Lightning season-ticket sales are down compared with the same time last year. But a surge during a period that team spokesman Bill Wicket characterized as generally "dead, dead, dead" for sales has the team looking up.
As of Monday, Tampa Bay had sold the equivalent of 9,800 season tickets, down from 11,000 a year ago, Wickett said. But the 4,100 packages sold since July 1, which was shortly after OK Hockey took ownership, dwarfed the 1,800 Wickett said were sold last year from July 1-Sept. 1.
"Once (OK Hockey) had a chance to get its message out, we were able to get something done," Wickett said.
Finishing out of the playoffs for the first time in five seasons had a negative effect on season-ticket sales, which Wicket said totaled 13,000-plus last season. Generally, the best deals on playoff tickets are tied to purchasing season tickets for the next season. Without that marketing tool, Wickett said, the Lightning's base on July 1 was 5,700, compared with 9,200 a year earlier.
"It put us in a hole," Wickett said. "We're still in it, but we're starting to climb out."
Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer