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Ducks freeze ticket, parking and concession prices for next season

In a nod to the sour economy, the team will keep current levels at Honda Center, going further than any other NHL team to date.

February 24, 2009|Helene Elliott

Adopting a budding trend in the NHL and taking it a step further, the Ducks on Monday froze all ticket prices for next season at current levels and froze food, beverage and parking prices at the Honda Center.

The Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild were in the forefront of freezing season-ticket prices for 2009-10, reflecting concern about the sour economy, with the Hurricanes locking in season-ticket holders' prices for three seasons.

But none went as far as the Ducks did in holding the line on season, group and individual game tickets, half-season and mini-plans and concession and parking prices.

The Kings, who recently said they won't raise season-ticket prices for next season, haven't set prices for single-game sales or concessions and don't control many of the parking lots around Staples Center.

Tim Ryan, chief operating officer of the Ducks and chief executive of the company that manages the Honda Center, said the idea of holding prices was brought up three months ago and grew in scope.

"The last thing we wanted to do was freeze season seat prices and have people say, 'Oh, they're going to raise individual or group ticket prices.' And the last thing we wanted people to say was, 'Oh yeah, they're going to ding you on hot dogs and beer and raise the parking to $20,' " he said.

A freeze on merchandise prices will depend partly on whether suppliers raise their prices, Ryan said.

Not raising ticket prices is a significant decision for NHL clubs. They rely heavily on gate receipts because TV rights fees and licensing revenue are smaller than those generated in the NFL, NBA and MLB. "Given all the challenges that we face with the economy right now, we simply said it's the right thing to do," Ryan said.

Chris McGowan, the Kings' chief marketing officer, praised the Ducks: "It's a good thing. I applaud that. In these economic times it's good that an organization can do that type of thing. It's pretty smart."

However, that doesn't mean the Kings will match it. "We're taking it one decision at a time," McGowan said.

The Kings control prices at six parking lots for season-ticket holders. The prices will decrease in four lots, stay the same in one and rise in one. "Our parking landscape changes every year because of development in the area," he said.

Decisions on food and beverage prices will be made in concert with concessionaire Levy's Restaurants, McGowan said. Single-game pricing is usually announced in August.

The Kings, who haven't made the playoffs since 2001-02, raised some ticket prices after last season and decreased others, resulting in a 5.66% "blended" increase this season. The Ducks raised season-ticket prices an average of 6.8% over 2007-08 and raised individual game prices an average of 7.2%.

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helene.elliott@latimes.com

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