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In-Depth Q&A With VP Of Ticketing & Team President On Policies That Have Led To Revocation Of Season Tickets

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Recently there has been a lot of noise about the decision of the Golden Knights to cancel the tickets of certain season ticket holders. A few reported stories have sparked questions and in many cases fear for current ticket holders that they could be next to have their tickets canceled.

We sat down with Todd Pollock, VP of Ticketing, and Kerry Bubolz, Team President, to help try and clarify the situation.

Both Bubolz and Pollock answered questions, but their answers were combined to avoid any confusion.

What is the policy and has there been any change in the policy that has led people to have their tickets revoked?

This policy has been in place since Day 1. We formulated membership agreements almost three years ago, so this has always been an expectation that people will sign and follow the rules, it’s not like all of a sudden we got good and we’re arbitrarily making decisions. People first started signing the agreement around November of 2016, and to date, we are at 100% of members that have signed it.

There are a couple of things that are key in the agreement. One is that people are buying season ticket memberships with the intention of being a fan and not for financial gain. That is clear as day in the agreement. The second notion is that the team will offer a secondary resale market option because we do not expect everyone to go to every game. The agreement states that they must use our secondary site option. Last year it was StubHub, but we are no longer working with them so we are utilizing the Flash Seats marketplace this year. That’s the biggest change in relation to where people can sell.

When were the first seats revoked from users?

Not until June, July, and August did we start pulling seats. We gave everybody the benefit of the doubt. They had 55 home games to show us what they do with their seats and now we have the data and we can go ahead in making fair decisions. We were looking at it throughout the year and along the way, there was some communication.

When was the first person warned that their seats may be revoked?

It was near the end of the regular season.

So no one lost their tickets in November? 

No. No one.

Did anyone even lose them before the playoffs ended?

There were a few but they were blatantly abusing. Double-selling and such. That was very much few and far between.

(Double selling is when people will list the same tickets on multiple sites in an attempt to sell the tickets twice. It results in one of the buyers not getting legitimate tickets.)

What is the main reason you don’t want people to sell tickets?

People can sell. They are absolutely permitted to resell. They do have to use the secondary marketplace that we’ve authorized them to use. That’s the policy because it’s the only way we can guarantee the authenticity of the tickets that are being sold.

Why is it not acceptable for people to sell on Facebook?

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Knights Vow: VGK’s Brilliant Way To Curb Away Fans In Playoffs

Bet the guy holding that sweet sign takes the “Knights vow.” (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It should come as no surprise that the #1 tourist destination in the world has also become one of the top destinations for visiting fans to come cheer on their home team. Fans from New York, Detroit, Chicago, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Toronto and many other cities have come in droves and at times turned T-Mobile Arena into somewhat of a neutral site, at least fan wise.

However, the 80/20, 70/30, even 60/40 splits have actually turned T-Mobile Arena into one of the most intense buildings in the NHL… in the regular season. It’s all fun and games when 5,000+ fans from another city come in for a somewhat meaningless game in the regular season, it’s a completely different story if it happens during the playoffs when the Golden Knights will need every tiny little bit of advantage the home-ice brings.

Golden Knights ticketing geniuses to the rescue.

VGK Full Season Ticket Members will be automatically enrolled in the “Knights Vow,” which provides the most significant price savings off the single game ticket price.

As part of the Knights Vow program, members will receive tickets electronically via FlashSeats shortly after dates/times of the first-round home playoff games are set

Resale through StubHub – the Golden Knights exclusive, authorized secondary partner – will not be available under this option

In other words, season ticket holders get a discount on playoff tickets if they take a “vow” that they will not sell their tickets on StubHub. Or they can opt out and pay more yet retain the rights to sell.

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Sold Out Means Sold Out, No Matter How Skeptical You Are

So the Las Vegas NHL franchise has sold out the building in year one, or at least that was the reported news yesterday. But there’s a recurring theme popping up on talk shows, TV news, watercolor conversations, and most notably, the comment sections on sites and social medias like ours at SinBin.vegas.

The building may be sold out now, but these are just deposits, what happens when the organization asks for that other 90% of the total season ticket price? Will they still be sold out then?

We are cognizant that conversion is not going to be 100 percent, but based on the fact that we had 5,000 people come to an open house in August, the multiple touch points we’ve now made, and our great hires on the hockey side. We’re confident that we will convert at a very strong number. -Todd Pollock, VP of Ticketing

Is this a biased or even hopeful answer? It’s an understandable question, and one I hate to admit, but for a while there I wondered as well. But after having the entire process of why the sold out announcement was made so early spelled out to me, that concern can be filed away in the same dark back room I put such issues as “Can hockey work in the desert.” or the more specific “Does The Creator actually have the money to buy the team?”

Simply put, it’s a non-issue, and I’ll explain why.

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Season Tickets Sold Out!

The Las Vegas NHL organization has sold out of season tickets. That’s right, the city that’s been described as not ready for professional sports and not a good place for hockey has sold out a 17,500 seat building before they have a name or player.

The team announced the news through a press release today.

