While saying their prospects are ready to bring the organization to its “next chapter,” the Buffalo Sabres have raised season-ticket prices in every section of the arena.
The organization sent invoices to fans this week, with increases ranging from 3.8 percent to 6.1 percent. Fans will pay between $1 and $5 more for each game. The 44-game ticket packages range from $1,146 to $4,688.
The increase comes after a second straight last-place finish for the Sabres, who have missed the playoffs six of the past eight seasons. This time, the 30th-place standing was expected. Buffalo wanted to finish last in order to secure a top draft pick, and the team is expected to select star prospect Jack Eichel at No. 2 in June.
“When we made the decision to drastically overhaul our roster and undertake the process of rebuilding the Buffalo Sabres through the accumulation of a historic number of high draft picks, we knew it would require patience and commitment,” Sabres President Ted Black said in a magazine that accompanied the invoices. “These last few seasons have been challenging, but unfortunately there are no dramatic shortcuts to rebuilding through the draft.
“Everyone in the Sabres organization shares the thirst this community has for bringing the Stanley Cup to Buffalo and that remains our primary goal. It is our hope that you continue with us as we march toward that goal and keep the passion and dedication that makes our region such a special place.”
The Sabres had 16,000 season-ticket holders last season after achieving a renewal rate of 93 percent and adding members from their waiting list, which had about 3,000 names.
Since Terry Pegula purchased the Sabres in 2011, prices have risen 27.3 percent. Tickets in 300 Level IV have gone from $22 to $28, while 200 Level Club seats have jumped from $88 to $112.
The Sabres are continuing their practice of refunding part of the season-ticket cost in the form of a rebate card than can be used in the arena or at HarborCenter. This year's rebate is 2.5 percent after being 6.5 percent last year.
The magazine was also delivered as an enticement to renew. The cover reads, “Buffalo Sabres 2015-16: The Next Chapter,” and notes the Sabres are ranked No. 1 in team prospects by Hockey’s Future and ESPN. The book contains profiles of Buffalo’s players with analysis by broadcasters Barry Melrose and Craig Button.
Here is the breakdown of the increases:
200 Club: $4,477 ($107 per game) to $4,688 ($112)
200 Club Ends: $3,739 ($89) to $3,909 ($93)
100 Rinkside: $4,067 ($97) to $4,278 ($102)
100 Preferred: $3,370 ($80) to $3,540 ($84)
100 Level II Rinkside: $3,288 ($78) to $3,458 ($82)
100 Level II: $2,696 ($64) to $2,825 ($67)
100 Level III Rinkside: $2,796 ($66) to $2,925 ($69)
100 Level III: $2,104 ($50) to $2,233 ($53)
100 Level IV: $1,858 ($44) to $1,946 ($46)
300 Level I: $1,981 ($47) to $2,069 ($49)
300 Level II: $1,433 ($34) to $1,518 ($36)
300 Level III: $1,146 ($27) to $1,190 ($28)
300 Level IV: $1,146 (27) to $1,190 ($28)