The Sabres have a lot of tickets to sell in a short amount of time. Their season-ticket and mini-pack holders took care of a record number of them Sunday.
The Sabres sold 31,213 tickets to set a single-day record, excluding the day Winter Classic tickets for 71,000-seat Ralph Wilson Stadium went on sale. The previous mark, set over a two-day sales period, was 11,170 tickets.
"With the uncertainty surrounding the schedule and the timing of the start of hockey, we didn’t know what to expect," Sabres President Ted Black said in a statement. "However, Sunday’s ticket sales took us by surprise and, frankly, blew us away."
Though the Sabres have some uncertainty as to how fans will respond post-lockout, it's no surprise they had such great one-day success.
All mini-packs sold prior to the lockout were voided. The ticket-sale window for those who kept their money with the Sabres during the work stoppage (which was nearly everyone) opened Sunday. Each mini-pack consists of at least four games and as many as 24, so every ticket holder purchased multiple games.
Because mini-pack tickets went on sale to the general public this morning, prior ticket-holders had only one day to buy to secure the best seats.
Also, full season-ticket holders and members of the Blue and Gold season-ticket waiting list were given a presale opportunity Sunday to buy individual game tickets.
The Sabres had a season-ticket renewal rate of 99 percent for the 2012-13 season, with the number of tickets capped at 15,400 per game. There are more than 3,000 people on the waiting list.
There is an additional single-game presale today for Sabres Insiders and social media followers. Individual game tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Capacity in First Niagara Center is 19,070. Based on the season-ticket count, that left 3,670 seats available for each of the 24 home games prior to the presales. The first game is Sunday when Philadelphia visits at 12:30 p.m.
"The extraordinary fan response makes us humble, grateful and even more committed to our core mission," Black said. "We can’t wait to drop the puck before a full house."