SBD/March 13, 2013/Franchises

MLSE Cites Rising Operating Costs In Ticket-Price Increases For Maple Leafs, Raptors

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment will "hike ticket prices" for the Raptors and Maple Leafs by about 2.5% "across the board" starting with the '13-14 NBA and NHL seasons, according to Doug Smith of the TORONTO STAR. MLSE President & COO Tom Anselmi called it a "cost of living" increase. He said that the cost hike "reflects increased costs to the monolithic sports organization." Anselmi: "Our costs have gone up dramatically. Players salaries, operating costs, league costs ... in the case of the Raptors, our pricing has gone backwards in the last few years." But Smith writes neither of MLSE's "marquee teams are causing a price increase because of stellar play on the ice or the court." The Leafs have "about 16,000 season ticket holders and the Raptors have about 9,000." Both season tickets and single-game tickets "will be affected by the pricing change" (TORONTO STAR, 3/13). Anselmi said that in the past five seasons, the Maple Leafs' ticket prices have been "essentially flat, with a net cumulative increase" of 0.5%. He added that the Raptors have "had a cumulative five-year decrease" of 7.5%. The GLOBE & MAIL's Jeff Blair writes, "It is all about what the market will bear and the simple truth is MLSE believes you will pay more to see their product" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/13).
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