Story by 89 WLS Web Writer Kim Rasmussen
(CHICAGO) Blackhawks fans travel well. Watch any out-of-town broadcasts of Blackhawks games and you're sure to see plenty of Chicago jerseys in the crowd.
Nashville has been a popular destination for Hawks fans. Between the live music, numerous bars and cheap ticket prices, it's hard for a traveling fan to go wrong.
However, the Predators don't want to see any more red jerseys in their building. In a report posted on Section 303, the Predators have implemented a new ticketing policy aimed at keeping Chicago fans away.
Nashville unveiled the "Keep the Red Out" campaign when the Predators took on the Red Wings in the opening round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now, they are looking to add the Blackhawks to the mix.
“For Blackhawks games, we want to make sure that we preserve this building as much as we can for those who live in Smashville,” Predators President and Chief Operating Officer Sean Henry said.
"What it’s going to do by forcing another game is we’ll almost direct it toward people that live in the general area, for the most part. And (for the pre-sale) only those in the zip codes that we unlock can buy the Blackhawk game and a second game. So we’re breaking down every barrier we can to Keep the Red Out.”
If a Nashville trip is a necessary part a Blackhawks fan's schedule, they can purchase tickets to two Predators games. Unusable or extra tickets may be donated to the military.
“They’re going to have to earn it,” Henry said. “And they’re going to help us continue to grow our roster by building our (revenue at the) gate. It’s that simple. In the end, we’re building something pretty special. If we have to do it off the backs of their fans a little bit, I’m not apologizing for it."
While this may be a good idea for the Predators organization and Nashville fans, it remains to be seen how businesses that thrive on tourism will view the 'not welcome' mat the Predators are laying out.
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