Stillman’s Support Brings Hope for the St. Louis Blues
With the season opener only a few hours away, fans are wondering about the outlook for the 2015-2016 St. Louis Blues season. Blues owner, Tom Stillman, is proving his impact and optimism through communication and support for the Blues and St. Louis.
Stillman, along with the other members of the 100% local ownership group, bought the Blues for $120 million in 2012. Since then, the Blues have gone from the least valuable team in the league to 25th out of 30, with a 27% overall value change last year, and made three consecutive playoff appearances. Even though the Blues’ payroll ranks in the bottom ten in the league, the last four seasons they have accumulated 389 regular season points – more than any other NHL team.
While the Blues still have a long way to go financially, Stillman is optimistic in the level of stability, stating in an article by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, “We’re much more stable than we were two years ago. We have to continue to grow that for a few reasons. One of them is that the salary cap is going to continue to be the rabbit we’re chasing. We have to continue to grow to keep up so we can put a really competitive team on the ice.”
Blues fans are also optimistic and showing their support, which is evident in season ticket increases, and attendance went up almost 6% last year.
St. Louis Blues Attendance
The Blues’ marketing efforts have also had a direct impact on fan retention, and although they have one of the poorest local television deals, partnering with local agencies has helped them keep their sense of community in St. Louis. This focus on community and fan relationships is what Stillman believes is keeping engagement up. “We show our appreciation to season ticket holders, suite holders and sponsors. They are involved in a lot of special events, access to the team, things like that. There’s a new emphasis for us. We’ve done a lot of great work on developing more proprietary content, videos and things that bring people a lot closer to the team and behind the scenes.”
In addition to the recent on-ice regular season success, it’s Stillman’s involvement in events such as the annual Blues Ice Breaker, and appearances at games throughout the season, that shows fans that the Blues are worth believing in.