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San Jose Sharks: I Cancelled My Season Tickets Today

San Jose SharksToday I notified my season ticket representative of my desire to cancel my partial season tickets to the San Jose Sharks. The failure of the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association to come to an agreement, along with the endless on-again, off-again negotiations, have pushed me to the point of fatigue. I’m tired and just wanted out.

The failure to reach an agreement is not the only reason I decided to cancel my tickets, and in fact it wasn’t even the last straw. It was a series of events that led me to make this decision. The first sign of trouble was last season’s deadline trade of Jamie McGinn. The Sharks had two generally accepted reputations. First was the general manager Doug Wilson makes very thoughtful moves that are not motivated by external pressures or public opinion. The second is (unfortunately) that the Sharks had over the years depleted their farm system in order to make the free agent trades necessary to try and get the team ‘over the hump’. The Sharks traded McGinn to try and salvage a very poor season but it didn’t take a hockey expert to know that last season’s team was not a contender for the Stanley Cup. Two consecutive deep runs into the playoffs had taken a physical toll on the team and the signs of wear and tear were everywhere. The move looked desperate and out of character for a GM known for not panicking. The trade also drained one of the latest promising hockey players to come out of the Worcester Sharks. McGinn exemplified everything the farm system represents. Over the past 3-4 years he evolved from a kid with potential to a very physical, hard working NHL starter. His trade left me feeling like there was no loyalty for McGinn’s hard work.

The next straw was the aforementioned early departure from the playoffs. The messaging from the San Jose Sharks is that they are in this thing every year to win a championship. I still believe that is the organization’s goal and I believe that they will continue to build toward that. However I don’t believe this upcoming season will have those results. I just don’t believe there is enough evidence to justify making an advanced commitment by buying season tickets.

And with the CBA disaster I downgraded my Sharks ticket purchases from a ‘buy’ to a ‘wait and see’.

But the final nail in the coffin came with the arrival of the San Francisco Bulls.

I had a conversation with a friend about going to a Bulls game this weekend and I mentioned that the team was on a horrible losing streak. It is quite possible that the Bulls are slumping right now and we might not see a very good hockey game. But interestingly enough, we were in agreement when we decided that it didn’t matter - it was still going to be fun going to the game.

That’s the key difference.

When you’re the San Jose Sharks and you try to build a champion you put yourself in a problematic situation. On the one hand my loyalty to the team is based on management wanting to win and not just fill seats. But when you consider the 2+ hours it takes to get to and from a game, the just-raised ticket prices, increasingly unruly crowd and the lack of promise that the team will be improved this year over last, I can’t justify the cost. I don’t think they can play up to the standard they’ve set.

On the other hand the San Francisco Bulls are a team doing exactly what they set out to do - bring professional hockey back to San Francisco. When I go to a Bulls game I expect to have a good time with other fans expecting the same. Do any of us expect they will win the Kelly Cup in their first year of existence? Probably not. Do we expect to be entertained in a small venue? Sure do. I believe I’ll get more bang for my buck watching the San Francisco Bulls scrape together a few wins than I will watching the San Jose Sharks make another run for the Stanley Cup.

Don’t get me wrong. If the NHL & NHLPA get their acts together and salvage a season I’ll be purchasing single game tickets and sit along side the 17,000+ plus fans at HP Pavilion cheering on the Sharks. But between those days I’ll be sitting at the Cow Place along side 3,000+ fans supporting a bunch of 20+ year old kids putting everything on the line for a shot at the big stage and $600 a week.

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One comment for “San Jose Sharks: I Cancelled My Season Tickets Today”

  1. Enjoy your Bulls because, with the way things are going, your Sharks and all the NHL teams are dead in the water this season! :(

    Posted by PuckgalNo Gravatar | December 13, 2012, 10:34 am

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