Balsillie to commence experimental Hamilton ticket drive

A report by Darren Dreger on the website indicates that Jim Balsillie will commence an experimental season ticket drive in Hamilton tomorrow in an attempt to prove that Hamilton is a viable NHL market:

The tickets better be fancy. We don't want any of those ticketmaster thingies.

People will pony up for NHL season tickets but I wonder what Hamilton's corporate sector will do. I'd hate to see a situation where some of the Ti-Cat sponsors ditched the team and hopped on an NHL bandwagon.

Advice for Balsillie. Dude, you need to be looking for a ten year, 100% payment up-front commitment. Once people find out how few parking spaces there are within 25 metres of Copps, your franchise is doomed.

Every Canada Cup game and NHL exhibition ever held at Copps was well-attended if not sold out. Methinks shovels will be in the ground for a new arena PDQ after a Balsillie-owned team hits Hamilton.

Copps would be a temporary solution, I believe.

Nashville is doomed with an arena they can't put 13,500 consistently in. He will take a bath the last year or two there once the fan backlash hits. Losing some money doesn't seem to faze Balsillie if paying inflated franchise prices is a barometer.

If Balsillie can get a franchise into Southern Ontario, it will be a license to print money. Particularly when he gets the team in new digs (on the Mountain, Ancaster, , Cambridge, etc.).

Oski Wee Wee,

Frankly I hate Hockey ..
I don't want an NHL Team In Hamilton
I love the CFL
An NHL Team Would Hurt the Ticats Bottom Line..

Take the Team to Houston Please
We got the Bulldogs and the Ticats.
We don't need the High Prices of the NHL.

I'll take my Ticats any Day over The NHL Team in Hamilton

If Balsillie can get a franchise into Southern Ontario, it will be a license to print money. Particularly when he gets the team in new digs (on the Mountain, Ancaster, , Cambridge, etc.).
Do not put a stadium up on the mountain or away from the down town. Huge mistake for so many reasons.

Onknight, look, I personally like football any variety - 3 or 4 down - as a sport to watch better than hockey, I love the strategy, discipline and pure contact of the game and with few games, each one means a lot.

But, that being said, hockey is Canada's no. 1 sport, arenas everywhere and most kids dream to make the NHL. The NHL can attract so many more people to this city than a CFL team ever could, I hate saying this but it's the truth, so many more people in this neck of the woods are into the NHL than the CFL. So bottom line it would be good for the city especially if they/we as taxpayers aren't on the hook for upgrades to Copps Coliseum to make it NHL ready. For example, I have family in London, Ont. that go to a game or two in Detroit and Buffalo each year for an NHL game and they have said they would love for Hamilton to have a team, no border crossings etc. There's way more of them then CFL fans I'm afraid. And they have some money to spend.

What I'm hoping is that perhaps this is a catylst for better things to come for the Cats, like our own new stadium or renovated IWS with individual seats etc as Hamilton makes it's mark more with the high exposure an NHL team might do. Might sound corny type of thinking, not sure, but where there's a Bob, there's a way!! I think the MTS Centre in Winnipeg is making people realize there that the Bombers need something more classy than what Canad Inns is. Same here maybe.

Does that mean no more Hamilton bulldogs? Sign me up right now!LOL

I agree. With the combined smarts of Bob Young and Jim Basillie only good things can come of this. (Yeah, yeah, I know. IF it happens)

BTW, I've got my deposit in.

Agreed. And there's plenty of parking downtown. I've never had a problem finding a spot.

In fact, I was at the last Bulldogs game with 14,200 fans, arrived 1/2 hour before the game and parked for free at a metred spot at the corner of James and Rebecca.

BTW, part of Balsillie's agreement with the city of Hamilton includes more parking.

This would be great for downtown.

You guys are crazy if you don't think this would be good for the Cats.

I love the Cats as much as anyone...all I see with the Predators moving here are the potential for more of the 6 million horseshoe's sports fans to experience sports in Hamilton.

It's proven that there is a segment of the population that attends the majority of sports events. So, if we're able to bring more of those into Hamilton---breaking down any of those psychological barriers about the city, then it benefits everyone.

And, the opportunities to cross promote are plenty. I think the Lions and Canucks do a pretty good job of co-existing to the benefit of both.

Overall, what's good for Hamilton is good for the Cats, and vice-versa. To me, anything to the contrary would be like saying a re-vitalized downtown would be competion for the Cats.

I'm hoping that Jim Balsillie is like Bob Young---someone who sees the potential in Hamiton and wants to be part of making it great.

I also feel that Jimmy, like many Hamiltonians, takes pleasure in making doubters look like fools---not going with the flow.

