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Is the Bloom Finally Off the Rose?
Will attendance slip this year?
9/25/13 - By Paul Krill -

One thing that can't be debated about the Sharks has been the level of fan support throughout the team's history. Fans have always been there for the team, even though we deserve better than what we have gotten. (As in, we see other teams that routinely play to half-empty houses win Stanley Cups but that pinnacle of on-ice success never happens for us.)

Some recent developments, though, have me wondering if the bloom is finally off the rose for the Sharks after 20 years in San Jose (Yes, the arena turned 20 in August). Have the Sharks had one-too-many second-round playoff exits for the fans to stomach? Has the novelty of a major pro sports team locating in the South Bay finally faded away?

Perhaps some signs are pointing to this. What I'm referring to is the difficulty I've had so far selling off tickets to games I can't attend and the relatively short line for Sharks tickets the morning tickets went on sale to the general public at the Box Office a couple weeks ago.

Usually, I'm able to sell off tickets pretty easily and early on craigslist - maybe there will be a couple of games a year that are difficult to sell but that's it. This season, though, I've still got about 10 games going begging, even though I offer the tickets at a really great price, below what the official Box Office or ticket services would charge. And when I log onto craigslist, I see piles and piles of Sharks tickets on there for sale.

Of course, it doesn't help that the Sharks include full-priced exhibition tickets, always a thorn in the side of season ticketholders, in the ticket package. These low-demand tickets are a tough sell even at a huge discount. (The best thing about last season's lockout? No pre-season tickets.)

(If you're wondering why I don't go to all the games, it's because of a change in circumstances - family obligations that did not exist when I first signed up for tickets in 1992. I'll bet a few of you reading this may not even have been born by then.)

We'll find out soon enough if demand for Sharks tickets ends up being as strong as ever or whether it tumbles. Early signs are not good. Of course, winning will help. In the meantime, I'm wondering if I'll be able to sell off what tickets I can't use or if these will become expensive bookmarks or fodder for the weekly paper recycling collection.

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