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UPDATE: Brought to You By RRA No More: Scandal Hits Panthers, The Billboard ... The Free Tickets Keep Coming

Rrasignage In case you haven't heard, the Fort Lauderdale law firm RRA isn't having a very good week.

One of its founders is accused of bilking hundreds of millions of dollars from the firm and from clients. He flew to Morocco (apparently to avoid extradition) but returned to Lauderdale yesterday.

So what does this have to do with hockey?

Well, RRA is a huge sponsor of South Florida sports teams including the Dolphins, Heat and of course, the Panthers.

Word is the team is trying to separate itself from the scandal. I'm also hearing the law firm hasn't paid off the team for its signage and sponsorships since it's so early in the season. And now, with the firm's funds down to about $500,000, that's a check that isn't coming.

Don't expect to hear RRA presenting upcoming concerts at The Billboard or anything else tonight.

Tonight's game is the first home game in November, and usually the team honors a top player of the previous month. RRA is supposedly a sponsor of this too.

We'll see if the team does anything with that pregame. Of course, the Panthers only won four of 12 games in October, so is there really anyone to honor? Steven Reinprecht I guess for October MVP. Defenseman of the Month? Dmitry Kulikov?


RracarolinaAs of this morning, RRA's signage is still up at the arena (see above; to the right at Carolina's morning skate).

Have an email in to Michael Yormark asking him to comment not on the scandal but on what the team plans to do regarding the firm's sponsorship of the team.

So far I have not heard back from him.

I would be surprised to see those signs in the arena come game time. As spokesman Justin Copertino told me over the phone, it takes time to do these kind of things.

Of course, in walking around the arena this morning, there were workers replacing a Dillard's billboard by one of the restrooms on the concourse. So there are people working on signage at the arena.

UPDATE: Just got an email from Copertino telling me that Yormark has been in meetings all day and that I will notice a difference in signage and game presentation tonight.

UPDATE2: Inside the rink right now. The RRA sign on the boards is gone as is their sign fronting the 400 level. Still no word from Michael Yormark.

So, I would have to assume that RRA is no longer sponsoring the Panthers. Or, the Panthers are refunding their money (ha!) and pulling the signage to distance themselves. Or, as I speculated before, RRA never fully paid and since the Panthers don't expect them to, they are cutting their losses.

-- Aside from RRA, Scott Rothstein has other business interests that sponsor something inside the arena. The biggest is probably the Ice Dancers.

Rothstein is a partner in the Bova steakhouse that sponsors the dancers. In a press release sent out by the team yesterday, the Ice Dancers were referred to without their corporate name. The team's website still has Bova as the sponsor of the dancers.

We'll see what changes there are tonight.

And if Yormark gets back to me, I'll update this post.

-- Just went on ticketmaster.com to check and see if the free ticket offer for tonight's game against Carolina is still going.

They are. Just found four together.

That's right: Free tickets to an NHL game (Ticketmaster charges a .75 service charge).

I won't give you the password, but I'm sure you can find it online. Somewhere. All you have to do is look.

And the Panthers will complain that I'm broadcasting this, but if they're going to offer, people might as well take advantage. And they've been giving away tickets for every game this year save for the home opener and the Philadelphia game.

UPDATE: Tickets are no longer being offered online, free or otherwise. But if you still want freebies (kinda), head over to the Sawgrass Quarterdeck where they have ticket vouchers. You can get up to four free* tickets to tonights game. You just have to pay the $7 arena/parking fee per ticket.

Sure there will be people in the parking lot who bought extra 75 cent tickets and might be willing to toss them your way for a small profit. I wouldn't offer 85 cents, but a couple bucks might do the trick.

-- Will be asking the Panthers how they account for these tickets. Do they count as sold tickets because of Ticketmaster's surcharge or do they go to the league as giveaways?



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the giveaways seem to be a weekday thing - i don't remember getting that e-mail for the friday night game vs. philly.

those "giveaways" are supposed to be perks for us season ticket holders to give to our family & friends - and if you're broadcasting it to the entire fanbase it devalues what we really get as perks. personally, i don't care, but i can see why the panthers would.

I've heard about it on the radio, seen it on the internet...it's no secret...

Why arent tickets on sale anymore?

Why arent they on sale anymore?

GR: It has NOTHING to do with hockey. Who cares?

When you have an online offer with a general password ANYONE who cares will find it. The Panthers know this. If they were serious about offering it only to season seat holders they could have had you go thhru your rep.

As a Canadian and a Panthers fan, it makes me sad to hear they're giving away tickets. I'd kill to go.

George- I hear that tonight the scoreboard game of "find the hidden puck," you know, where the puck is hidden under a clamshell, will be changed. Instead of selecting the clamshell with the hidden puck under it, fans will be asked to select the clamshell with the hidden Rothstein under it!!!

The Panthers just announced that between the first and second period of tonites' game, the sumo wrestling match has been cancelled. In its place, fans will be treated to watch Yormark and Cohen race around the rink trying to chase and catch Rothstein. The event is sponsored by Rosenfelt and Adler!

I have some monopoly money that Yormack can use to sponsor the ICe Gals.

I have a feeling the great partnership on Friday has to do with the Panthers hiring a new promoter, Rothstein from Jail! They hired him dirt cheap!

not saying it's a secret - but it's why they do it. obviously word will get out if they do it thru ticketmaster, but it's probably easier, and cheaper ;)

but by posting the password on here you just add fuel to the fire. im pretty sure you get quite a few more hits on this site than they do over on naziboards.com. oops, i mean hfboards.com...

like i said, i dont care. but i can see why the panthers would. if it were my business, i'd be upset too.

Can they please get rid of those ridiculous ice dancers who offer nothing to the game or the fan experience.

I think I'm begining to understand your hatred of Yormack. Why didnt we honor the MVP and D-Man for oct last night. I can understand the RRA thing took them by surprise. but how about a simple anouncment by Bill Murphy? Is it that bad that the team can't make an anouncment without a sponser. I mean the votes were cast. the "awards" were made. the players played... I guess you guys were right along. The ads are more important then THE FANS, THE PLAYERS and THE GAME ITSELF...

Free tickets? How do the Panthers manage to stay in business is what I want to know?

Why is the Pope of Palm Beach County (AKA Michael Yormark) still with the Panthers? He's been a snake oil salesman since day one and his very presence is an insult to the NHL. Mr Bettman, wake up. You want South Florida to be a viable hockey market? Get rid of PT Barnum (Rormark) and his sidekick dummy (Alan Cohen). Get some real management in here that will put a team on the ice and really try to make the playoffs again. The fans deserve better than Yormark and Silent Al but I think the only way to show them you hate what they're doing is to stay away from the arena and get the Center Ice package. The only thing they understand is $$$ and this will hit them where it hurts. This team is geared towards 3rd round and later drafting and then bringing in one or two players to make the team look legitimate and that's it. And maybe someone should email the defination of "General Manager to Panthers management. Randy Sexton is an embarrassment.

My point is this:
I understand suplementing your income with ad
revenue.It makes sense,it works, and can keep the team and game viable in the down times. HOWEVER it should not overshadow THE PLAYERS or THE GAME. just think of benefits of celebrating a good month of play in front of your home team before taking on a divison rival. what about the confidence that could be given to a young player like Kulikov.(best d).
it would allow the fans and team to bond for the benefit of both. it was just sad to see that we lost that last night. all because of no sponsor. just very sad.

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