Herder ticket sales expected to pick up

Kenn Oliver
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As of Monday night, Mile One had sold about 2,400 for Saturday’s series opener

If you are looking for tickets to the opening games of the Telegram Herder Memorial Trophy Championship Series this weekend at Mile One Centre, there are plenty available... for now.

As of the close of the venue’s box office Monday evening, roughly 2,400 tickets had been sold for Saturday night’s series opener between the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts and the Clarenville Caribous, with another 2,100 purchased for Game 2 of the provincial senior hockey final Sunday afternoon.

A further 1,500 tickets per game have been allocated to the Cats and ‘Bous to sell on their own to fans closer to home.

And while that would mean over 2,000 tickets for the general public remain for Saturday night’s contest, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s senior council remains confident Mile One will be sold out come the drop of the puck.

“My expectation is that things will really pick up over the next couple of days,” says interim senior council chairman Gary Gale. “I’ve been following up with (Eastern senior council director) Joe Maynard and the last email I had from him today was that sales were brisk.”

St. John’s Sports and Entertainment general manager Bill Thistle says ticket sales were strong on the first day and have already shown an increase since the Cats and ‘Bous wrapped up their semifinal series this past Friday.

He too expects sales to pick up in the coming days. 

“From what I understand, the box office has gotten a lot busier and there’s lots of phone calls from people inquiring. It should go really well for the weekend.”

Box office staff confirmed for the Telegram that sales have increased dramatically since Monday morning, with the majority of individuals purchasing online and over the phone.

However, Gale admits ticket sales for Games 3 and 4 in Corner Brook “have been a bit sluggish.”

But, he says, “if you look at the history, that’s traditionally what it’s like at the Pepsi Centre.

“In Corner Brook and the region, they’re last-minute buyers.”

Furthermore, Gale says the Cataracts have yet to put their share of Pepsi Centre seats up for sale to fans in the Grand Falls-Windsor area, something HNL figures will happen after the opening weekend.

Even though the Corner Brook Royals struggled to put fans in the stands at the Pepsi Centre in the regular season, Gale is “pretty optimistic and confident” the Herder will draw those hockey fans in the west-coast city and surrounding area out of hiding. 

“It’s the first time we’ve had Herder hockey here since 2006 (when the Deer Lake Red Wings used the Pepsi Centre as their home rink against the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars) and a lot of people are telling me they’re hungry for great hockey and they know two exceptional teams will be playing this year,” said Gale.

As for whether HNL is confident the Cataracts organization — which has had a very public disagreement with the governing body over its decision to hold Herder Games exclusively at Mile One and the Pepsi Centre — will be able to move its  share of tickets, Gale says the team doesn’t believe there’ll be a problem.

“They say they’ll have a fair crowd in St. John’s ... and because the Pepsi Centre is close and people are trying to conserve a few dollars, they’re going to have quite a few going (there).”

And if the series goes beyond Game 5, HNL isn’t concerned about Mile One ticket sales for a Games 6 and, if necessary, 7. 

“If it comes down to the wire, you know they’re going to be following their teams from Clarenville and Grand Falls-Windsor,” said Gale.

If it goes to seven, we expect a full house.”

To purchase tickets for Games 1 and 2, contact the Mile One Centre box office in person or over the phone at 576-7657 or you can go online at mileonecentre.com. 

Pepsi Centre tickets are available by drop by their box office or call them at 637-1233. 

koliver@thetelegram.com Twitter:telykenn

 

Organizations: Pepsi Centre, Trophy Championship Series, Games 3 Cataracts organization

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Corner Brook, Clarenville

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Recent comments

  • Denise
    March 26, 2012 - 12:28

    Fred: The Cataracts team how 13 players from Central. Not sure how many players they have to fly in but its possibly around 5 or 6. The Caribous only fly in 3 players, one of which is a local player who lives and works in Nova Scotia.

