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NHL Team Starts Its Own Homeowner "Bailout" Program

Tuesday, 11 Nov 2008 | 9:50 AM ET

This post is from CNBC Sports producer Tom Rotunno:

St. Louis Blues
CNBC.com
St. Louis Blues

This is one bailout that’s easy to get behind. It comes courtesy of the NHL's St. Louis Blues. Starting November 29th, the team is rolling out "Fannie and Freddie Mortgage Saturday." One fan chosen at random during each Saturday home game will receive relief on his or her monthly mortgage or rent payments for up to four months ($1,000 maximum per month).

With eleven Saturday homes games left on the regular season calendar, eleven lucky fans in total will be "bailed out." The team is also offering reduced Saturday night ticket prices on 1,000 seats.

The promotion comes at a time when things are going well for the NHL. The league set an attendance record for the month of October with a per-game average of 17,388. It’s the first time in NHL history that average October attendance surpassed 17,000 fans-per-game. Typically the league doesn’t see these kinds of numbers so early in what is long hockey season. Overall, league attendance is up 3.1 percent from October 2007.

As for the Blues, the team is averaging 18,913 or 90% of stadium capacity through 8 home games. That's up 8% over last October.

Despite the positive news, tough economic times are expected to make it harder for sports teams to compete for the fan’s discretionary dollar. Teams are going to have to get creative and St. Louis is setting the bar high, as this is one of the best promotions we’ve seen here at CNBC Sports Biz in a long time.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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