The Las Vegas Golden Knights are without question the greatest first-year expansion team in the history of professional sports. They’re currently the 3rd seed in the West behind Winnipeg and Nashville, and they Golde Knights are headed to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in their very first season as a franchise.
Vegas games have been sold out all season with a heavy mix of local fans and opposing team’s fans who treat their team’s road trip to Vegas like a party. I mean, who doesn’t want to see their team play in Las Vegas? It’s the perfect excuse for a trip. I would’ve gone to see my Lightning play in Vegas if their only game there this season wasn’t on a Tuesday.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights embraced the mix of home fans and visitors throughout the regular season. Golden Knights team president Kerry Bubolz told ESPN “We’re a destination city. During the regular season, it was a big part of our event experience. But the Stanley Cup playoffs, that’s a different time. We want to do what we can to support the hockey side of our organization.” Now, the team is rolling out an ambitious plan to stop opposing team’s fans from flooding the stands during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
In what Buboltz said is a first-of-its-kind program, Vegas enrolled all of its full-season-ticket holders in a program that prohibits them from reselling their playoff tickets on the secondary market — in this case StubHub, the team’s authorized partner and the only place fans can resell electronic Golden Knights tickets.
In exchange for vowing not to resell, these fans will pay about 25 percent above the average regular-season price. They can, however, opt out of the plan in order to have the opportunity to sell their tickets on StubHub but will pay a significantly higher price. Buboltz said that, for example, a $100 regular-season ticket would be $125 for those who take the Knights Vow, while those that opt out would pay $175. (via)
It will certainly be interesting to see if this works for Vegas. One major issue with this pledge is it requires the team to actively monitor the secondary ticket sellers like StubHub and then go through the process of verifying the tickets, contacting the seller, and invalidating their tickets. This would mean they’d have to employ a team dedicated to doing this and something like that can get expensive. So this could very well just be a threat from the Vegas Golden Knights and nothing more. Furthermore, the difference of $125 to $175 is nothing when it comes to the Playoffs. I routinely pay well over the latter price for Lightning tickets in the playoffs because I’m not a season ticket holder and have to buy my tickets on the secondary market.
But, there is a precedent for this as we’ve seen The Masters send out notices to ticket holders/sellers invalidating their tickets to the 2018 Masters in a first-of-its-kind move from Augusta National.