The recent NHL lockout didn't discourage thousands of Sabres fans from coming out to watch the team Monday night. YNN's Katie Cummings spoke with fans and the Sabres' president on the excitement heading into the season.
More than 10,000 fans came out to First Niagara Center Monday night to get a glimpse of the Sabres scrimmage. It’s the first time the team has done an event like this in the evening.
As a thank you, tickets and parking were free along with discounts on merchandise and concessions.
"Figured come down and get a jersey when everything is half price. It’s nice for the team to do something for us," said Philip Kubera of Cheektowaga.
"We spent around 200 dollars today when we got here," said David Knapman of Hamilton, Ontario. "It’s something nice. It definitely is nice, get you recharged, get all your Sabres paraphernalia ready for the season”
"People are definitely still devoted and they’ll still pay to see Buffalo Sabres hockey."
"Yeah, it doesn’t matter if you charge or if it's free, they're still going to come," said Travis McDonald and Kyle Silagyi of West Seneca.
Tickets were flying out the door as well, with more than 30,000 sold on Sunday alone.
"We had 80,000 to start so we're pretty much halfway through selling the rest of the tickets to the remaining games," said Ted Black, Sabres president.
"We bought tickets for the regular season earlier today so we’re really excited to see how they're playing this year," said Ashley Lewandowski of Buffalo.
Black says the lockout is behind them and the Sabres want fans to focus on the upcoming season.
"Get the team back on the ice, get the focus back on the ice and let fans start being in love with the game and not worry about the business section," Black said.
While some NHL teams are offering more discounts, fans say nothing would discourage them from supporting their team.
"When it comes to Boston, some of the other places, discount tickets are good, yes, but I mean you're going to come back because you love the sport," said Joe Lawson of Orchard Park.
"A lot of people say they're not going to go to the games but I say for every one person that's not going to go, five more are going to want to go or will go," Kubera said.
Black says the team is just getting started and could offer more fan appreciation events during the season.