Dora Gets Power Play

When pro hockey’s Edmonton Oilers needed a place to play Game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the team found itself in a standoff with a dark-haired girl, a monkey and pirates – collectively known as “Dora The Explorer Live.”

If the National Hockey League playoff finals reach Game 6, the Oilers will host the Carolina Hurricanes on home ice at Rexall Place, which would normally be a no-brainer except that Dora and her friends had four shows booked there the same weekend.

Oilers fanatics could understand the importance of the Stanley Cup, but try explaining that to 5-year-olds. A total of 10,000 “Dora” tickets had been purchased for the shows in a theatre setting at what normally would be an 18,100-capacity facility.

This isn’t the first time Dora has faced off against the NHL. The Ottawa Senators had to move one of their home games because Dora took up the Scotiabank Place theatre five times during the weekend of May 6-7. The Stanley Cup finals started June 5th because “Sesame Street Live” had the Hurricanes’ home – RBC Centre in Raleigh, N.C. – tied up June 2-4.

Gerry Stoll, who handles booking for the Northlands Park entertainment center that includes Rexall, told Pollstar the “Dora” shows were moved across the street to the Agricom Arena. Ticket exchanges and refunds would begin June 10th.

“It’s not easy moving 10,000 people around,” Stoll said, “But now it’s four shows at about 2,500 each.” That included shifting some tickets from Saturday to Sunday, but the hockey club controls the tickets and had an incentive to maneuver them around, Stoll said.

“It certainly was not easy because, one, we were not in any violation of the NHL,” he said.

Northlands was fortunate to have two clients willing to work something out and two facilities on site, spokeswoman Pauline Hughes told Pollstar.

Family shows are becoming the 800-pound cartoons in the room. AEG Live recently purchased the “Barney Live! Let’s Go” tour and the popular Razor & Tie children’s Kidz Bop CD series is going live, touring Six Flags theme parks.

– Joe Reinartz