When your NHL team draws more fans to an away game than it does to its home games, it's time for a marketing ploy.
The Florida Panthers announced yesterday afternoon that they're starting the "Red Zone" for Cats fans, with "the promise that no visiting fans are allowed."
The Panthers are big on publicity stunts to try getting hockey fans into Sunrise's BankAtlantic Center, and none of them really seems to stick.
The fans-only sections have been a staple of college sports for years, but the Panthers are also missing the point that collegiate football games are typically loaded with drunken coeds who would likely be at the game anyway.
However, we have to give the Panthers' suits credit for the loyalty on this one.
Last season, the team gave ticket deals to people who were fans of the Philadelphia Flyers or the Montreal Canadiens when the Panthers faced the teams at BankAtlantic Center.
The Habs faithful will show up at just about any arena in the league anyway, so it was kind of embarrassing for the team to give opponents' fans incentives to come to Panthers home games.
They have also tried to cash in on the LeBron James hype and were also willing to give tickets to everyone in the entire state who could legally drive a vehicle.
One potential drawback to the new promotion is that you can't buy single-game tickets -- it has to be part of a package -- but the seats are good. The "Red Zone" runs on the lower level from sections 105-114, which curves around behind one of the nets.
The team has added some new players, including Ed Jovanovski, so you ought to check out at least a couple of games next season, even if you're not loyal enough to sit in the awesome section.
Click here for the rest of the information on the "Red Zone."
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