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Florida Panthers shrinking arena seating capacity; exploring dynamic pricing for popular games

To create a more intimate setting at Florida Panthers' games next season, the team is reducing capacity by nearly 2,500 seats at BankAtlantic Center.

The change, which will be accomplished by covering 2,458 seats in the arena’s last six rows in the upper level, will drop capacity from 19,250 to 17,040 for hockey games. The coverings will be Panthers blue and sponsored by a business. But the coverings also mean capacity can be increased, if there’s demand for tickets. The Panthers ranked 25th in attendance in the NHL this past season with 15,146 a game.

Panthers President Michael Yormark said BankAltantic Center is the NHL's fourth largest arena, so reducing seating capacity will put the venue on par with other hockey arenas.

The team is also planning a new pricing scale for 2010-11 individual game tickets that will have prices rise along with demand for particular games. The idea is to reward season ticket buyers and others who buy early with lower ticket prices.

Individual game tickets will be divided into four categories: Bronze (the least expensive and a reduction from last season’s prices); silver (similar to this past season), gold and platinum (highest-priced). Each game will be assigned a category, but could move into a more expensive category the closer to the game date, if demand builds.

Individual game ticket prices are scheduled to be released in September, but an example of the dynamic price structure could work like this: A lower bowl endzone seat that cost $75 this past season would fall to $40 for a bronze game, $65 for a silver game, $70 for a gold game and $90 for a platinum game.

“Both the reduced seating capacity and the dynamic pricing structure were implemented based on the feedback from our fans and our season ticket advisory board,” Yormark said in a statement. “That said, we feel strongly that both changes will contribute to more excitement and intimacy at the BankAtlantic Center for Panthers home games, while greatly increasing the overall fan experience.”

The Panthers tried in the 2008-09 season to charge individual game ticket buyers an additional $25 a game for contests against popular opponents, such as the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, but ended up dropping the plan midway through that season.

Categories: BankAtlantic Center (30), Florida Panthers (108), NHL (56), Tickets (126)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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