Niagara Gazette — What hasn’t been an issue despite the work stoppage is season ticket cancelations, Black said. Since the start of the lockout, he said about 30 people have stopped their season ticket orders, with 50 others doing so between the end of last season and the October day the league shut down.
With a waiting list of more than 3,000 names, the team hasn’t experienced the kind of blowback other markets could in the wake of the work stoppage.
“Anytime you have a lockout, you have the potential to lose the paying customer,” Black said. “For us, ticket sales make up 35 percent of our revenue. That’s the largest segment we have coming in. So if you’re going to piss off the fans to the point they’re not going to buy tickets, you’re only shooting yourself. Luckily, our market has a strong fan base.”
Training camp is also up in the air, with players possibly reporting as early as Saturday for physicals. But the players association approval vote could last through the coming weekend, possibly pushing the start of training camp into next week.
The lockout’s effects have been devastating to the local economy, which the team also recognized Tuesday.
General Manager Darcy Regier was sympathetic to the plight of local business owners and employees
“Whether at the local pubs or just the person who cleans the floors, this allows them to get back to work,” Regier said. “The fans in this community have been excited whenever we’ve bumped into them. I’m excited to be back.”