By Tom Williams
For their sixth USHL season, the Youngstown Phantoms need increased attendance to offset higher rental fees at the Covelli Centre.
Friday, the Phantoms announced ticket prices for the 2014-15 season that include a season-ticket price cut for the best seats in the house and the introduction of 15-game and five-game plans that feature heavily discounted prices over game-day tickets.
The new plans replace a flex plan that co-owner Troy Loney said was not successful. In April, Loney and his wife, Aafke, became co-owners of Bruce Zoldan’s team. They are hoping the new plans will bring fans back to the arena on a regular basis.
Game-day prices range from $25.75 for a seat on the glass to $12.75 for a seat behind the goal, an increase of 75 cents from the 2013-14 season. Other game-day prices are $20.75 for center-ice seats between the blue lines and $15.75 for the remaining sections.
Fans can save $2 per ticket from those prices by purchasing in advance.
Season ticket holders receive a substantial discounts compared to the gate prices. For instance, a full-season 30-game plan for a club seat closest to the glass will cost $412 ($13.73 per game), down from $450 last season. For a 15-game plan, those seats cost $240 ($16 per game).
A full-season plan for the center-ice seats costs $387 ($12.90 per game), up from $360. The 15-game plan for those sections costs $210 ($14 per game).
The full-season prices for the other sections are $267 for behind the goal ($8.90 per game) and $327 for the other sections ($10.90 per fame). Those prices are up from $240 and $300. The 15-game prices for those sections are $150 ($10 per game) and $180 ($12 per game).
Two five-game miniplans will be available. Loney said those packages are for the strongest opponents and included promotions. The per-game price is the same as the 15-game plans.
Loney said the team studied what other USHL teams are doing in determining prices.
“We think the new plans offer good value for the price,” Loney said.
Patrons who wait until game day to visit the box office will discover a price hike of 75 cents from last season.
For their first five seasons, the Phantoms paid $2,750 in rent per game. That amount has increased to $4,500 a game.
Last season, the Phantoms averaged 1,402 fans. Under the new contract, the Phantoms will receive a rebate is attendance climbs above 47,500 fans (1,583 per game).
Once again, no seats will be sold in the East End of the arena where the Zamboni resurfacing machine enters the ice.