NHL ice hockey franchise the Buffalo Sabres has hiked season tickets by an average of 2.5% for the 2020-21 season, despite suffering a poor record at the 19,200-seat KeyBank Center.

The team added 15 new price points to its ticketing scale to bring the total to 30, in a move designed to make fans pay more to sit closer to the action, the Buffalo News reports.

The Sabres also states that 10 price points will see a decrease, including some seats in the 100 level, however fans across social media have complained about the hikes as the franchise looks close to facing its ninth playoff drought.

Increases will occur in most areas on the side of the arena where the Sabres shoot twice, as well as seats along the glass. Seats in the 200 level range from $106 to $129 per game, while the 100-level seats will cost between $53 and $95.50 per game. The 300 level will cost between $24 and $57.40 per game.

One fan said on Twitter: “9th time in 10 years they’ve raised price. They don’t care about us anymore. This organisation has fallen far from what it once was.”

In addition to price hikes, season ticket holders will receive two-per-cent back on SabreBucks cards, down from 2.5 per cent this season. The gift cards allow for easy purchases made within KeyBank Center at the ticket office, Sabres team store, Lexus Club, and at concession areas.

Kevyn Adams, the Sabres’ vice president of business administration, said: “It’s important to start with the fact the whole building was rescaled and when we got advice from the National Hockey League and looked at markets across the league, best practices, we internally made the decision to use our analytic department to speak to us and give us the data back.

“That’s how we got here. I think the biggest part is now we have 30 different options for our fans and season ticket holders. We can find the right seat for everybody and we wanted to make sure we listened to our fans and gave them options. It’s consistent with what the rest of the league is doing and that’s an important part of this.”

Sabres season tickets are among the cheapest in the NHL with the average season ticket price being the fourth lowest in the league, behind the Florida Panthers, Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche.

Buffalo ranked 20th in average attendance with 17,908, almost 800 fewer tickets sold per game than last season and the franchise’s lowest mark since the 2005-06 season.

Image: Lisa Gansky