Montreal Canadiens Fans Might Declare “Pardon My French” After Franchise Institutes Fee for Printed Tickets
Last season, the Montreal Canadiens —the National Hockey League’s most storied franchise—captured the Atlantic Division title with 103 points, giving hope to fans who are hungry for their heroes to capture what would be the franchise’s 25th Stanley Cup championship. Supporters have been eager to cheer for the Habs since they dropped their first-round playoff series to the New York Rangers, but those who offer praise in person will be a little lighter in the wallet if they want to enter the Bell Centre with physical tickets. Through recent correspondence, the organization let season ticket holders know that printed admission will cost them $150, plus tax, per seat, news that is sure to make many backers want to banish ownership to the penalty box for greediness.
The announcement will sound like the epitome of a money grab to some, but the Canadiens contend ease of use, environmental sustainability and security are motivating the move. In emphasizing mobile tickets over the traditional versions, minus any input from the team’s faithful followers, mind you, they are acknowledging technology’s perks, but they will also annoy those whose preference is for holding the customary means to catch contests.
“They don’t think about this stuff,” a longtime season-ticket holder said of the matter, electing to remain anonymous for fear of the possible revocation of his seats. “And if you read the letter, you’ll see that they just jammed it at the bottom of the letter with this nice little surprise.”
The smartphone-less gentleman, despite his ire, believes 99 percent of his fellow print-infatuated contemporaries will still want the physical tickets, which, with all due respect, sounds hyperbolic and quipped that the powers that be will eventually charge patrons “to use the urinal or escalator, or breathe the air from your seats.”
Though they have not sipped from Lord Stanley’s cup since 1993, the Canadiens have not lost a bit of their status as ice hockey royalty. They have claimed three of the last five division crowns and have sold out their last 541 home dates, including 48 postseason tilts. That amazing record, which extends back to January 2004, is great proof that the franchise will likely forever find favor for its red, white and blue-clad skaters, but is the $150 per ticket fee for printed materials good business, especially since season-ticket holders must also purchase tickets for the Canadiens’ four preseason home duels?
Loyal rooters must pay to park their posteriors in the Bell Centre by August 2, so this figures to be an interesting week in Canada’s second-most populous municipality, particularly since the Canadiens will have an immediate chance to validate the extra charge when they open their home slate October 10 against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Western Conference’s leading point getter last campaign and the winners of three Stanley Cups since 2010.
Call me old-fashioned, but I am a supporter of printed tickets, as I can connect memories to every physical admittance granter that I still have. The sustainability buff in me commends the attempt to curtail costs, but, in this case, I still prefer holding aloft a ticket instead of a phone. What about you?