The Las Vegas NHL Franchise announced today that it has received deposits on 16,000 season tickets, which represents all of the season tickets available for the 2017-2018 season. This momentous achievement was reached approximately 18 months after the ticket drive — which had an initial goal of 10,000 tickets — was launched. More than 5,000 tickets were sold within two days and 9,000 season tickets were sold within a month of the launch of the ticket drive.

Tell us more!

We launched a season ticket drive in February 2015 to demonstrate the long-term viability of an NHL franchise in Las Vegas and were able to surpass our initial goal within months. Since then, we have hired an outstanding General Manager, Assistant General Manager, Director of Player Personnel, Director of Amateur Scouting, Capologist, Director of Analytics and many highly qualified Scouts. Today, we are proud to announce that season tickets for the 2017 season are sold out. -The Creator

The team is still accepting season ticket deposits that will be placed on a wait list. They’ll also have around 500-1,000 single game tickets available for each game.

We’ve long been saying this, but the news of selling out more than a year in advance of hockey goes to show that these tickets are going to be some of the toughest in town to get. The franchise opener may go down as one of the biggest events in city history too.

This is a truly historic event for the Las Vegas community, the NHL and all of our fans. I would like to thank everyone who has supported and continues to support our efforts to make the Las Vegas NHL franchise a success. -The Creator

Suck it world, Las Vegas is sold out, something more than half the league cannot boast, and we don’t even have an adjective on our team name yet!

Season Ticket Deposits Cross 15,000; Another Section Sold Out

Season tickets for the brand new Las Vegas Expansion franchise have been flying off the shelves since the day The Creator launched the ticket drive in February of last year. With every bit of news more and more of the skeptics turned to believers and put their money down. Well now that the team is official, the number is climbing rapidly, and will likely hit the cap soon.

Ticket sales have been fantastic since the official announcement. In fact, we are now sold out of P4 Loge, on top of previously sold out P1,P5, and P6. A limited number of P2 and P3 seats remain but I can confirm we have now eclipsed the 15,000 season ticket mark. I would very strongly encourage anyone interested in becoming a season ticket member place a deposit on a plan in the very near future -Todd Pollock, VP of Ticketing

The entire upper bowl (P5 and P6) were sold out months ago, the best seats in the house (P1) sold out awfully quickly too, but now P4, also known as the Loge seats have all been scooped up.

That leaves just two sections available to those still looking to become season ticket holders for Las Vegas’ inaugural NHL season. P3, the lower ends, and P2 the lower corners, are the only options left.

If you have any interest in being able to say you were one of the first season ticket holders in franchise history, you’d better plop your $125 bucks per seat down soon. They aren’t planning on holding many seats back for individual games. We’ve heard possibly as few as 500 per game.

We’ve got the team people, no more reason to wait. It’s now or never time.

Here’s the link to buy tickets. Do it now, I don’t want any tweets asking where to get them in October next year.

After The Announcement, What’s Next?

We’ve been telling you for a while now, but it appears the time is nearly here for the league to finally make it officially official. Las Vegas is about to be awarded an NHL franchise… but, then what?

There is a lot that needs to be done between June 22nd and October 2017 when the Las Vegas Black Knights, Knights, Rat Pack, Aces, etc hit the ice for real. Here’s an outline of what will happen and a guess or two at when each may occur. (Note: My guesses are just that, guesses. Unless I say specifically otherwise, it’s speculation)

  • Organization installs President/General Manager
    • We’ve thrown a few names around, but there really can’t be anything concrete on who it will be until after the team is formally announced.
    • Expect the GM to be named very quickly after the team is awarded. Nothing hockey related can happen before this person is put in place, so I’d guess this could happen before June is over.
  • Ground breaking on Practice Facility
    • Far Hills and the 215 is still the planned location on the practice facility.
    • It will likely break ground within days of the announcement.
    • The facility is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete.

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99% Of Ticket Deposits Are For Full Season

Throughout the entire ticket drive, the organization has released season ticket deposit numbers. The original goal was 10,000. Two days in the number sold was 5,000. A week or so later it was over 7,000. In late March they hit the goal of 10,000. Then 11,000, 13,000, and most recently 14,000 including the entire upper bowl and every

But there’s an important caveat missing in the numbers by themselves. Potential buyers can purchase tickets for quarter season, half season, or full season. If a majority of those tickets were purchased for half or quarter of the season, the number wouldn’t look nearly as impressive.

Well, never fear, that’s not the case.

Over 99% of our total number is comprised of full season tickets; roughly 1% is represented by the quarter and half season deposits. – Todd Pollock, Director of Ticketing, Black Knight Sports and Entertainment

Here’s what that really means.

I have no doubt that we will reach that season ticket cap/sell out every home game for 2017 and beyond.

Also, Pollock noted only 50 deposits have been refunded, which means the delay is not scaring people off the way it possibly could have.

There still may be hurdles the league needs to clear in order to truly feel confident enough to expand their league to Las Vegas, but with this news, I think it’s safe to officially put any concerns of ticket sales to bed.

We realize and appreciate the continued support and patience. Your commitment to us will pay off in due time.

You got it, dude!

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