The league season 2020–21 will start on Thursday in Hämeenlinna, where the finalists of the second season, HPK and Kärpät, will face each other. The atmosphere is tense. Teams want to focus on gaming and fans want to get into the games, but this season the arrangements have been redesigned in many details.
– There has been a constant debate about the different security measures to be taken forward, so a wide range of plans have been created to organize a safe match event, says HPK’s CEO Antti Toivanen.
– Most of the means are new to the wafer consumer. HPK has used several communication channels to communicate these. Traditionally, the first commercials of the season feature the team’s number one stars, but now the match ad showcases safety measures and is excited about the return of hockey.
Phones have rang between clubs. The league hopes to be able to play the season as much as possible in the face of restrictions
– Quite simply, we have always kept arrangements. The biggest work is done in the summer. Now, of course, there are mask packs on the plane, in the hall and elsewhere. Fortunately, we have already learned it in practice games, a new normal, says Kärppie’s team leader Ari Hilli.
Finnair’s reduced flight flights also affect Kärppi. The flies are used to traveling by bus primarily to Vaasa, Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Mikkeli. Now bus trips may increase.
– There has usually been good traffic between Oulu and Helsinki. Now it has had to be reduced, so some of our schedules are changing.
Meals are arranged in your own space each time. Teams deal with the media over the phone.
Ticket price increases
Not everyone is going to the hall. Reasons range from prices to avoid mass events, says HPK supporter talked about by Iltalehti Merja.
– I stay away without a corona for bigger events because of other things, but I don’t see any point in the increased ticket prices. With a cable card, the League Pass is also cheaper, says Merja.
HPK prices have traditionally been the lowest end of the series. Now they have had to be increased by several euros.
– We have made a lot of cost savings since the spring, but the revenue base requires operations. With a limited number of viewers, we naturally had to raise these, says Toivanen.
HPK supporters Luis Antonio Martinez Salomaa is also understandable for increased prices.
– Many clubs are in trouble when, however, salaries have to be paid, even though tickets should not be sold at worst 40 percent of the spectator capacity. I don’t understand the criticism of the prices when, however, the team got tough names. Not those Rogue [Petri Kontiola] and other labor market supports, however, shake
– For me, having lived outside the city for a long time, HPK is a “home”. It helps to cope with heavy everyday life. In this current world situation, the increase in the ticket price by a few euros does not bother me.