Preds don't postpone game, but get fan experience right
Other franchises are a little less forgiving.
Nashville wasn't the only place to get a bunch of snow that will make traveling to a hockey game next to impossible. Both Philadelphia and Washington got dumped on last night and early this morning but, just like the Predators game, the NHL is insistent on not postponing any of these games.
It's pretty rough in Philadelphia, as Travis Hughes of Broad Street Hockey shows. Accumulation totals in and around the city are between 5-9 inches, yet the Flyers are still playing the Blues regardless. Fans are going to have a hell of a time getting to Wells Fargo Center...
Flyers still hosting a game tonight. Not a clear road in sight. pic.twitter.com/ulLVV3ZnJM— Travis Hughes (@TravisSBN) March 5, 2015
...I'm guess most are just going to stay home, even though tickets on StubHub are as low as $14 as of 5:30 p.m. CST.
Same thing in Washington, D.C., apparently, as the Caps are set to play the Wild. The official measurement at Ronald Reagan Airport was 4.6" of accumulation, which broke a record that stood since 1888.
Capitals still hosting a game tonight. Not a clear road in sight. pic.twitter.com/DKOd7MNuFD— Travis Hughes (@TravisSBN) March 5, 2015
Even though Nashville got less than either cities, Tennessee in general is not used to seeing the amount that fell today. Philly and DC at least see healthy amounts of snow from year to year. Consider that it's been over four years since Nashville saw an inch of snow.
Like the #snowdome can't hold us. Playing some @macklemore on I-65N. @NashSevereWx #Nashville #snowpocalypse #round2 pic.twitter.com/ccTkcWUngQ— Blake Mundell (@blakeamundell) March 5, 2015
Luckily, the Nashville Predators organization is conscious of how rare it is for a game to be disrupted by snow, and are taking measures to ensure that A) their fans stay safe and B) the ones that come out experience the absolute best treatment they can receive.
During the most recent ice storm, the team announced any person who had a ticket to the game and showed up could sit anywhere in the lower bowl, as long as that seat was not already occupied by the owner of the ticket. Fans were also treated to free popcorn and half-off sodas and beer. Fans that bought a ticket but elected to stay home could exchange those for another game.
Tonight is more of the same, although exchanges have to be made for Monday-Thursday games for next season. Here's the kicker though, you'll get two tickets for every one you have. It's great that the team is even doing that, unlike some franchises...
@mwithrow510 There is no refunds, returns, or exchanges. If you have any questions about your options give us a call… 215-218-4326(4FAN)— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 5, 2015
@OnTheForecheck as of 5:15pm they have not announced anything— RMNB (@russianmachine) March 5, 2015
The reality is Philadelphia and Washington both have established hockey markets. If they don't offer refunds or exchanges, their fans may not be too happy, but they'll still buy tickets to the next game regardless. It doesn't mean they still shouldn't have postponed the games, but they'll get by. As passionate as the fan base is in Nashville, any act of goodwill toward ticket holders (be they season or single game) will be appreciated. In a small market, hearing how the arena and organization will make the fan experience as welcoming as possible will resonate. I can't tell you how many times I heard about people moving down to the lower bowl last time.
If the game has to be played, that's the way to do it.