Canucks undermine scalpers by releasing late tickets to tonight's game against Avalanche

The era of ticket scalpers commanding big bucks for Canucks home games may be coming to a close.

With a few hours before tonight's match against the Colorado Avalanche at Rogers Arena, the Canucks brass has announced that a "limited number of tickets have just been released".

Either the Canucks are trying to kneecap the scalpers or the team is having trouble filling the house, given its inability to hold onto leads at home this year.

The Avalanche are no slouches, posting a 20-7 record so far this year under new coach Patrick Roy. So the team should be a decent draw.

Colorado rookie Nathan MacKinnon, the team's 18-year-old first-draft choice, has scored three goals in five games and will be making his first appearance at Rogers Arena.

The Avalanche are in sixth spot in the Western Conference; Vancouver is tied for eighth with the Phoenix Coyotes.

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Emile Att
The Canucks haven't done anything to try to reduce the number of scalped tickets. That they are releasing a limited number of tickets for tonight's game is only an indication of how little demand there is for the tickets (which, in the past, would have sold out by the end of September).
To see further evidence of this, look at prices on Craigslist and on the Ticketmaster/Canucks' Ticket Exchange service (Canucks season ticket holders can resell their tickets through Ticketmaster for a fee). They are much lower than the cheapest tickets being sold directly through the Canucks:
http://www.ticketsnow.com/NHL/InventoryBrowse/Vancouver-Canucks-Tickets-...
Cheapest seats from the Canucks are listed at $67.
There are $43 seats on Ticket Exchange.
The Canucks will still announce tonight's game as a sell out, but anyone who attends tonight will see lots of empty seats. Many of those will be scalpers' tickets that they weren't able to unload, but some of them will also surely be tickets that the Canucks weren't able to sell either. I suspect that shortly before puck drop, there's some way that the Canucks "donates" excess unsold inventory to various charitable organizations or the box office is able to "sell" the tickets to another department so that they can call it a sell out despite the fact that there will be a few thousand empty seats.
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