Quick Ticket Sales Raises Questions – Northern Classic


Northern Classic Logo - AJHL

copyright NorthernClassic.ca


I’m truly excited for the Northern Classic to be held on November 26th – I cannot wait to be out there, cheering on the MOB, surrounded by 4,999 other fans, in the largest ever Alberta Junior Hockey League game. Did I mention it’s outdoors?

But unfortunately, I, like a lot of other folks, did not react quickly enough and missed out on the last ticket sold – 54 minutes after sales started. Much has been made of the sale, as you can see by these three online posts: Russel Thomas, Vancouver Sun & the Fort McMurray Today.

So unless I volunteer (which I will gladly do) or win some tickets on the radio, I’m out of luck.

Sour Grapes?



Grapes - courtesy of totalsportspro.com


I’m trying to figure out if this is just a case of sour grapes because I was unable to get tickets to an awesome community event, or if I have a legitimate case. I think it’s probably both, but I do lean towards the latter.

It looks as though large blocks of tickets were made available to groups in town. And by large blocks, I mean 10% of total ticket sales. To each group.

Now don’t get me wrong – these tickets are going to go to some great causes (although I argue about the Fort McMurray Airport Authority purchase being a “great cause”) – Russell Thomas points out these block sales in his post:

The highlight of the morning was the community block ticket purchase by SEKO Contruction and Permasteel  Group that guaranteed the access of 500 minor hockey participants, and 500 students from the Fort McMurrary Catholic Board of Education and the Fort McMurray Public Board of Eduction.  The Fort McMurray Airport Authority purchased 500 tickets that  were provided to media partners to be used in the next 42 days as public give-aways in advance of the event.  Given the sold out event, the 500 media tickets will be highly sought after in the weeks ahead.

So that’s 1,500 tickets gone to three groups. That’s 30% of total ticket sales. To three groups. Why even bother advertising 5,000 tickets when only 3,500 were up for grabs in the first place?

I’d like to see if any other large blocks were bought, and if there were limits on the number of tickets per person. If I was actually on the ball this past Friday morning, could I have purchased 50 tickets to hand out as I wished?

And as to the media purchase by the Fort McMurray Airport Authority… aren’t a lot of the media in town for-profit companies, operated by large national companies? I have a hard time thinking a radio station owned by Rogers would not have gotten tickets to give away as prizes. It’s what they do. In my opinion it would have been better to give the tickets to community non-profits, such as the Hub, as an alternate source for fundraising.

I’m not saying block purchases by community groups is a bad thing. I’m just saying that the percentages are too high, and that if 5,000 tickets were never meant for the general public, then 5,000 tickets should never have been promoted.

So the sales, in my opinion, were not perfect. I didn’t get a ticket, I can deal with that. If I didn’t get a ticket and the block sales never happened, would I have posted this? Probably not. Could the Fort McMurray Airport Authority still redirect some of those tickets to better causes? Not sure, but you never know.

But having said all of that – I’m looking forward to this event coming to our neck of the boreal. It’s going to be an amazing time, an amazing community moment and an amazing game (based on the MOB’s record so far).

Let’s go MOB!


Be curious to see/hear what you think. Am I completely off base? Or are some of my thoughts valid? Leave a comment below or catch me on Twitter (via @myoilsands).

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