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Babcock's dystopic vision of KeyBank Center for Leafs games

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Is this possible? Plausible? I think I'll believe it when I see it.

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"Just the proximity of the two teams make it that every time we came here before there was energy in the building," said coach Mike Babcock, "a lot of Leafs fans and now, pretty soon, Leafs fans won’t be able to buy tickets here because Buffalo fans will have bought them already."

https://www.tsn.ca/finally-some-life-in-the-qew-rivalry-1.1220843

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I think it even happened last night.

I have not checked, but I would imagine that the aftermarket sales are next to nothing, except for the true profiteers.  

And any Leaf fan had better have their tickets in hand going forward, because there will be no way that they could by them on the normal market.

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I looked at the TV while waiting for my son after his varsity game.  I saw tons of blue in the lower bowl.. the wrong color blue.

Until the cost of securing a ticket in Buffalo surpasses the cost of securing a ticket in Toronto this will not change.  There may be a few less fans but it won't be enough.  If anything, the level of competition between the two teams will makes the games more desirable.  As such, a Leafs fan will be willing to shell out a bit more for the Buffalo/Toronto game because it's likely to feature two top teams.

I can't blame STH for selling those tickets.  I just hate the fact that it happens because it's disgusting to hear that much support inside your home team's building.

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I vividly remember, after 16 months of being good, really good, cup-good, the Sabres hosting the Leafs in March of 2007. It was an epic game that we won 5-4 after being down 4-1 with 10 minutes left. The Leafs weren't that good and missed the playoffs, and yet the entire lower bowl was Maple Leafs fans. 

Now that the Leafs have a borderline special hockey team, that's ridiculously fun to watch any given night, why would things ever be different?

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27 minutes ago, LTS said:

I looked at the TV while waiting for my son after his varsity game.  I saw tons of blue in the lower bowl.. the wrong color blue.

Until the cost of securing a ticket in Buffalo surpasses the cost of securing a ticket in Toronto this will not change.  There may be a few less fans but it won't be enough.  If anything, the level of competition between the two teams will makes the games more desirable.  As such, a Leafs fan will be willing to shell out a bit more for the Buffalo/Toronto game because it's likely to feature two top teams.

I can't blame STH for selling those tickets.  I just hate the fact that it happens because it's disgusting to hear that much support inside your home team's building.

The reality is that until Sabres fans will shell out more for the TO game than Loafs fans will, 90%+ of any tickets on the 2ndary market will be bought by Loafs fans.  And as long as 90%+ of all seats in TO are corporate seats, that will be the case.  Even in years when TO goes back to its rightful place at the bottom of the NHL's foodchain.

It just stinks when those morons don't have a sad drive back over the Peace Bridge.  Fortunately, they typically have miserable journey's back.

Further, not all seats are held by STHers anymore either.

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It was frustrating hearing the chants and seeing the large leaf population in the lower bowl. felt like an away game when their goal cheers were much louder than the home team, minus the horns and music of course.

Was anyone at the game last night that can comment on what it was like being there?

 

Is our lower bowl also corporate or just not die-hard enough STH's that prefer to sell em off?

Is anyone aware of tactics other teams are using to prevent this? I'd love to see a no-resale policy but i know thats an unachievable utopian dream.

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Paging Woody!!

Come in Rudy!!

Is anyone near the county jail?  If so, please look for Woody.  He was supposed to be at the game last night.  Has anyone seen a report from Woodsie?

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4 minutes ago, Buffaslug said:

It was frustrating hearing the chants and seeing the large leaf population in the lower bowl. felt like an away game when their goal cheers were much louder than the home team, minus the horns and music of course.

Was anyone at the game last night that can comment on what it was like being there?

 

Is our lower bowl also corporate or just not die-hard enough STH's that prefer to sell em off?

Is anyone aware of tactics other teams are using to prevent this? I'd love to see a no-resale policy but i know thats an unachievable utopian dream.

Carolina wouldn't sell tickets to non-NC-ish zipcodes for a few days when they made the playoffs in 2006; luckily there were still plenty of good seats available when that ban expired. That's about the best you'd see, but then some enterprising Buffalo residents will capitalize on that and re-re-sell them. It's just one of those things, I think. Leafs fans are passionate and with the high prices in Toronto (the GS), there's going to be high demand for Leafs games in Buffalo.

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IMHO, as the Sabres continue to improve, the # of tickets sold by STHs will drop -- but not down to a level where Leafs fans won't be numerous and noisy.

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4 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

IMHO, as the Sabres continue to improve, the # of tickets sold by STHs will drop -- but not down to a level where Leafs fans won't be numerous and noisy.

I don't disagree entirely, but there are a sizeable set of STHs that view their seats as an investment. They'd be foolish to pass up their greatest profits of the season.

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IMHO, if we are building a real rivalry again let the Leaf fans come to Buffalo.  I just hope that the most common result over the years continues and that they leave Buffalo with their heads down, just like the Leaf players.

It is too bad that Sabres fans can't make the treck up north, though.  No tickets can be had in Toronto.  Even your everyday Leaf fan can't get them.  That is part of my issues with The Great Satan.

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I went to the game in the 1999 ECF where Peca leveled Domi as Peca exited the penalty box.

That was the best game experience I've ever had, anywhere.

That includes The Comeback and Game 6 of the 2006 ECF.

Part of why the 1999 game was so good was because the arena had a good amount of TML fans there, or, in the case of the 4 dudes next to us, hockey fans from central/western Canada who were there to cheer for a team from Canada to advance.

The atmosphere was absolutely electric.

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32 minutes ago, MattPie said:

I don't disagree entirely, but there are a sizeable set of STHs that view their seats as an investment. They'd be foolish to pass up their greatest profits of the season.

