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It's a mature market now
Sharks no longer have to just show up to fill the seats
2/12/15 - By Paul Krill -

At long last, and through the Sharks' own doing, San Jose has become a normal hockey market. Normal as in the team is going to have to win consistently if it wants to fill the seats every night. A sold-out arena is becoming the exception for the Sharks now rather than the rule.

I believe the Sharks have no one to blame but themselves for this: two decades of playoff shortfalls and now a team that is weaker than we've seen in previous years are taking their toll on enthusiasm. The other night, I went to a game listed as having 17,000 and some change, but there were plenty of empty seats all over the building.

It's unfortunate that it has to come to this but that is the way it is. Tickets that previously, I could sell off easily now go begging. Even deeply discounted, I couldn't unload this past Monday's game. And given the Sharks' weak performance that night, nobody missed much. The Sharks are a .500 team both at home and on the road now. I think they've lost the past four or five games that I've attended.

Soon, the Sharks will send out very early invoices for next season's tickets. Will they defy the law of supply and demand and try to raise prices for a product for which there is diminishing demand? We'll find out soon enough.

For me, I will have a big decision to make. Renew my tickets or simply go to games on a game-to-game basis like I do with the Oakland A's? It's not a decision I'm looking forward to making.

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