Maple Leafs, Raptors Increase Season-Ticket Prices, But Offer New Options
Prices for Maple Leafs and Raptors season tickets "are set to rise marginally," but Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment officials said that "the new cost structure will open up options -- both for customers and the company," according to Morgan Campbell of the TORONTO STAR. Leafs season tickets in previous years "included tickets to all four preseason games at the Air Canada Centre, but new guidelines "allow customers to opt out of two of those games." Subscribers who decline the preseason option "will have the cost of those two games credited against their account, and the tickets will hit the single-game sales market." MLSE Chief Commercial Officer Dave Hopkinson said that Leafs season-ticket prices overall "will rise between $2 and $6 per game." He stressed that the MLSE's pricing overhaul "springs from fan feedback gathered at a state-of-the-franchise meeting with Leafs season-ticket holders." Meanwhile, most of the Raptors season tickets "are set to cost an average of $2 more per game." Hopkinson pointed out that the prices are 10% lower than four seasons ago, "before the Raptors cut ticket prices in response to lacklustre on-court performance." The team is "likely to make the playoffs" for the first time since '08 (TORONTO STAR, 3/8). Hopkinson is "planning on an acceptance rate" of about 50% for the new Leafs plan, which would "make about 10,000 tickets available for two Leafs preseason games." The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts noted MLSE President & CEO Tim Leiweke has said that he "wanted to find ways to get ordinary fans into more Leafs games," as not only are prices for tickets and luxury boxes "prohibitive for many NHL fans but almost all of the 19,000-plus seats are held by season-ticket holders, most of them corporations" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/8).
HEY, GOOD LOOKIN': In Toronto, Lance Hornby notes the Maple Leafs have "made the move to an eye-catching ice-cleaning team of young women to shovel excess snow and clear any hazards during regular stoppages." After a "series of 'tryouts,' 10 hockey enthusiasts were picked for the inaugural Maple Leafs Ice Crew," which started with last Monday's game against the Blue Jackets. The crew members "clean the entire ice three times a period." MLSE VP/Marketing & Communications Shannon Hosford said, "This is something our fans said they wanted. We had used a female group for a couple of games. It has been successful with other NHL clubs." Hornby noted the women on the Ice Crew, "with an average age of early 20s," will be "paid $70 a night" (TORONTO SUN, 3/8).