Tuesday, September 09, 2008

MLSE is evil, part 5000: The Fans vs. The Al-ighty Ollar

Once again, not at all surprisingly, MLSE rears its disfigured, ugly head...

At one point you could buy tickets to Raptors games at Shoppers Drug Mart, when that changed there were still affordable tickets that could be bought up for the "Sprite Zone". The Sprite Zone being a more family - and cost efficient- area of the ACC to catch a game, with special in-game promotions just for that section and people walking the aisles to pump up the crowd in that section specifically.

After that they introduced "flex packs" where you could reserve 15 games in the same seat, it included 3 preseason games however it still allowed you to catch a lot of action on the year. Now the 15 game flex pack has been removed, replaced by a 10 game pack (with a fair hike!), and the lower portion of the Sprite Zone - once part of the Sprite Zone - is now a prime seating balcony area.

It never ceases to amaze when I see the efforts the MLSE brass makes to ensure that major sporting events in Toronto become even less accessible to the average person, and more filled with suits as far as the eye can see. My friend, who has had a season ticket for a couple years now, even said she was amazed with the price increase in her tickets just from last season. Apparently, the ticket price has grown by 20% over the past 2 seasons!

Over at the AltRaps blog one poster earlier in the offseason lamented the fact that, despite following the team since back in the days of the 'Dome, MLSE has priced him out of continuing on with following the team live at games:
I seriously now have to question the direction of management, both on the floor and off. If MLSE is looking at this as purely a money making machine, fine, come out and say it. If, however, you are looking to use this franchise as a seed, as a starting point of growing this product and game in Canada, then you need to seriously consider not pricing yourself out of the market. It pains me to say that once I receive my renewal, I too will be ripping it up.

It’s the end of an era for me. I will continue to support this team, but I’ll be
doing so from the comfort of my home.
This was posted back in March, around the time my season ticket holding friend was griping about yet another increase too. I was prepared for a hit with the price of my own flex pack tickets, never expected they'd be wiped clean entirely though. It's going to take a little while before I come to any admittance that I won't be buying into any Raptors ticket packages as I love the environment and atmosphere at the games - especially as of late, as they've been getting rowdier, smarter, and more involved!

But then again, an MLSE product IS an MLSE product, and when push comes to shove a good thing can only last until there's an option for more than a quick buck to be made from it. In my opinion the less ventures the MLSE have any control over the better for EVERYONE in Toronto! Time to dissolve the worst partnership this world has seen since...well, this!

Hopefully the Raptors are stopped short of the Maple Leaf syndrome. However I'm getting the feeling that path has already been paved and there's no turning back.