The Blue Jackets welcomed fans that held season tickets within the past five years to an exclusive event on Thursday, inviting them to rediscover why they purchased season ticket packages for previous seasons.
Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception before taking a facilities tour of the team locker room, training room and weight room with Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll. After the tours, former season ticket holders participated in a Q&A session with Boll and Blue Jackets play-by-play announcer Jeff Rimer. Boll then signed autographs for those who purchased season ticket plans in the locker room, including sticks and jerseys.
Boll enjoyed the event and said the fans’ excitement has him anxiously awaiting the start of the 2013-2014 season.
“The fans that came out tonight are pretty passionate about the team and the Blue Jackets,” Boll said. “It’s fun to be able to meet them, answer their questions and hear what they have to say. Without the fans, we wouldn’t be anything.”
Boll also noted several reasons for fans to be excited about next season and that the team is ready to feed off last season’s momentum moving forward. A big part of the buzz is the Jackets’ move to the Eastern Conference into a division with geographic rivals like the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“The one thing we can promise is that we’ll show up every night,” Boll said. “We won’t win every single game, but we will give it our best effort every night. We know the opportunities that we have moving forward and we can’t take a step backward.”
So far, the Blue Jackets have only moved forward in terms of season ticket sales. Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer John Browne was happy with the event’s success, citing that the team has already surpassed last year’s season ticket sales and expects several more season ticket purchases over the coming months.
“The time to get involved as a season ticket holder is now,” Browne said. “I had a chance to talk to a number of folks in attendance tonight and they were unanimously very excited about the way the team played this season and are optimistic about the future for the Blue Jackets.”
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Events in store for the Blue Jackets’ future include the NHL Draft, which will take place on June 30 in Newark, N.J. The Blue Jackets have three picks in the first round—the most of any team other than the Calgary Flames. This gives the team an opportunity to acquire several up-and-coming players who have the potential to become NHL stars.
The Blue Jackets will host a NHL Draft viewing party for fans at Nationwide Arena that day.
Browne also expects ticket sales to increase once the NHL reveals the season schedule in mid-July. “It’ll be a great source of excitement for fans because for the first time they’re actually going to see the schedule with all the Eastern Conference rivals on it,” said Browne.
The Blue Jackets encourage fans to purchase season tickets because they receive several perks, including exclusive events and access to the team.
“We do a number of events that are exclusive to our season ticket holders,” Browne said. “We give them real up-close access to the players through autograph events and meet-and-greets. We try to build access, exclusivity and special benefits.”
“We did a lot of watching on TV so I’m excited to actually come and be a part of it,” - - Josh Sassen (new STH)
These exclusive events are why several season ticket holders made the decision to purchase packages again. Josh and Nicole Sassen enjoyed watching last season’s success and wanted to become more involved with the team.
“We did a lot of watching on TV so I’m excited to actually come and be a part of it,” Josh said. “With the last game, I didn’t make it out to Nationwide. But I saw all the fans going crazy and the place erupting and I said ‘I have to be there.’”
It appears that many Blue Jackets fans feel the same way too.