Season ticket wait will cost more

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

It is going to cost you money to remain on a waiting list for a chance to buy London Knights season tickets.

The biggest draw in the Ontario Hockey League will charge potential season ticket buyers $75 for the right to be on the team's waiting list.

The cost includes a one-time $50 refundable charge that secures your place on the list. There is another yearly $25 charge to remain on the list and entitles the payee to additional perks. If you don't pay the $25 non-refundable charge, you will be removed from the list.

"I love the Knights and am a big fan," said Randy Keron, who put his name on the waiting list last summer. His waiting list number is just under 1,600.

"It seemed completely arbitrary and ridiculous. I'm a big fan and would love to get season tickets, but my initial reaction is it will be frosty day that I pay money to hold a spot on the list.

"It's frustrating that they have 7,000 season tickets out there that are sold. They are easily covering their cost, yet they are trying to grab a little bit more money. It isn't huge dollars, but it's the principle that rubs me the wrong way."

Knights' general manager Mark Hunter said the waiting list was becoming "unmanageable." He said his biggest concern was making sure the list was handled "the right way."

Hunter said those who pay the additional fee will be given perks including priority access for single game tickets and playoff tickets as they become available, discounts at the Knights' souvenir store, a newsletter, an invitation to attend a practice and a chance to skate with the Knights along with an autograph session.

The Knights have sold all 7,000 season tickets. The team is now going through the process of contacting season ticket holders to see who will renew and how many new season tickets will be available.

There are 2,000 names on the waiting list. Last season, the Knights averaged around 9,000 fans a game. Adult season tickets can be bought for as low as $484.

"It's administration costs," Hunter said. "To handle the waiting list and do it properly, we have to put someone on it. We want to make sure it's done right."

Hunter said he had to hire a part-time worker to help with administering the list.

Administration includes making the telephone calls and making sure those on the list are kept up to date on Knights activities.

Hunter said the Kitchener Rangers also have an administration fee linked to their waiting list.

Dolores Maas-Crowell the suite and ticket administrator for the city of Kitchener, said the Rangers have a waiting list of about 800. They charge $100 to be on the list, but that money goes toward the cost of the season ticket once it's purchased or it is refunded when the name is removed from the list.

"We do not have any non-refundable charges," Maas-Crowell said. "But our relationship with the team is different."

As the Rangers are community-owned, the city does the work on the season ticket list at no cost to the Rangers.

Hunter and Knights box office manager Krystal Potts addressed the issue of whether this fee was just an additional money grab, especially since there is already a $50 fee to be on the list.

"The money we make is minute," Potts said. "We don't make that much money. It stays in the season ticket account."

"If you're looking at the money, $50 is refundable anytime you leave . . . $5,000 at the end of the day, yes it is money to the London Knights," Hunter said. "There are perks and there is a cost to the waiting list. It will be done better. I didn't like the job done on the waiting list before."

Keron said he isn't troubled by the $50 charge, but is bothered by the $25 charge.

"I don't see there's a lot of administration regardless of the number of people on the list," he said. "If a season ticket becomes available, you call the next person on the list and if he doesn't want it, you simply call the next person."

Keron said setting up the framework for collecting the new $25 fee will cause more work.

"They will also have the administration around all the 'benefits' list members will get for their $25 yearly fee," he said. "They will have to manage the advance ticket sales to list members for the selected games and playoffs. They will also have to manage distribution of newsletters and the special skate with the Knights events."


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