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Toronto Maple Leafs raising seasons ticket prices for 2017-18 season

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“It’s good for the fans”

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The Maple Leafs are raising the cost of seasons tickets $7 to $16 per game next season, and this is, according to Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment CCO David Hopkinson, good for the fans.

From the Toronto Star:

“If we don’t price the tickets appropriately versus what the market is going to pay for them, guess what happens,” Hopkinson says. “The tickets don’t get cheaper. Just other guys make the money . . . and that doesn’t help your hockey team. That doesn’t help us get better.”

While the Leafs acknowledge that most single-game seats are bought and sold on the secondary market, they note that the biggest markups occur on the least expensive seats. Where upper-bowl seats average $80 per game as part of season packages, they average $108 as single-game seats and $141 on the secondary market. Lower-bowl seats, meanwhile, average $195 under a season-ticket package, $234 at the box office and $250 resale.

“There is a significant arbitrage here that we’ve got to try and close,” Hopkinson said. “Someone’s going to end up with the money, and we’d rather it’s not a guy in a parka.”

This is an understandable move, the Leafs are seeing a gap in their revenues and are moving in to take that money for themselves. Company wise, that makes sense. Robias Island isn’t going to pay for itself. Fan wise, well, we won’t see the results of this until next season, but it stands to reason, as the Leafs get better, demand goes up, so scalpers will just up their prices as well.

We now leave the news part of this article and move on to opinion.

If MLSE was really concerned about the secondary market, there are a few simple steps they can take:

  1. Add a clause in the season ticket agreement that tickets are not to be re-sold for profit. Violation of this clause gives MLSE the right to revoke the seasons tickets.
  2. Monitor re-sale websites.
  3. Enforce the rule.

Now, what will people do to sell off tickets that they can’t use? Offer to buy back those tickets by giving the STH’s a credit on their account or have a resale section on the Maple Leafs website so people can buy those tickets for face value (I think this exists but can’t find it).

It’s not perfect, but it’s something.

What’s your take Leafs fans? Will this help or hurt buying on the secondary market?