The fans. We merry band of brothers and sisters who have sat down these last four months wondering if we’re ever going to see hockey again. We have suffered right along with our players and our clubs. We have been called everything from the ‘soul of the game’ to ‘sheep with wallets’. A week ago, our long suffering finally came to an end. The players and the league agreed upon a new ten year collective bargaining agreement. The lockout was over and hockey would be back.
Then came the apologies. Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference fired off on of the very first on Twitter. “As players we can now do what we do best. Proudly pull on our jerseys and play with complete passion for our cities and fans. I hope that we can replace the intense negativity brought on our sport with a reminder of how great it can be when the action is on the ice. From my grandparents to our B’s fans, I am deeply sorry that we had to miss so much hockey. All we can do now is play our hearts out for you.” Other players started firing off apologies, and the ownership wasn’t far behind.
The Boston Bruins home office released a set of perks as a manner of an apology to its fans yesterday. It is a good will gesture. Bruins owner and President of the Board of Governors (and seen by many as one of the architects of the lockout) Jeremy Jacobs is trying to ingratiate himself back into the Nation’s consciousness as an individual who will stand by his fans. Below is a list of the current promotions and bonuses offered by the Bruins organization.
- Every single fan who attends a home game in January will get a voucher that is good for three food or drink items (non-alcoholic only) for that game.
- All merchandise stands will have twenty five percent off deals and thirty percent off for season ticket holders and Premium Club members throughout January.
- Game-worn jerseys can be won at the Jan. 19 season opener. (That promotion is a fan favorite, and will be received well.)
- Fans can win a chance to fly with the team on Bear Force One or go inside the locker room after a game at the season opener.
- Other items up for grabs at the season opener: free parking for home games, the use of a VIP suite for a game or concert, a private skate at TD Garden, and a five hundred dollar shopping spree at the pro shop.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice Mr. Jacobs. However, your company (Deleware North) has holdings all around the planet, and other teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins are really heaping on the apologies to the fan base. If this is the first step, it’s a very good one. If it’s the only step, you might have already forgotten how much we love this game, and how angry we still are about all the pain you put us through. Where’s Taylor Swift to write a get back together song when we need her?
Opening night is five days away. Like the rest of you, I’m as excited as possible for it all to begin.