While outlets from Toronto mocked the Buffalo Sabres new ticket policy, one Pittsburgh-based network had kinder words for the Blue and Gold.
Those hailing from Toronto Maple Leafs territory aren’t the only ones talking about the Buffalo Sabres new policy on who can and can’t get first dibs for tickets. Dave Molinari of Pittsburgh Hockey Now also chimed in on the issue, but they instead were far more understanding.
Molinari recalled the Washington Capitals trying something similar a few years back, but it didn’t work anywhere near as well as the organization hoped. However, the Caps also weren’t limiting first rights to tickets for those living in and around the DC area, and that’s the main contrast between their ill-fated plan and what the Sabres are doing.
With Buffalo’s plan, the only opposing fans getting early access to games at KeyBank Center must be living somewhere in Western New York. Molinari also cited one big number that could give us all hope that this policy will work in the Blue and Gold’s favor. Here is what they said on the issue:
"“The franchise clearly is on an upward trajectory, however, and the Sabres’ lineup is studded with outstanding young talents like Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power, so there’s every reason to think that the league-high 55.7 percent bump in attendance Buffalo enjoyed in 2022-23 will continue.” – via Pittsburgh Hockey Now"
One Pittsburgh understands Buffalo Sabres ticket policy
While we still saw a lot of opposing fans at KeyBank Center in 2022-23, they weren’t entirely responsible for that 55.7% increase Molinari cited in their piece. Instead, a better hockey team rekindled interest, especially when the Sabres found themselves playing meaningful games late in the year that didn’t involve winning a higher draft lottery slot.
Therefore, if I were to make a prediction right now, it’s that you will see a lot of fans donning Buffalo Sabres merchandise at KeyBank Center this season, be it against the Penguins, the Maple Leafs, or other teams whose fanbases love to travel. And the better the Sabres play this year, you can expect to see packed houses of blue and gold (and black and red) attire.