in the United States, wages for the average worker have been stagnant for the past decade while the cost of living has skyrocketed. Wages grew only 4% over the past decade, the worst ten-year period since the decade before World War II, otherwise known as the Great Depression period. And while earnings have not increased, what about the cost of going to a good old hockey game? Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy breaks down Bettman's broken promises about lowering ticket prices. NHL ticket prices have actually increased 39% since the 2004 lockout. The average NHL ticket is $57.10 and the average Fan Cost Index (cost of attendance for a family of four) is $326.45 according to the website fancostexperience.com.
To put the Fan Cost Index (two adult tickets, two child tickets, four small soft drinks, two small beers, four hot dogs, two programs, parking, two adult-size caps) into a real world scenario, let's say Mr. Smith wants to take his wife and two kids to a Bruins game after a hard week as a construction worker. Let's not factor in the cost of driving and paying for parking, or even taking the T subway to TD Garden from West Roxbury. The average ticket price is $58.94, so that is $235.76. A beer costs $7.25 so two beers is $14.50. Sodas are $3.75 so two would be $7.50. Hot dog is $4.50 times four is $18. A program costs $4 and a souvenir hat costs $18. So a family of four night out at a Bruins game will cost $297.76. That's nearly $300 for a family event.
Or look at it this way, maybe the fans will be the big winners if the NHL foolishly cancels the season. After all, that is a lot of money saved that could be used on much less expensive entertainment options