A glimpse at Toronto ticket prices
We interrupt our playoff programming to bring you...
One of the great things I saw down in Pittsburgh was just how young that team's fan base is, and how many 20- and 30-somethings can afford season's tickets.
But when I tried to explain to the locals just how unaffordable tickets in Toronto were, I couldn't quite do it justice. You can say "$400 a seat" all you want, but that doesn't take into account the licence fees and everything else that corporate tickets holders pony up at the Air Canada Centre.
Which is why it's a good thing Rick Westhead gives us a glimpse at just what people are paying for Maple Leafs tickets (as part of a story on shady ticket-selling deals going down at the parent company):
"He (the MLSE sales employee) wanted to meet at the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop on the 401 in Milton," Tanguay said. "I met him, gave him the envelope with the cash, and a cheque for $65,000 and had him sign the invoice indicating the cash was part of the deal, too."Now, what our friend here is buying is two season's tickets to the Leafs and Raptors in the lower bowl.
Besides $40,000 to cover the cost of the personal-seat licence, which gave him the right to buy tickets from MLSE, Tanguay agreed to pay $25,000 for the Leafs and Raptors tickets themselves.
In addition to $40,000 up front for the licence, another $25,000 per season pays for a grand total of two tickets to 82 games (41 for each team), which works out to about $160 a seat. It's safe to assume the Leafs tickets would be worth considerably more than the Raptors, likely in the range of $230+ apiece.
And our buyer was desperately waiting on a list somewhere to shell that money out (not to mention the part about meeting at a truck stop with $5,000 cash).
These are not the best seats in the house by any means: The red section is behind one net, from the halfway point of the lower bowl on up.
I've lived in Toronto five years and have sat in the lower bowl for exactly one Leafs game, and only then when a friend won tickets at an auction. It's simply not possible for your average fan to get these tickets (or any, for that matter).
Of course, it's all a result of supply and demand, and even in Pittsburgh, with the team's success, I've heard rumblings they will cancel programs like 'Student Rush' that have kept some seats filled in the lean years.
Then you go to Columbus and there's a game-day lineup for $10 seats.
Quite a difference.
Labels: Maple Leafs