Price of Popularity : Kings Are Forcing Longtime Fans to Give Up Seats or Pay Top Dollar

There are some die-hard King fans, people who remember the team before Wayne Gretzky, who are balking at the price of success. You can locate them in Section 31, Rows M-S. That is, that’s where they’ll be until next season.

These folks, some of whom have been moved three times as the Forum’s Senate Seat program has consumed their season-ticket sections, have been notified that the program is stirring again. They received letters last week notifying them that Section 31 is about to be Senatized, converted to high-dollar tickets for all-events seating.

Ron Mann, who has held season tickets since 1981 and shared seats for four seasons before that, says his alternative to further relocation is to pay $50 a seat per game, up from $25.

“This is unprecedented,” he says.


Mann, 38, organized a little protest among his Section 31 friends but admits the outlook for their cause is bleak.

“No loyalty,” he complains. “All those years of supporting a losing cause, we were the life-support system of the franchise. And now we’re being brushed aside for some corporation who’ll use the seats for a tax deduction.”

Mann and friends enjoyed their view of the game for years, even as the Senate program ate up section after section.

“Before Gretzky, the option of finding comparable seats was no problem,” he said.


They certainly were pleased to be in Section 31, even in their third relocation, as they had a seat “that was ideal for the sophisticated hockey fan.” The seats were near the corner, parallel with the goal line.

But now that Gretzky has inflated the value of King seats, and Forum seats in general, Section 31 is again on the move. Either up or out.