The Sharks. They've made a whole host of changes this summer. But I refer not solely to the roster additions of Brent Burns, Martin Havlat, Colin White, or Jim Vandermeer, etc. They've jacked up the price of season tickets by a greater margin than before. Since the lockout, the price of as season ticket has been steadily climbing by a dollar each year. The cheapest season ticket last year was $19 per game. This year, it is $23 per game. $4 per game! Snap! The Shark Tank has also gotten a whole new set of boards, replete with clear stanchions and gaudy, electronic advertising boards, with one glaring omission: Round Table Pizza.
The Sharks have lost their promotion from Round Table, which was always popular with me! "Four in the net, pizza you get!" I know it so well. This promotion has been around since the beginning and now it's gone. The reason is that Round Table has been deprived of its position as the sole pizza vendor within the HP Pavilion. One of the new food vendors moving into the Tank this year is Amici's East Coast Pizzeria, which is a sponsor of the Sharks' radio broadcast.
This completely sucks. Round Table has done this promotion forever and even stuck through it when it seemed like the Sharks were averaging 5 goals per game. There were whole stretches of 2008 where I was downright sick of pizza. All they did was tweak the promotion so that the personal pizza is free with a purchase, which could be a soda. The Round Table nearest to me would consider an additional topping a purchase, so I could continue to get personal-sized pizza from them for under fifty cents! I'm not planning on buying any Amici's pizza this year. Unless they have a really good pizza margherita! I still kind of resent how expensive pizza is everywhere, so white-tablecloth pizza makes me uneasy.
But that's not the only promotion missing this year. Bad Boys Bail Bonds will not be advertising in the penalty boxes. And, in what Bad Boys indicates is a retaliation for them dropping their sponsorship, HP Pavilion has instituted a new rule: patrons will no longer be allowed to promote "other entities." Bad Boys has long held four highly-visible, front-row seats directly behind the Sharks' bench, which are invariably occupied by big people wearing Bad Boys Bail Bonds t-shirts. They were distracting, annoying, and an affront to the paying advertisers, so I'm happy to see them go. The broadness of the ban on promotions is sketchy simply because every damn thing anybody wears in this day and age has some advertisement on it, but I don't anticipate any annoyances outside of Bad Boys trying to make this into a first-amendment issue. Fuck them. They should be wearing Sharks jerseys, just like everybody else!