A few hours ago, Panthers president Michael Yormark sent out a text message through Twitter (if you would like to follow him, he's @PanthersYormark) that he was "Starting a series of did you know facts to better educate the media on the health of the panthers.''
Naturally, my interest was piqued.
The last message came across around 7:15 Saturday night.
Here's what we've seen the past few hours. Yormark's comments in italics, mine follow.
Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter as well. @OnFrozenPond. It's free, and sometimes it's even fun.
PanthersYormark - Michael Yormark: "Did you know that our sponsor revenue is in the top 3rd of the NHL??"
GR: I did not know this little nugget of information and find it hard to question it. With all the advertising plastered on every nook and cranny of the arena, the Panthers should be in the top three of the league and not just the top third. Heck, the Panthers even have an appliance store in their arena in case you want to buy a washer or drier in between periods. So, yes, not questioning this one.
PanthersYormark - Michael Yormark: "Did you know that the panthers WERE NOT in the top ten teams in the NHL in comp tickets this season?"
GR: I did notice the free ticket vouchers had all but disappeared around town. Of course, the Panthers did give season ticket holders a 2-for-1 deal before the 2010-11 season started; the team doesn't consider those giveaway tickets as giveaways. Hence, a cut down on comp tickets but there were plenty of freebies regardless. The Panthers also had a fun deal where you could put $1 down and get tickets. Or so they said. The Panthers also tried a pricing plan based on the model of how airlines price tickets. Never heard how this one went. No one I ever spoke to spent more money for certain games than they did for others, although I could see some paying a lot more for Canadiens tickets than the other 41 homes games.
GR: The Panthers arena is usually very highly rated by people who rank such things such as PollStar.com. The Sunrise arena is very active and is one reason the Panthers aren't going anywhere any time soon. The Panthers are in a very different situation than the Thrashers were, and I'm guessing the ATL situation is a reason why Michael Yormark is hitting the Twitterverse with such verve today.
FUN FACT (from a friend in Atlanta): Philips Arena was ranked No. 2 by PollStar.com at the time the BAC was No. 4. That high ranking didn't seem to help the Thrashers.
PanthersYormark - Michael Yormark: "Another fact, we played at close to 90 percent of capacity this season.''
GR: Well, this one we can debate a bit. According to ESPN.com, the Panthers were ranked 22nd in the league, averaging 15,685 per home game (which is well above the 14,000 mandate for revenue sharing). The 15,685 is 81 1/2 percent of the capacity in Sunrise. Well, the true capacity of the BAC.
The Panthers put up tarps in the upper deck, reducing capacity at the arena. The arena went from a capacity of 19,250 (with no tarps) to just over 17,000 with full tarping.
It's hard to know what the Panthers use as an official capacity since some games had full tarps, some tarps or no tarps. Some games (17,825 v NJ on 1/15/11 and 17,328 v TB on 1/21/11) were declared sellouts even though there were plenty of seats to be sold. Florida declared its home opener to be sold out although announced attendance was just 17,040.
By comparison, the Canadiens game on 12/31 was a true sellout at 20,072. Since capacity doesn't count toward revenue sharing, it really doesn't matter. But the Panthers did not average close to 90 percent capacity -- save for select games.
Michael Yormark also mentioned that he has an "interview on cbc.ca with eliot friedman.'' So check that out if you want.
He also said there is a "major team branding announcement on monday. Its all about NOW and our bright FUTURE!''
Anyway, I'll stay up on Twitter this weekend and keep you up to date on things.
Enjoy Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals between your Florida Bruins and Vancouver Panthers.