Editorials

As Chicago Blackhawks Struggle, The Secondary Ticket Market Follows

By Aaron Goldschmidt
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 19: A pair of tickets from Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 19, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 19: A pair of tickets from Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 19, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks may not be the hottest ticket in Chicago anymore, at least not as long as they’re playing like they have this season

The Dow Jones isn’t the only market that has been tanking recently.

As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, you could get into the United Center for $25 on StubHub to see the Chicago Blackhawks host the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.  After a long span of about a decade where ‘Hawks fans had to pony up at least $100 to sit in the upper level, the secondary market demand seems to have dissipated.

The Blackhawks are having a rough year, dealing with top players not producing, their star goaltender being injured and an overall lack of depth.  And after some lackluster performances at the United Center, ‘Hawks fans are deciding to stay home instead of paying the price of a championship product, then being disappointed.

President John McDonough has a big decision to make this year, especially if the Blackhawks don’t make the playoffs.  The team was thought to be set up as a perennial contender, like its longtime rival, the Detroit Red Wings. But a series of bad contracts and an inability to build through the draft has stopped the ‘Hawks’ momentum in its tracks.

Marketing efforts such as giving away jerseys to Metra riders before the season started or having flash mobs in the Daley Plaza were attempts to try to hold on to fans’ attention, but it ultimately comes down to the product on the ice.

It’s shocking that a team with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith is so mediocre.  But after 10 years of great hockey in Chicago, fans and the media can only resort to giving their stars a pass for their past success.

The ‘Hawks currently sit seven points out of a playoff spot, but would making the playoffs do any good?  Would anybody buy tickets to a first-round series against Vegas or Nashville assuming it would be a short series?

Blackhawks management is soon to find itself between a rock and a hard place when it’s realized this wave it has been riding has died out, and that there is no choice but to move on.  Everybody knows all good things come to an end, and most fans are grateful for this recent run.

Next: What Happens When Corey Crawford Returns?

The best thing the ‘Hawks can do is cut their losses and start revamping their depleted prospect pool.  As we all know, it takes a lot to win a Stanley Cup, and the Blackhawks just don’t have that depth anymore.  Or at least the ticket market thinks they don’t.

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