The Maine Mariners, Portland’s new ECHL team, reveal their new logo on the scoreboard at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland in Nov. 2017. (Portland Press Herald file photo)
Individual game tickets for the upcoming Maine Mariners ECHL hockey season go on sale Monday afternoon — precisely at 2:07 in a nod to the state’s area code — at prices nearly the same for the final season of the departed Portland Pirates.
Adults arriving on the day of a game paid $20 for seats behind either goal to watch the Pirates in their 2015-16 American Hockey League season, before the team was sold and moved to Springfield, Massachusetts. There were no discounts for children.
Adults arriving at Cross Insurance Arena on the day of a Mariners game next month will also pay $20, although kids 12-and-under can get in for $14. Buying seats at least a day ahead of the game drops the prices to $18 and $10.
A little over a year ago, at a press conference announcing Comcast Spectacor’s purchase of a faltering ECHL franchise from Anchorage and plans to move it to Portland, the chair of the board of trustees for the arena, Mitch Berkowitz, had this to say about the new owners’ pricing plans:
“Their expectations are that ticket prices will be on the low side of the teens, not the high side of the teens. If you’re talking about a family of four coming out for an evening, you want to be able to get them through the door and buy basic refreshments and still go home not having to visit the ATM and then taking on debt.”
Berkowitz is no longer on the board and instead serves as interim town manager for both Jackman, Maine and Gorham, New Hampshire, while those towns seek permanent replacements.
Adam Goldberg, vice president of business operations for the Mariners, said the team’s goal was to have comparable or lower pricing than that of the Pirates and, “I think we are.”
Goldberg also pointed out single-game ticket prices for the nearest ECHL teams, in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Manchester, New Hampshire. Manchester and Portland each have three price tiers, depending on seating location, with $26, $24 and $20 for the Monarchs and $28, $22 and $20 for the Mariners. Worcester has six tiers ranging from a high of $30 to a low of $15.
“They have some nosebleed seats that are lower,” Goldberg said of the Railers, “but I don’t think they’re comparable to us. We’re comfortable where we are in relation to the Pirates two years ago and to other teams in our area.”
The main message Goldberg said he hopes to get across to fans looking for the best price is either to purchase a ticket package — options include full-season, half-season, 10-game flex and a special five-game plan that includes opening night and all four specialty-jersey promotions — or buy single-game tickets at least a day ahead of time. He also noted that the team offers a discount of two dollars to seniors, students and members of the military who show their identification when purchasing tickets at the arena’s box office.
The Mariners open their inaugural season Oct. 13 at Cross Insurance Arena. A family four-pack option for Saturday home dates is offered for $72 and includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four drinks, four bags of chips and four pucks.
“I feel like the strength of our team is going to be our game presentation and our family-friendliness moving forward,” Goldberg said. “I think the prices are going to be justified. It’s going to be good value.”
He did not rule out tweaking prices or packages in future seasons.