Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hey! We Didn't Have a Fan Fest!

(*Dr. David & Marty St. Louis)
In 2004, when I won the NHL 7th Man Competition for the NY Islanders, the original 7th Man Award winner from 2003 tried to bring all 60 contest winners together. Some of the winners enjoyed the email banter; some didn’t want to be bothered.

For some reason the winner of the Bolts competition and I just seemed to hit it off. Maybe it’s because we have a love of not just of hockey but also of food and wine. Maybe it’s because we’ve been married a few times. Maybe it’s just because we were the oldest in the group and needed to stick together, but we’ve been e-mail buddies ever since.

Dr. David Lubin is not just an avid hockey fan; he is a physician, an inventor, a professional photographer, a well respected writer and a minor TV personality down there in Tampa Bay. Considering how much adverse press the ownership of the Bolts are getting (and thank you for taking the heat off the Islanders for a little while. I do appreciate it!) I decided to ask him a few questions regarding how the fans felt. Here’s a little Q&A so you can see that as hockey fans, we are all long suffering in one way or another.

1) There was a recent Fan Fest, was Fan Fest open to the public or only Season ticket holders?
It was open earlier to season ticket holders but to the public later. They said attendance was upwards of over 9,000.

2) In the light of the ownership unrest, what was the "corporate" presence there? Did it seem as if the marketing dept was trying to do damage control?
GM Lawton addressed the crowd with a Q & A session. The general feeling is that Koules will make a better owner and hopefully he'll buy Barrie out. He has been rumored to be having financial problems with a resort property in British Columbia. I don't think corporate presence dampened the excitement there for the coming year.

3) You decided to buy season tickets again. What made you change your mind to spring for them again?
Who could hate two season tickets in the 3 rd level for a total of $600, including taxes and fees? They also kept Vinnie and picked up Victor Hedman (whom I wanted David!!!) and Tanguay (whom everyone else wanted!), Mike Smith, they claim, is healthy post concussion, so if they all STAY healthy, then it should be a good year...on paper anyway. But then again, it can't get much worse than the last two years. I didn't really change my mind. I had cheap season tickets last year, but can't say that I went often due to the bad season.

4) How do you think the players handled the interaction with the fans in this time of unrest?
I don't think the fans or players are reflecting the "unrest" you keep mentioning. They interacted great, signed autographs for hours and had meet and greets with fans. Hockey players are probably the friendliest and most approachable in any sport. There was also a game with the Tampa Police to raise money for a cop who played on the police team and was recently killed in action. They auctioned off their jerseys from the game to raise more money. I bid on Andreychuk, but was outbid in the final minutes.

*(The raising of the cup banner. A thing of beauty)
5) You were there when they raised the Stanley Cup banner; you know how proud this franchise can be. Do you think it can ever get to that point again? And how?
Of course, they can, they just have to win more games than any other team...Geesh, Dee.

So as Islanders fans we can see a few things to get our panties in a bunch. First off, they already had a fan fest. BOO!!! Where’s ours? Secondly, do we have ANY pairs of tickets that are full season for $600 for the pair? Also, I was drawn into the marketing concept of “Together We Will.” It just brings you into the team with them. We need something like that, don’t you think?
*(I'm sorry...but Vinny is HOT!)
Thanks Dr. David for the comments, the great shots and as usual, the parting shot at me.


David Lubin said...

Dee, thanks for the great comments. I couldn't have done better myself. Good luck this year and I look forward to our usual friendly competition. I really think this should be the year that gets us back into the playoffs. And for a nice bottle of red, give Menage a Trois a try.

~me said...

finally dr dave....


good article/interview dee!

Travechic59 said...

Dee, many teams have Fan Fests. Chicago has one of the most popular and well attended. I am quite surprised the Islanders don't host one as they keep mentioning how they strive to be the most "fan friendly" team in the league. I would think hosting one of these would go a long way toward reaching that goal.