Well, I'm not sure about this.  Anyone looking to turn a profit on Sabres STs has, I'm guessing, been sorely disappointed by a huge financial bath for the last 6 years or so.  It's probably more accurate to say that there are many STH's who like the idea of recouping some of their (substantial) costs by selling off the Leafs games at 2x or 3x of their cost.

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I am probably in the minority here but I don't understand the angst with who's at the games. I don't recall anyone complaining about all the Sabre fans at Tampa Bay recently or the yearly contingent at Hurricane games. In fact the more raucous the fans at the games the better. The atmosphere in Tampa and last night I thought just added to the games, the competing lets go leafs and Lets Go Buffalo or the chants in Tampa, were nothing short of awesome. With all the Leaf fans in southern Ontario who can't go to games in Toronto, they are going to come here if they get the chance. Why begrudge them because they don't cheer for the same team we do. Their money spends the same as ours, they are after all hockey fans, embrace them for that if nothing else.

The STHs didn't consult me or us when they put their money up to buy the tickets, why should they consult you when they sell it for whatever reason??

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My son bought last minute seats yesterday.  Said they were cheap, but I don’t know what he paid.  So there were still tix on the secondary market on game day.

And he also said Sabres fans were outnumbered.

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1 hour ago, nfreeman said:

Well, I'm not sure about this.  Anyone looking to turn a profit on Sabres STs has, I'm guessing, been sorely disappointed by a huge financial bath for the last 6 years or so.  It's probably more accurate to say that there are many STH's who like the idea of recouping some of their (substantial) costs by selling off the Leafs games at 2x or 3x of their cost.

That high? Were tickets on StubHub going for that much? And with many STHers giving up their seats, what about the thousands of tickets Leafs fans could have bought at face value?

The whole thing confounds me. I want to say — if you can't afford season tickets don't buy them. Don't buy them knowing you have to sell some of them off and hurt the team in the process. Then I think of the diehard fan who can't afford them otherwise.

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I think it’s very important to have a home ice advantage. The transplants who attend games like in Tampa probably live there. You think leaf fans would like the Sabres taking over their arena

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I love the fact there are a bunch of Leafs fans in the audience.     It adds to the excitement IMO and hope it continues.    Like soccer kinda.

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4 hours ago, Taro T said:

The reality is that until Sabres fans will shell out more for the TO game than Loafs fans will, 90%+ of any tickets on the 2ndary market will be bought by Loafs fans.  And as long as 90%+ of all seats in TO are corporate seats, that will be the case.  Even in years when TO goes back to its rightful place at the bottom of the NHL's foodchain.

It just stinks when those morons don't have a sad drive back over the Peace Bridge.  Fortunately, they typically have miserable journey's back.

Further, not all seats are held by STHers anymore either.

Not all seats, the vast majority of seats at Key Bank Center are held by STH.  Hasn't the cap been around 13,000?  I would also think that many of them are in the lower bowl are. 

2 hours ago, nfreeman said:

IMHO, as the Sabres continue to improve, the # of tickets sold by STHs will drop -- but not down to a level where Leafs fans won't be numerous and noisy.

The # of tickets sold will drop.  But the Toronto games will probably be the last ones they would give up selling.  The game on March 20 (Wednesday night), section 117 the cheapest ticket is $175 for two.  It goes up quickly to $395.  Compare that to the Blues game (return of ROR) on Sun March 17 where the same section is $80-$150.

If i want to get the biggest return on tickets I can sell, the Toronto games stay for sale until I need to go to every game.

10 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

I love the fact there are a bunch of Leafs fans in the audience.     It adds to the excitement IMO and hope it continues.    Like soccer kinda.

A bunch is okay... being near 50% or higher just sucks.

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1 hour ago, Jacque Richard said:

I think it’s very important to have a home ice advantage. The transplants who attend games like in Tampa probably live there. You think leaf fans would like the Sabres taking over their arena

That is not possible.  Plain old Leaf fans can't even take over their arena.

1 hour ago, Jacque Richard said:

Anybody but the leaf fans, you know why their arrogant. That hate buffalo. They know buffalo is a  hole compared to Toronto.

What in the hell?

1 hour ago, pi2000 said:

I love the fact there are a bunch of Leafs fans in the audience.     It adds to the excitement IMO and hope it continues.    Like soccer kinda.

This I agree with.  It's a challenge to the home team fans to up their game.  Soccer stadiums always have designated areas for visiting fans.  It is one of the most awesome things in European football and I think that MLS is trying to do the same thing.

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Would someone do the math for me? How does someone recoup the cost of their season tickets by selling to Leaf fans?

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11 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Would someone do the math for me? How does someone recoup the cost of their season tickets by selling to Leaf fans?

I won't do the math.

I can't imagine there's a recouping. There's some offsetting, I imagine.

Now. If you had tickets to sell to a Sabres-Leafs playoff game, you might be talking closer to recouping.

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3 hours ago, That Aud Smell said:

I went to the game in the 1999 ECF where Peca leveled Domi as Peca exited the penalty box.

That was the best game experience I've ever had, anywhere.

That includes The Comeback and Game 6 of the 2006 ECF.

Part of why the 1999 game was so good was because the arena had a good amount of TML fans there, or, in the case of the 4 dudes next to us, hockey fans from central/western Canada who were there to cheer for a team from Canada to advance.

The atmosphere was absolutely electric.

I was at the same game, but the ratio, if I recall correctly, was heavily in favor of Buffalo (the Leaf fans were more subdued that game too because most Sabre fans were frothing at the mouth from Stanley Cup fever....they didn't dare be their obnoxious selves).  Not even close to a regular season invasion at least.  I think that offers an important roadmap if we ever see the Leafs in the playoffs going forward in that it won't be 50/50, but more 75/25.

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