Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You Say You Want a Revolution?

Went to the Leafs - Blues game last night, we were lucky enough to get my wife's corporate seats. Yup, corporate seats. I've been to four games this year and three of those were as the guest of large corporations on expense accounts. Which brings me back to this crazy concept that somehow Leaf fans are to blame for the current teams' woes.

Last night, I asked the people around me how they got their tickets ($160 reds). All of them are season tickets held by corporations - the guys to my right got their seats from a car dealership (the ticket holder apparently owns four dealerships); the foursome in front of me were from an ad agency; the two to their left were part of a restaurant chain; and the two to my wife's left were held by a big food multinational (who also have a box at the ACC).

This is something that Dave Feschuk picked up on over at the Star today; clearly it's not the average joe that's filling the coffers for MLSE and padding that oh so comfortable bottom line.

Malibu Stacy may tell us that "math is hard" but let's do a little rudimentary accounting.

The ACC has 1020 platinum seats at $400 each, which generates $400K per game (not including the margins from sushi and wine sales).

In the upper bowl there are approximately 3330 Purple Seats at $37 a pop, generating approximately $120K per game. Fold-in the 300 standing room places at $24 each and you've got an extra $7200 - call it $130K.

Time to compare and contrast: the purple dwelling Leafs Nation lunch box crowd is being outspent by the corporations in the platinums by about $3 to $1.

Put another way: one row of platinum seats generates more income for MLSE than all of the standing room tickets combined.

Now factor in 300 luxury suites. I don't know what the original purchase price or seat licensing costs were, but a 42 person suite rents out for $10K per game and a 57 person suite is $13K. The "cheaper" rental is the equivalent of selling 270 tickets up in the purples, more than 10 rows worth of seats.

So if you think refusing to buy the car flag, canceling Leafs TV and declining those $37 purples will make a difference, go for it. I honestly encourage Leaf fans to vote with their wallets. Seriously. After all, maybe Mike Babcock is right, - it is the common fan that's propping this organization up and keeping them from a re-build.

Looking at the numbers I find it very hard to believe it's so.


As for the game itself, Tlusty got banged around like it was the first time he played contact hockey, but I'll give him credit for getting up and staying in the thick of things all night. If he could find a second gear or any type of explosive speed he'd be a far more dangerous player. Tlutsy seemed to play the whole game at half-speed (or else his top speed is really poor). He could find the openings, but his lack of secondary speed kept him from been truly dangerous.

The Tucker, Blake, Stajan line really surprised me. Tucker was great on the forecheck (this from a guy who has pushed to trade #16 for years) but he's an absolute pylon defensively. Blake's through the legs back pass happened right in front of us and was amazing.

As I watched Legace stymie the Leafs time after time, I started undergoing serious cognitive dissonance - had JFJ signed Legace as a UFA, the Leafs would still have Rask plus their 2007 1,2,4 picks and likely would have made the playoffs last year. Of course, that would mean JFJ would still be GM giving me chronic heartburn by screwing this team over in new and inventive ways...


  1. Anonymous1:13 pm

    Tlusty has a second speed. He showed it against the Pens on his second career goal but last night I think the hitting took a lot out of him and put him off-balance for most of the night.

    The Legace comparison is a tough one to swallow.

    Good work on the seats. I laugh now when people suggest that the common fan can cause a revolution by not going to games. Feschuk's article had a suit that a. hates hockey and b. hates the Leafs but he'll never give the tickets up because his clients expect to be shown a good time.

    Stajan has worked well with a variety of wingers this year. If he can get Blake and Tucker going for the next 10 games it would go a long way towards maybe getting rid of them.

  2. Anonymous10:44 pm

    Yes, it's time for a revolution.

  3. I was the lucky recipient of four tickets (to buy) at the Rangers-Leafs game on December 29 - the box seats, and it was worth every 'red nickel', the hell does anyone afford best seats as a regular person? I understand how hockey and sports in general have become corporate, but I cannot imagine fiscally responsible corporations would even want to lay out that level of cash for general seating. Even MSG has a top ticket of U.S. $145 for the lowest seats...

    I get the hockey as religion, but Christ!!!! ;)

    The Dark Ranger