Though hockey fans (particularly those in Texas) are sweating out the dog days of summer, a hint of relief arrived Thursday like the first whisper of a cool fall breeze. With two press releases, the Dallas Stars offered proof that the next NHL season is just around the corner.
Individual Game Ticket Sales
First, a team release stated individual game tickets for all 2015-16 regular season Stars home contests will go on sale to the public at 10:00 a.m. Central on Monday, August 10. The team will again utilize a variable pricing structure, designating games as Value, Standard or Premium. Stars tickets will also be subject to demand-based dynamic pricing, so prices for a particular game will rise as the ticket supply drops. What this means is that fans who prefer to live their lives one game at a time should prepare to pay considerably more for, say, a Saturday night tilt with the Chicago Blackhawks than a Tuesday night visit from the Carolina Hurricanes.
For fans seeking cost certainty, the club offers full-season tickets, two half-season ticket packages, and four different ten-game plans. (Full disclosure: I own a half-season ticket package, as I find the benefits (low fixed pricing for all games, no extra fees, and the same seats for every game) to numerous to pass up.) Though several hundred ticket plans remain, sales have picked up since the Stars signed winger Patrick Sharp and defenseman Johnny Oduya. For example, on July 23, the team website indicated 504 ten-game “Green” ticket plans were still available. As of August 6, that number had dropped to 263. With single-game tickets going on sale Monday, available season-seat packages will rapidly disappear.
Training Camp Schedule
The Stars’ second press release of the day provided details of the team’s training camp, which will be held September 18-22 in Cedar Park, home of the Texas Stars, Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate. Players will report to Stars headquarters in Frisco on Thursday, September 17, for physicals, but camp officially opens in Cedar Park at 9:30 a.m. the next day when the first group of players and prospects steps onto the ice.
The first day of camp features three 90-minute sessions. Apparently, Stars management anticipates making several cuts on Day One, as subsequent camp days feature just two on-ice sessions. Thus, many would-be Dallas Stars, young men who have been playing hockey since they were four or five years old, will have a mere 90 minutes to show Jim Nill and his staff they’ve got what it takes to play in the NHL this year. No pressure, guys.
Friday night, the Stars will celebrate the coming season with a party for their fans at The Domain, an upscale outdoor mall in Austin. Between music sets at the party, several members of the organization will take to the stage for a question and answer session. The last time the Stars hosted a party, this happened:
Let’s just admit it now: the Stars aren’t going to top that. The party is free, however, and a great way to celebrate the upcoming season. What else are you going to do on a sultry September evening in Austin?
After two days of practice and player evaluations, the third day of camp will feature an intrasquad scrimmage. While all practice sessions are free and open to the public, tickets are required for Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. contest (and are complimentary to both Texas and Dallas Stars season ticket holders). If you’re still not sold on season seats, you can buy tickets to the scrimmage at the Cedar Park Center box office or through Ticketmaster.
Tuesday, September 22, is the last day of training camp and the date of the Stars’ first preseason game. The team will still be divided into two units at that time, so the “game group” will have a morning skate in Cedar Park before jetting to Fort Lauderdale for a 6:30 p.m. puck drop against the Florida Panthers. While one group heads to the airport, the other will take to the ice for a final skate in Cedar Park, then climb aboard a Frisco-bound bus, where they’ll continue preparing for the 2015-16 NHL campaign.
Matt blogged about all things hockey at On Goal Analysis/The OGA Blogs from 2008-2014 and has written several travel articles for The Dallas Morning News. He began covering the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers for The Hockey Writers in August 2015. Matt is also writing a biography of “Tex” Rickard, the Texas cowboy who founded the New York Rangers and the Madison Square Garden Corporation.