Islanders players, coaches, and management have been talking a lot about next season. With a strong performance from the Islanders solid core of young players in the final three-quarters of the 2010-11 season, expectations are running high. Now, fans are buying in and re-committing to their favorite team.
“If we stay healthy, I see no reason why we shouldn’t be a playoff team,” 20-goal scorer Blake Comeau told Newsday after the season ended. “And not just a playoff team, but one that can go deep.”
The new plan makes it very affordable to have season tickets and offers unique VIP incentives to give back to the fans. I love that the organization is acknowledging its fans in such a way that we feel appreciated for being there through thick and thin - Nicole Cardiello, season ticket holder
The Isles second-half tear led to increased attendance at the Coliseum, highlighted by three consecutive sellouts to finish the season.
In putting together the pricing structure for the 2011-12 season, team management re-priced the entire arena, freezing the pricing on some sections and lowering prices in others. All season ticket packages saw an increase in benefits for subscribers, with select seating sections being reduced over 15%. Season ticket pricing for new subscribers starts at only $630 per seat.
Even the biggest fans weren’t expecting big changes to the ticket prices, but they were excited once the plans were announced.
“I was pleasantly surprised with the new ticket structuring,” said Nicole Cardiello, a third-year season ticket holder from Patchogue. “The new plan makes it very affordable to have season tickets and offers unique VIP incentives to give back to the fans. I love that the organization is acknowledging its fans in such a way that we feel appreciated for being there through thick and thin.”
Most season ticket holders seem to recognize what great new benefits there are and that the team really does care about its fans. The majority of the season subscriber base has re-upped their plans with just under a week remaining until the renewal deadline of May 16.
With the deadline date to sign back up less than a week away, renewals have been strong, thanks in large part to new benefits for season ticket subscribers. For fans in the Elite Club, their $90 per game tickets now include free VIP parking, which costs $25 per game. The most affordable seat in the house now starts at just $15 per game.
The new price structure isn’t the only reason for the recent increase in sales, though.
“I like the proactive representation,” said John Martone, another third-year subscriber. “I have a great relationship with my ticket representative and the team has been very inviting with all the new enhancements. And they’re really exposing their players, making them very accessible to the fans.”
Martone, a Glen Cove resident, actually bought season tickets for the Islanders inaugural season and kept them for close to 15 years before drifting away. After attending games infrequently over the last two decades, he picked them back up thanks to the young talent on the ice and the great prices off the ice.
“This team reminds me a lot of how they built the Stanley Cup teams in the early 80’s,” Martone said. “I love the young guys, they’re really something.”
The Islanders ticketing department noticed the developing excitement from the fans as the season drew to a close.
“The way our team has performed over the last four months of the season says a lot to our fans,” said Islanders Senior Vice President Michael Picker. “We have taken input from our fans and have customized the pricing and benefits for next season’s subscribers. Our organization looks forward to welcoming back those that have stayed loyal to us as well as those who are new to the Islanders family.”
Ralph Sellitti, Islanders Vice President of Ticket Sales and veteran executive of over 35 seasons at the Coliseum, is impressed with the fans’ excitement this early in the offseason.
“We have been logging a lot of calls from fans asking when next year’s packages will become available,” Sellitti said. “There is a lot of excitement around our team and we’re excited to present our pricing options.”
This season was a giant step for the Islanders. As long as those strides keep coming on and off the ice, the fans appear to be right there with them.