The one hundred and thirteen day NHL lockout was threatening the entirety of an NHL season this year and the fans were not happy.
Prior to the season opening and amidst all the chaos of the lockout there was a big question lingering in the minds of NHL owners and executives; “How will the fans react?”
In order to make it up to the fans, the NHL has gone to various lengths to appease to the fans at various levels from the NHL as a whole, to the individual teams, right down to the individual players.
The general fear was that NHL fans were going to be holding serious grudges and that the NHL could suffer financially even more as a result.
Even the Toronto Maple Leafs Scattered “Frozen Jerseys” Across the City to win back some intrigue and excitement within the city of Toronto.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, who were struggling to get fans prior to the NHL locking out their players did this during warm-up Monday night:
So far, early indications suggest that the pent-up desire hockey fans have will actually inspire fan intrigue and interest.
NBC reported their highest ratings since they first took over coverage after the 2004-05 season was canceled. They reported the best ratings for any regular-season game, excluding the Winter Classic, from any network in over 10 years!
Secondary ticket prices are a very good indication of the demand. When demand is high the price goes up, when demand is low the price goes down; its simple economics. Prices in Boston were actually higher than the opening day game prices in 2011.
The shortened 48-game season also increases the demand. There’s just over half the number of games for fans to attend then the usual 82-game schedule, so everyone wanting to go to the same game will drive the demand through the roof.