The Pittsburgh Penguins made what might be the most fan friendly and owner savvy move in post-NHL lockout history. They decided to give all fans attending the first four home games at the CONSOL Energy Center, three free food vouchers each as well as 50% off on all merchandise in the teams Pro Shop.
This is the first real move by an NHL team to say, "Hey fans, sorry about the lockout, we messed up, here's a small gesture showing we care about you." Instead of a hollow, league wide PR move like back in '04-05, this is a personal apology to the fans of Pittsburgh by their owner.
So now it's Jeremy Jacobs turn.
The fans here in Boston have grown to hate Jacobs. He was one of the leading forces in locking out the players as Chairman of the Board of the NHL's Board of Governors. What he needs to do is make the fans feel like they're more than just numbers in his monopoly way of life. Throw them a bone, one up your Eastern Conference foes and give fans vouchers for the first five home games of the season and 60% off on all merchandise in the Bruins Pro Shop.
It's not like Jacobs is in a pinch for money either. He owns concessions at over 200 venues worldwide putting his net worth, according to Forbes, at $2.7 billion. Not only does that make him one of the richest majority owners in the NHL, but also ranks him in the top 225 of richest people in the United States.
The hit he would take in the pocket would be so outweighed by the good praise he would receive by the fans and media, that if he didn't do this, he'd be stupid. In a sports market where owners like Bob Kraft helped end the NFL lockout, Wyc Grousbeck sits court side at almost every Celtics game and even John Henry, helped remake Fenway Park into a stadium no one around here could have imagine 10 years ago, Jacobs needs his claim to fame.
This would be his, "Hey Bruins fans, I'm sorry for everything and this is what I'm going to do to show it", moment. This is his last chance at making any sort of peace with this fan base.
So for once Mr. Burns, ahem... sorry, Jeremy Jacobs, think about the fans and what we went through instead of filling your pockets with more cash than you could every dream of spending.