The Maple Leafs Playoff Ticket Problem

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a playoff ticket problem, so unless someone wants to shell out big bucks for most likely a single ticket on the resale market they’ll be watching the game from their couch. While this is a common problem that teams face when they young talent that has excited their perpetually disappointed fan face, the Maple Leaf’s problem seems to be the worse ticket robbery I’ve ever heard of.

The Star reported that after the Leafs season ticket holders accounting for 90% of the seats in the Air Canada Centre and the tickets held back for staff and players families that left 209 tickets for sale and as Tuesday morning a measly 96 tickets left for general sale. So what happened to all those tickets?

Well of course ticket scalpers were quick to jump into the presale on Monday and grab most of the tickets. Those tickets were then horrendously up-charged and put out into the resale market. Now this isn’t a problem for only playoff games in Toronto, this happens for every single major event happening around the world because of the huge amounts of money that could potentially be made.

This all means that of most of the 96 tickets, if not all, that are left are all single tickets and really who is going to pay good money to sit by themselves and probably have an obscured view for a playoff game? (Hint: not many). The Leafs should’ve done a better job of ensuring that their fans were able to tickets, especially due to the highly anticipated showdown between the Boston Bruins and the Leafs’ young talent.

And while I understand that tickets have been hard to come by for Leafs games for awhile, I think it’s imperative to a team that has continually disappointed their fans to ensure that when they actually have a highly anticipated playoff run that fans are given ample opportunity to attend the games. Because let’s be completely honest, no team is guaranteed to make the playoffs again next year (look at the Blackhawks). So wouldn’t you think that the Leafs should’ve figured out a way to ensure that they gave their non-season ticket holder fans at least some sort of chance to see a playoff game?

I found it laughable when the article suggested that fans who wanted to see their Leafs play could travel to Boston and try and score tickets. For giggles lets just play out the cost of a group of four Leafs fan traveling to Boston:

  • Time to drive from Toronto to Boston: 8 hrs
  • Cost to drive is approximately $132 USD ($166 Can)
  • Hotel cost: let’s say $200 USD ($250 Can) (based on a quick google search of hotels near TD Garden)
  • Tickets to the game (Based on Stubhub) To sit in Balcony End 321 $165 per ticket:  $660 USD ($831 Can)

So that brings the total to: $922 USD ($1,247 Can). Now if that group decided to save themselves eight hours and take a flight that would add $250 per flight to the total bringing to $1,922 USD ($2,247 Can). So really what fan is going to shell out that kind of money to attend a game in Boston?

Again that brings the blame resting solely on  the Leafs organization and their ticket selling model. The organization should’ve figured out a way to ensure that their fans were given a fair opportunity to purchase tickets at the fair market value. But until that happens, fans’ wallets are better off watching the game from their couches or their local sports bar.

 

 

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