Tonight is one of the just four promotional giveaway nights at the Garden. After getting a Jana Water magnetic schedule at the home opener, tonight the Rangers have their "New York Rangers 2009 Calendar Giveaway, presented by Capital One Bank." Unlike on the island or frankly many other NHL markets, giveaways at the Garden are rare events so we have to treasure them. Prior to the lockout there were the occasional hat or shirt nights but since then? Virtually nothing. Sure they give those paper thin towels during the playoffs (which are kinda useful to wash your car with) but that shouldn't count as they jack up the ticket prices so badly for those games that the least they could do is give away a rag.
To be fair, it is hard to judge if it is the Ranger management, their sales staff or the sponsors themselves who are failing us fans. Well, the management is failing us for so many reasons, but is this another one of them? Are they refusing to have more giveaways? Why giveaway a hat when they can sell one for $25? Kinda like those 'I AM SECTION XXX' t-shirts that they selling for $30 - something that clearly should be given away to season ticket holders gratis considering the ever-increasing investment we are making.
But what if it isn't them? Is the sales staff just incapable of getting companies to sign on and promote their brand names? Or are those companies just not interested in selling their wares to 18,200 hockey fans? Both are feasible, if unlikely, explanations.
I did mention that this was one of four promo games, with the thought being that they are certain to give replica banners at the two February retirement nights (Graves and Howell/Bathgate). But then again, with the economy and how cheap Dolan is when it comes to the fans, who knows??