NHL hockey coming back, but will the fans?

6:23 PM, Jan 7, 2013   |    comments
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By Grant Bissell

St. Louis (KSDK) - The St. Louis Blues could be back in action by next week. Players and owners still have to ratify the labor deal they reached early Sunday morning. That is expected to happen in the coming days.

The question is will fans be there when the season finally starts?

Fans told NewsChannel 5 they are excited, but somewhat guarded and only cautiously optimistic the season will actually start.

MORE: Blues owner apologizes to fans

Ron Baechle, better known to most Blues fans as the Towel Guy, said there was a point when even he considered boycotting Blues games for a while.

Like so many other fans, Baechle felt disappointed and even cheated out of nearly half a hockey season.

"Because of the economy entertainment dollars aren't as easy to come by anymore. And they don't go nearly as far as they used to," said Baechle. "For many families going to a game can get pretty expensive."

Baechle said watching millionaires and billionaires squabble over money was hard to stomach and if they hadn't reached a deal by January 15th, he and other hardcore fans were going to try to send the league a message.

"Maybe just light a fire under them and let them know that the fans don't really have a say-so. But maybe make an ultimatum to say we're willing to strike back if you can't get this figured out."

Because it looks like the deal will be finally settled by this week, Baechle says he plans to be at the Blues home opener, whenever that is.

A Blues spokesperson said the team is still waiting on finalized schedules to start single-game ticket sales.

Baechle said he may still have a little rebellion in him when he gets to that first game. Since fans lost about half the season, he jokingly said maybe he'll only wave his towel for about half the goals scored.


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