Day Nine – It’s About Time, But It Still Won’t Work

9 01 2010

As I stumbled through my daily readings across the internet, I found an article that I thought I’d see much sooner, but still never really expected to see. It was about a website called Be Fair to the Fans. These fans are the loyal to a fault fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It seems a group of them, though a small one, have decided that a 28th place team has no right to charge the highest prices in the league.

Their demands are a little hopeful, but here they are:

  • Reduce ticket prices by 20% until the team is a legitimate contender (starting in the 2010 season)
  • Reduce concession and merchandise prices by 10% for 2010 season
  • 3 less games broadcast on Leafs TV for the 2010 season

    I don’t see any of the three happening any time soon.

    Here’s why:

    1. The Air Canada Centre has to be the hardest arena to get tickets to at any time, let alone quality tickets. I’ve never had a problem finding tickets in Detroit, and most times I could get my hands on decent ones. There’s a reason for that. For every one ticket in Toronto, there are three others trying to snatch it up. Would you give up your seat knowing you may never get it back again or would you just suffer through the crappy team and hope for better days?

    The 28th Placed Toronto Demands the Highest Ticket Prices in the NHL

    2. Though the concessions are outrageously priced, people have associated eating and drinking at a hockey game with watching one. Until you’re able to bring a two-four into the arena with you, I don’t ever see this going down. Regardless, if they were to do so as a loyalty, people would definitely be losing jobs. The Toronto Maple Leafs are a business more than any other team in the league and the last thing they’re going to do is lose out on blue chip profits.

    3. Leafs TV has a contract. It can’t be broken because some fans are upset that they can’t watch a game or two against Nashville or Carolina. I’m sure Rogers, who now offers Leafs TV as a part of their regular package, wouldn’t be happy about losing this incentive they’ve given to potential customers over a handful of unhappy fans.

    In any other city, something like this might work. Buffalo has to earn their fans. When they’re doing poorly, it’s a ghost town in the HSBC Arena. When things are going well, good luck finding a ticket. Difference is, Toronto has a much larger, and wealthier, hockey market. New York has a much higher population, but it’s not a hockey exclusive market. A Rangers fan may just as likely be a Yankees fan. Or for that matter, a Islanders fan.

    If there was a second team in Southern Ontario to flock to, then maybe the Leafers would have something to worry about. Until the league expands to 32, Toronto fans will have to put up or shut up.

    Which is why you can find me in Joe Louis Arena.

    Go Wings Go!