The Edmonton Oilers said they sold just half of the 250 concourse tickets that were made available for Game 1 against San Jose Sharks Wednesday night.
The team sold about 125 of those $80 tickets, which offer fans access to the concourse, but no view of the actual game and no seat. Concourse pass holders can watch the game on TVs in the upper and lower concourse.
They will be available at Game 2 on Friday at the north LRT entrance on a first-come first-serve basis, two hours before puck drop.
Some season ticket holders were a bit irked about the concourse passes and worried the move would cheapen the playoff experience for longtime fans by creating longer bathroom and concession lines.
“I think it’s going to irritate some people who paid good money,” 11-year season ticket holder Ryan Batty said.
“And now, whether those tickets get bought or not, the perception is going to be that the line was a result of these extra tickets and the Oilers end up looking kind of greedy and kind of silly.”
However, the team said it heard overwhelming demand from fans and this is another option for anyone who didn’t score playoff tickets. The Oilers also capped the number of concourse tickets available at 250 “so there would be no impact on the fan experience.”
Overall, dealing with the sold-out crowd on Wednesday went quite smoothly at Rogers Place, according to the team.
“Our ingress for both the arena and Molson Hockey House was very smooth,” said Andrea Goss, a manager for Rogers Place and the Oilers Entertainment Group.
“Rogers Place would like to remind fans with a ticket to Friday’s game to enter through the 104 Avenue and 102 Street entrance or the north entrance. Rogers Place is encouraging fans to exit the arena through the four core stairwells.
“We continue to see a lot of people take the stairs to the main concourse and then try and exit through Ford Hall. All four stairwells will take guests to street level,” she said.
The Oilers, as well as Edmonton police, said fans were respectful and generally well-behaved during and after Game 1.
“It was amazing to see Orange Crush come alive in Oil Country last night,” Goss said.
“Our fans have proven time and again that they’re the best in the league and we expected no less from Wednesday’s game. We continue to work closely with our partners from EPS and the City of Edmonton to encourage fans to have a great time while celebrating responsibly.”