Without even comparing talent and excitement, the price of admission alone for sporting events in Toronto is becoming comically ridiculous for this city and its fans.
To walk through the doors of the Air Canada Centre from the ticketing kiosk for a Leafs game is going to be north of $50 at a minimum. After the walk through the doors, nostrils are assaulted with the delicious aromas of hot dogs, popcorn, pizza, poutine, beer and other enticing arena foods which will see a return of small change from a twenty dollar bill.
Right beside the food troughs are the accessory shops stocked with $20 hats, $80 sweaters and $200 jerseys. Before the puck is dropped, wallets are emptier than the championship hopes of the home team. Of course the NHL is the highest level of competition in hockey, but a single night out to the good ol’ hockey game can easily top the $100 mark. Think about how far $100 can go.
For students, this could be the cost of a textbook for class, bus fare for a month, or lots and lots of Kraft Dinner. For a family, $100 can be a dinner at a nice restaurant, two or three group trips to the movies, or lots and lots of Kraft Dinner. Instead, this blue and white money is being spent on fast food, a cramped seat, and probably a loss on the scoreboard. What’s crazy about all of this is that the average attendance for the Leafs is just below the seating capacity.
They average nearly a sellout for every home game despite gauging fans for as much as they can. It’s not so much an insult to the fans as it is an awe-inspiring thought. The thing is, given the chance to go to one of these games the answer would probably be an unquestioned yes.
Why do we do this? What’s so special about the ice at the ACC that calls for such attention from its fans? They should really share this type of magic with the Argonauts or the Rock. This is a phenomenon that has been happening for decades; low success, high attendance.
Maybe for now we should continue to blindly throw our wallets at this organization in hopes things will go well next year. Then, when next year rolls around, we should evaluate the teams we should give attention to.
When 2017 comes and nothing has changed, that’s when fans should take a stand.