The Rangers have promoted the heck out of their new money grab, called Blueshirts United. Tonight I received an e-mail invitation to join. And, oh yes, it is quite the money grab. Unless you spend a lot of it, you don't get very much. And season subscribers get all of a 15% discount. Guess we haven't spent enough already to be Fanatics, Captains or Legends - the three levels of membership. And is it any wonder that they launch this in the middle of a recession when they raised ticket prices and have trouble selling out home games?
The Legends level is where it's at, and of course it costs you two grand. You get to actually interact with the players - something regular season subscribers are not given the chance to outside of those controlled, no-autographs-allowed forums. It also gets you on the ice at the Garden for a pickup hockey game, something that normally costs three or four hundred bucks alone. Neat stuff, but worth an extra two grand? Personally I don't think so. But you can look at the three for yourself:
Now this is different than the official New York Rangers Fan Club. That club doesn't seem to be much of late. I was a member last season (for $25) and half of the meetings were cancelled (and, of course, I couldn't make the others). There was supposed to be some other things - a holiday party if I recall and something with the Maven - but those were cancelled too. So, for my money I got a flimsy membership card and a monthly newsletter with old Ranger news. Kinda sad, especially when they show that old photo of the legion of members together from back in the 40s or 50s in the opening montage at the Garden.
Keep in mind, there are plenty of unofficial 'clubs' - the folks who hang out at Harringtons, the various bands of blue seaters who meet up at the other Garden bars, the Play-by-Play people, the autograph seekers, etc. - but those are just friends hanging out and having a good time around the Rangers, which is what this is supposed to be about. It isn't supposed to be a shameless money grab, a way to cash in on the undying passion of the fanbase.
But if you want guaranteed Ranger gifts and the chance to empty your wallet for the benefit of the Dolans, click below to see the official invite and sign up!