Monday, January 29, 2007

The shit hits the fan on Saturday... maybe

Our hockey team is having a meeting with the fans on Saturday:

Prior to Saturday night’s game against Long Beach, Wildcatters co-owner Rick Adams and Head Coach Malcolm Cameron will host a town hall meeting.  The question and answer session will take place inside the Ford Park Exhibit Hall from 6-6:30 p.m. this Saturday February 3.  Coach Cameron will be available from 6-6:15 p.m.

The event is open to all Wildcatters fans.  Fans will have the opportunity to ask the Wildcatters co-owner and Head Coach about the hockey team.  The Wildcatters are off to their best start in their three year history in Southeast Texas and are currently tied for first place in the American Conference.

I was thinking that this would be the time that the team would finally answer for all their problems that they've had this year... but the meeting's only half an hour, which is a great attempt by the team to not have to listen to too many complaints.

I've got plenty... the biggest one (at least for me) being all the emails that I (as well as others) have sent that went unanswered.

Thanks to Gmail's wonderful archiving feature, I still have the emails.... which you can see (along with some notes from me) below the fold. I'll do my best to make it all make sense to y'all, but it's basically copied and pasted from an email I sent to a reporter from the local rag a month ago when he was looking into the story.

There still hasn't been a story run about it, so I'm putting it out there for everybody now.

When I mention Steve, I'm referring to Stephen A. Samoyedny, the team's Assistant GM and my ticket rep with the team.

I'll start with the first one I sent to Steve the night of the "season ticket holder meet and greet" where only two or three players showed up. It didn't receive a response.

To: Steve S.
Subject: Buddy passes, Merch. discounts, and that thing y'all called a STH meet and greet
Date: Oct 23, 2006 11:28 PM


From the STH benefits page:

- WILDCATTERS BUDDY PASSES (receive one buddy pass per ticket and bring a friend to a game)

I don't see one in the package...


- 5% MERCHANDISE VOUCHER (receive 5% of your total season ticket purchase in free merchandise!)

says nothing about requiring a purchase of any minimum amount, as the vouchers that were included say. It should be $20 (well $21.60 to be exact in my case) off PERIOD, not requiring a minimum purchase.

Not to mention the piss-poor excuse for a season ticket holder meet and greet where not even half the team showed up and there were no perks whatsoever (free food and/or drinks, etc.). One of the players I talked to said they didn't even know about it until sometime today. Hell, from what I heard, the meet and greet for the general public was better.

These are the kind of things that weigh on my mind when I decide if I'm going to renew my package for next year. Based on what I've seen now, it's not looking good.
Justin Yarbrough

Nobody ever accused me of not being someone who jumps straight to the point...

As I said, I never got a response to this one, but most of the issues were addressed in a later email. I'll go into those explanations after I the emails I got them in response to.

On to the next email. I'd seen Steve walking to my seat at the season opener and had told him that I wanted to have a talk with him, but never had the chance so I sent this one his way.

To: Steve S.
Subject: Since we never had that little talk...
Date: Oct 31, 2006 12:25 PM


Since we never had that talk at the game Saturday night you can explain why I never got a response to the email I sent last week here.

And in addition you can tell me why we didn't have the STH parking area that we've always had on Saturday *and* how you're going to get it back.

Last week's email is below for reference.

I await your response this time too.... ~Justin

[The last email was down here]

Just to clarify, there was no season ticket holder parking set up at the opener.

I got a response to this one the next day where Steve more or less said he wasn't ignoring my emails and that he'd get back to me after he looked into a few things. Naturally, he never did.

At the next game, we did have an area roped off, but it was different than we'd had in years past. It was farther from the arena. The suite lot had been enlarged, pushing us farther back.

Anyways.... on to the one email where I actually got a decent response. Jennifer Nguyen (the team's GM) had sent out an email to all of the season ticket holders on December 1, during that two-week, 7 game road trip, looking for us to pressure the media to give them more coverage.

That set me off. I mean. they don't do ANYTHING to address my concerns but want me to help get out the word? No way I was gonna do that.

Here's my reply to her, which I sent to a couple other people in the organization who are listed below. Yes, the email even had the bold and links that are showing.

To: Jennifer Nguyen, Steve S., (an account with our owner's name on it)
Subject: Re: Lack of Media Coverage for First Place Wildcatters
Date: Dec 1, 2006 10:44 AM

When the season started, I would blog about how the team's doing on both my personal blog and one that I write for that's sponsored by the Enterprise. I stopped doing that a few weeks ago because I, a season ticket holder, have gotten tired of being treated like crap this year.

If I was to post anything about the team or send anything to any of the local media outlets it certainly wouldn't be about the team being in first place.

It'll be about how the season ticket holder parking lot has SHRUNK and been moved FARTHER AWAY from the arena to accommodate the suite-holders, whose lot is never full.
It'll be about the "Wildcatters buddy passes" which we were promised and never got.

It'll be about the 5% "merchandise voucher" that y'all are requiring us to purchase a certain amount of merchandise to receive when it was implied that no purchase amount would be necessary.

It'll be about the nonexistent season ticket holder Saturdays

It'll be about the season ticket holder meet and greet that Coach Cam and many of the players were not at.

It'll be about all the times that Steve never got back to me about my gripes when he said he would.

If you want all that to get out to the media, then fine. If not, you might want to make sure that we're happy before you ask for our help again. NOTHING can help season ticket holder sales more than a season ticket holder with a lot of good things to say and nothing can hurt  them more than a season ticket holder who's unhappy and is willing to shout it from the mountaintop.
Right now you've got a lot of us that fall in that second category, something I'd want to change if I had your job.

I could always call up my buddies at Channel 6 and the Enterprise and pass these concerns on to them.

About an hour later I had a long-winded response from Steve.
Here's what all I was told:

  • The parking situation had been resolved so that we had the parking area closest to the box office, which turned out to be a flat-out lie. The situation didn't change one bit. When I asked Steve what the deal was that Thursday, he acted as surprised as I was. Jenny then told me that they were in the process of working with SMG to get it changed. It's still not changed.
  • I was told that the buddy passes "are being printed right now." I never actually got my hands on a pass but I did get my free ticket to a game a couple weeks ago.
  • I found out that the merchandise coupons in the back of our ticket books were in addition to our promised voucher and that the merchandise booth had a list of all the season ticket holders and how much they were eligible to receive in free merchandise and that the coupons in the back were included because they felt that was better than having four blank tickets in the back of our books. That's the first I'd heard of that, but it checked out.
  • I was told that the meet and greet they had in October, which they pretty much billed as a meet and greet, was meant more as just an avenue for us to come and pick up our tickets and that a true meet and greet would be scheduled later. The event still has yet to be scheduled.

There was a lot of "I'm sorry" in that email... something I've heard from them a lot this year.

Oh, and if anybody in the local media wants to pick this up LIKE THE ENTERPRISE MADE ME BELIEVE THEY WOULD BUT DIDN'T then get ahold of me via email at and I'll send you my cell number and we can talk.

Crossposted to Through our eyes

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