REmember when Bob Young bought the Cats? How many would've thought we'd be playing to near-full houses every game?

There's nothing like civic pride to help rejuvenate a city and fill stadiums with passionate fans/ citizens.

Anybody else plop down a couple of grand today?? I had to do it, I'd kick myself it this actually goes through.

JB is just the kind of guy to make this happen, good luck to him.

And yes it sure would be a great benefit to the TiCats as well. People coming into the city for a hockey game might not be so scared to come in for a football game some day as well.

well there it is people. No NHL team in Hamilton now cuz this guy says so.

Seriously, it would be so great & amazing for this city to get an NHL team. The Bulldogs wont even compare to an NHL team, If this deal goes through you'd be amazed.

I dont understand why you believe it would hurt the ticats, The Majority of the CFL season is ongoing during the NHL's offseason.

I did! I had to too. You've got nothing to lose. The money is totally refundable anytime! No commitment. Why wouldn't you put money down? I reserved four seats.

I can see selling the Leaf games at an inflated price to cover the cost of my tickets. :slight_smile:

(Yeah, yeah, I know. IF it happens.)

I did! I had to too. You've got nothing to lose. The money is totally refundable anytime! No commitment. Why wouldn't you put money down? I reserved four seats.
So if you asked for your money back tomorrow, they would give it to you? Where do you sign up and is there some sort of contract i.e. fine print?

From the :

If and when the NHL allows a team to relocate to Hamilton, a sales representative will contact you with season ticket seating location information. Seating locations will be allocated based on when the deposits were made, with earlier deposits being offered the better seating locations. At that time the depositor can choose to purchase the offered tickets or request a refund of their deposit. Deposits will be automatically refunded in the event that it is determined that the team will not be moving to Hamilton, but in any event no later than December 2009. If deposits exceed expected available seating, depositors will be placed on a priority waiting list based on when their deposits were made. Deposits will also be available at any time by requesting a refund from Ticketmaster's Customer Service Department. Interest will not be paid on refunded deposits.

I cannot justify putting a deposit down on something that I do not know what the final cost of the tickets will be. Would be like putting a deposit down on a house without knowing the price.

Then ask for a refund.

But then whats the point of this excercise? What does it prove when I can put a no strings attached deposit which I can pull at any time because I feel like it?

I wondered that myself. (shrug)

At the very least I guess it shows some initiative and interest.

My cynical way of thinking makes me wonder if all the publicity of Hamilton and taking deposits is designed to kill any ticket drive in Nashville thus giving Balsillie an out of the lease.

From today's Nashville Post:

[b]So now we have a city in Canada effectively recruiting the team from here, while folks here are basically recruiting to keep the Predators in Music City.

Oh Canada, the problem is, the deal isn't done, eh. And with all this talk of relocating, it could be that the sale falls apart for Balsillie that same way the one did for the Pittsburgh Penguins late last year – over a stipulation that the team couldn't be moved for seven years. This would be the same stipulation in the deal for the Predators.

If the deal does fall apart and Leipold retains ownership, it doesn't mean that everyone can sit back, wipe his or her brow and say, "Boy that was a close one. We're safe now." Leipold could move the team himself.

Although he has said he wants to keep the team here, he also said he can't make it work in Nashville without substantial corporate sponsorship and ticket sales.

What's more, even if the ticket sales increase to keep the team here, that may not be enough to stem losses, leaving Leipold and the NHL in quite the dilemma – a money-losing team with an owner trying avoid more losses stuck in a long-term lease. The team needs corporate sponsorships in addition to tickets sales to survive.

Simply put, this whole thing could get just plain messy.

While Balsillie reportedly has asked the NHL to relocate the team, there's still that pesky little problem of a lease at the Sommet Center. The NHL isn't in the habit of breaking leases.

There's an out, of course, the much discussed default clause. The city would have a year to get the average paid game attendance to 14,000 if current owner Craig Leipold invokes the default clause early next week. If that isn't accomplished, the lease is broken and the team can move.

Leipold has pleaded to get the corporate community to become more involved. It had helped get the team here in the first place. But the support waned. The team couldn't seem to draw the corporate ticket sales that nearly every other professional sports team in the country can get, even after the team made the playoffs for three straight seasons and had the third best record in the league this past season. He couldn't even get interest from anyone here to buy an ownership interest in the team. [/b]

Entire article here: ... thout_sale

And an online poll at the website of Nashville's CBS affiliate asks if you think the new owner will move the Predators out of Nashville. At the time of this post, 80% said yes.

[url=] ... #poll61349[/url]