Buffalo Sabres fans apparently have already started growing weary of the team's rebuilding effort this season.
The Sabres failed to sell out Thursday's 4-1 loss to Columbus, selling 18,210 tickets out of 19,070. Most of those fans were out the door by the second intermission, at which point the Sabres had already assumed their three-goal deficit.
The secondary market is chock full of tickets to upcoming home games, too – and at a deep discount. StubHub users can get tickets to Monday's game against Minnesota for $18.50; the box office prices go up from $31. Tickets to any game for the next month can easily be had for $35 or less. Facebook users in Buffalo can probably find tickets for even less – or for nothing – as fans simply don't want to put themselves through the misery.
Granted, this is still far better than some markets. New York Islanders fans – whose team made the playoffs – can see their team host the Sabres later this month for as little as $6. But it is a sign of what could be a rough season at the box office for the Sabres. Fans are patient, but an 0-4-1 start that's seen the Sabres show little fight offensively will do nothing to bring people into the First Niagara Center.
The Sabres traditionally sell out 90 percent or more of their games. Don't look for the team to come close to that mark in 2013-14. The season ticket base remains strong – there's a waiting list in the thousands – but those fans will have to endure a brutal present to hopefully see those tickets pay off in the future.
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