  • Too Funny
    March 22, 2012 - 13:57

    What a pile of crap. " In Corner Brook and the region, they’re last-minute buyers ". No. In Corner Brook and the region, they're non-buyers. They didn't even sell out when Corner Brook was in the semi-finals. And now they think they'll come out to watch two teams that they couldn't care less about. GFW to SJ, about a 4 hour drive and there's something to do before or after the game. GFW to CB, about 3 hours drive but about the only thing to do would be to go down to the mill and reminisce.

  • Dave
    March 22, 2012 - 13:38

    Here this latest one.......David Andrews, President of the AHL announded today that the finals for the 2012 Calder Cup will be played in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre, regardless of the two teams playing. He felt that with a potential 18,000 fans at the ACC, they could promote the AHL to a wider group of people. So the suckers in St. John's who purchased season tickets, supported your team all year (sponsor too), if you want to cheer on your team, you will need to travel to Toronto. Sorry for the inconvience that they may cause, but if you check with Porter, Westjet and Air Canada now, you should be able to get a good seat sale.

  • Terry
    March 22, 2012 - 11:02

    Honestly I don't think anyone cares much for Senior Hockey in St. John's anymore... I say let the people vote and whoever wants it the most can have it not Newfoundland Hockey... pffffft......

  • Frank Power
    March 22, 2012 - 08:15

    I think HNL has made another mistake and still after all these years still doesn't listen to the fans ,parents ,players. Its either their way or no way. It is shameful that HNL seems to think they are always right and nobody else has a right to their opinion . Its no different at minor hockey level and their inadequate way of grading teams for the All-NL's tournament . I support the people of Grand Falls and respect the stand they have taken on the Herder issue. Many people on the East Coast have dealt with HNL as well and know how they try to bully their way through issues. Perhaps people should be put in there that actually don't have hidden agendas and truly have respect for the game and the fans.

  • ger
    March 21, 2012 - 19:35

    Not surprised at all with ticket sales. Kind of expensive to see your team play in St. John's one weekend, then travel to Corner Brook the following weekend. Gas, hotels, food etc. add up. Definitely should be held at the rinks of the teams. I for one will NOT be attending games here at Mile One. Good luck Grand falls

    • nikki
      March 22, 2012 - 14:32

      Get over it ppl and stop the complaining I am so sick of it . Grand falls don't deserve to win the herder if they keep getting on like this. Go Bous Go !

  • Harold
    March 21, 2012 - 18:46

    Corner Brook got eliminated and St. John's doesn't even have a team, yet these two cities are hosting the Herder finals......sounds like a newfie joke to me.

    • Fred
      March 22, 2012 - 09:34

      Harold: The senior league is a joke, a complete farce. Its a league compiled of teams who pay players from away to come and play in their town. Its a semi -pro league. Grand Falls Windsor has how many players actually from that area of town who are playing on the team? For that type of set up where players have to be paid, big gates are required to pay the bills. Travel, hotels, meals and of course salaries. You want to play in the big leagues so to speak then you have to pay a price. Good thing St. John's is not there or the league would not survive as nobody would be able to compete. See Senior Baseball. The only credible community who competes with their own players and does well is St. Lawrence in Senior Soccer. Just an incredible community full of pride and spirit. I guess the saving grace for soccer is players do not get paid. If that happened then I guess St. John's would dominate there too. Its time for the herder to go to say midget hockey supremacy or high School accross the province. That way money would not be an issue and all communities would have a fair playing field as players would only come from the school they go to. St. Mikes produced some great players and I'm sure people would support that type of concept.

  • Gary Hennessey
    March 21, 2012 - 18:00

    Read the article and watched the video. You didn't see anyone from GFW being interviewed because this decision doesn't impact those on the east coast, just Cats fans. Only about 300 tickets sold in GFW for games 1-2. Sad commentary. Even less going to Corner Brookk. HNL reps keep repeating that ticket sales will pick up so I guess that will happen because they keep saying it, so it must be true.

  • Gary Hennessey
    March 21, 2012 - 17:33

    I guess HNL's philosophy is to keep repeating that ticket sales will pick up and somehow they will. Under 300 tickets were sold in GFW in total for games one and two. Oh well, HNL must know what they are doing. They keep telling us they do!!!!