A couple of days ago, I was reading the Toronto Star, a good 'ole newspaper, and my eyes were drawn to this big Leafs announcement. What was the announcement? A game completely free for fans.
The first 700 people who showed up at a press conference were given a pair of tickets to the game, and the rest will be given away through contests and whatnot. It was an added preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres on Sept. 22, 2008. Considering how many suits there are at Leafs games, if the tickets are not hoarded and sold, which is something that shouldn't happen, this will be a success.
The problem is, tickets for this game are already being put on ticket buying sites. It's ridiculous, a game that is supposed to be completely free for fans, and some people are going to have to pay to get in. This is Toronto, though, and you get used to it. Since this is a remarkable situation for the Leafs fans, let's go through the pros and cons of a decision for a free game.
- Well, the most obvious is that it is free, except for parking, but the Leafs don't get money for the parking. I've only been to one Leaf game in my life, and it was at Maple Leaf Gardens. This is pretty much the only chance I will have to see a Leaf game live.
- Most of the suits will not be in the arena. Most spectators will be into the game. Of course some of the big companies will be able to get in, but for the most part, it will just be fans.
- A third pro is the game itself. They almost couldn't have the matchup better. The QEW Rivalry, the Buffalo Sabres. Most fans in the arena do not like the Sabres, so it will be a little louder than if it were Atlanta or Anaheim. If they could have gotten Montreal or Ottawa, it would have been a bit better.
- The first con about this game, a thing I have already mentioned is that tickets will probably be hoarded and sold, something that shouldn't happen at a free game. At stubhub.com, tickets for this game are already being sold at over $150. That's stupid, but this is Toronto and people will try to get all the money that they can get.
- A second con about it is that this game is an early preseason game, so the hockey will not be the best. It's free, though, so I guess we will take what we can get in this situation. The on-ice product would have been better if it was the last game before the start of the season, but again, I'll take what I can get.
Overall, the pros trump the cons, which is good. This will probably be a success and the fans that are lucky enough to get tickets will be happy that they were able to watch this game. If I get tickets, it will probably be the only game that I will get to watch at the ACC for a long time.