The Islanders' improvement in year two of their rebuild, the arrival of a future star in John Tavares and some successful marketing and community initiatives have led to a business boom for the franchise.
According to league records obtained by Point Blank, ticket sales revenue is already up by 11% for the Islanders this season. With business expected to surge with the hockey team in the playoff hunt, the Islanders project an increase of more than 15% by the end of the season.
The franchise is seeing strong growth in three areas:
Individual game ticket sales are up by more than 20% over last season, when the team stopped being a factor in the Eastern Conference standings before New Year's Day. While the cost of some seats were raised and the Islanders instituted a "tiered" pricing system this season, the uptick can also be attributed to a team defying last-place predictions and emergence of young stars like Tavares and Kyle Okposo.
Although the Islanders may have more available inventory for group purchases than many other NHL teams, the team now leads the league in group tickets sold. The organization fnished fourth last season. As evidenced by the 1,500 tickets purchased by a local youth hockey program for Saturday's game, the Islanders are successfully connecting with community groups through their charity, school and youth hockey-based programs.
According to a team source, partial plan sales have already exceeded revenue targets established last summer. The "flex" plans - buy 20 or 40 "vouchers" at a discount and go to the games you want - have been the most popular this year.
In addition, corporate sponsorship revenue is up 12% from last season, impressive considering the economic climate.
The Islanders have had only three sellouts this season, but two were last week for the games against the rival Devils. With 16 regular season home games remaining and an exciting team fighting for a playoff spot, the Islanders should be able to capitalize at the box office.
On Sunday night, Dustin Kohn was no longer listed on the Islanders' roster. With Andy Sutton returning from his two-game suspension to face Washington on Tuesday, Kohn will be back in Bridgeport.
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