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Heritage Classic: BC Place nearly ready but tickets not in high demand

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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Ticket sales for Saturday's Stadium Series game in Chicago have been very hot as the Soldier Field game draws nearer. The same can't be said for the final Stadium Series game, which will be played Sunday, the Heritage Classic in Vancouver.

The game, which will be played "outdoors" at Vancouver's BC Place between the Canucks and Ottawa Senators, hasn't been the mega-hit on the ticket market that other games, most notably Chicago, have been.

As the Province notes, they aren't sold out to capacity. Yet.

Amid reports of giveaways and deep discounting for tickets, the NHL's executive vice-president events Don Renzulli said in a media briefing on Wednesday that about 90 per cent of the tickets for the game had been sold and that he was confident the venue would be full for the game. Renzulli couldn't supply an exact number for the arena's capacity for the one-off event, saying it was somewhere between 52,000 and 53,000.

According to secondary market ticket broker site Seat Geek, the game isn't an extremely hot ticket there, either. The average ticket price of $162 is the second lowest of any of the outdoor games this NHL season, ahead of only Rangers-Islanders on a Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Another ticket broker local to Vancouver told the Province that more people are looking to sell their tickets, not buy. He lamented the selection of the Senators as the opponent, saying pretty much any other Canadian team would have been a better choice. But too late for that now obviously.

When the game rolls around, the seats probably will be all filled, even if some strings have to be pulled to make it happen. It doesn't mean that the well is drying up on outdoor hockey, but it might be the perfect confluence of factors to keep demand down, including the fact that BC Place is barely more outdoors than the Canucks' usual home, Rogers Arena, even if the roof opens in the middle.

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