Tickets for Friday’s Edmonton Oilers watch party at Rogers Place for Game 2 of the series against the Ducks sold out in 30 minutes.
All 18,000 tickets available to watch the away game at the Oilers’ barn in Edmonton were snapped up after going on sale at 11 a.m. Thursday.
“Just incredible response,” said Stew MacDonald, vice president of revenue with the Oilers Entertainment Group. “We certainly should know not to be surprised as the passion of our fans, but just another illustration of how much they mean to the team and how much the team means to them.”
Tickets are just $5 but there are concerns they’re being resold at an inflated price online. Global News found tickets being sold for as high as $47 on Vivid Seats and $55 USD on StubHub.
Proceeds from the $5 ticket sales support the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and the OEG vows to protect that.
“If they are attempting to sell it above that, we are constantly looking on the marketplace for those,” MacDonald said.
“If we identify who you are, we can guarantee now that any future ticket purchases you have — either for this event or other Oilers’ events coming up — will be voided by Oilers Entertainment Group. So, you are taking significant risk.
“This event is a charity event, it’s intended for families to come out and enjoy Rogers Place at a very low price point and support local communities and it’s important to us that we protect the integrity of that,” MacDonald said.
He explained there’s a warning to anyone buying a watch party ticket that the tickets are not for resale.
“If someone is considering reselling, best they think not to do that.”
The OEG also has staff monitoring resale websites and identifying those trying to sell watch party tickets.
“We fully embrace fan-to-fan resale during our home games throughout the playoffs and year round, but when it comes to for-charity event that’s intended to drive families into Rogers Place, we’re going to do everything we can to protect the integrity of that and allow the maximum number of families to come,” MacDonald stressed.
Evan Renaerts tried to buy eight tickets to the Game 2 watch party as soon as they were released Friday morning. He is the manager of Community Supports for persons with disabilities and wanted to bring a group of clients to Rogers Place to experience the #OrangeCrush excitement firsthand.
At 11:03 a.m., his search for $5 tickets came up empty. He did, however, find tickets being resold for between $30 and $50 online.
“To be honest with you, I was actually quite angry,” Renaerts said. “I was angry that someone would take advantage. First of all, they have to have some kind of system to get more than eight tickets than me, as a typical paying customer on Ticketmaster.
“Someone who normally would never be able to go, had an opportunity and someone [else] came in and capitalized on someone’s disadvantage.”
“Lower-income people can’t afford to be able to go to these. This is a wonderful opportunity to show a world-class place like Rogers Place, have the kids get excited, be a part of the playoff frenzy. Now… I’ve already got families really disheartened that they can’t get their kids out to it.”
While the watch party at Rogers Place is sold out, there is still space in the Molson Hockey House and Ford Hall for fans who would like to watch Friday’s game on a giant LED screen. Access to Molson Hockey House is free of charge and available on a first-come, first-served basis. All guests must be 18 or older. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
In hopes of getting more fans into Rogers Place, the Oilers will be opening up Ford Hall. Families can watch Game 2 on the giant LED screen. Access is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We could potentially have over 22,000 people in the building to watch the game tomorrow,” OEG CEO Bob Nicholson said Thursday in Anaheim.
He believes the team gets pumped hearing how many fans fill Rogers Place to cheer them on even during away games.
“It was like the game was being played there. That’s exciting for the city, great for our brand, and the players watch that too. They’re hearing all the stories of that happening during the game, which is great.”
There is no seating for the events in Molson Hockey House nor Ford Hall.