But apparently, it’s more than just a clever hashtag.
You can click the image to enlarge it, but the note regarding the November 2nd game between the Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins reads:
“Sales to this event will be restricted to residents within 100 miles of Columbus, Ohio. Residency is based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside of this area will be canceled without notice and refunds given. Tickets for this game will be available to those outside of this area beginning Thursday, August 30 at 12:01pm.”
Blue Jackets fans should be pleased to see this.
You may recall that in 2010, Penguins fans somehow managed to get hold of a pass code that allowed them to buy discounted tickets before they were made available to the public.
They inundated the arena. They rode the zambonis. They chanted, canoodled on the Kiss-Cam, and then kidnapped Boomer, who hasn’t been seen since.
(I may have made that last part up.)
Yes, their money money is green, but Blue Jackets management is doing the right thing by trying to ensure that visiting fans don’t get first crack at buying tickets.
And it’s more than just the symbolism that’s important here. Former Jackets defenseman Marc Methot recently noted that there were occasionally times when home ice advantage wasn’t much of an advantage in Columbus.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I have the utmost respect for the fans there,” he told Bruce Garrioch. “It’s just sometimes during the week we wouldn’t get a packed house and we’d be playing a team like Chicago or Detroit and it sounded like half the building were from those markets or were fans of the other team. We were losing a lot of games, people weren’t happy and it wasn’t a great atmosphere.”
Fish and house guests may smell after three days, as the saying goes, but it takes a whole lot less than three periods for some visitors to wear out their welcome.