Buffalo Sabres Should not Follow Lead of Nashville Predators, Keep Opposing Fans Out August 18th, 2013 at 9:00 AM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101
The Nashville Predators have started a program to keep the fans of one of their main rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks, out of Bridgestone Arena.
Some Buffalo Sabres fans might like a similar plan to be in place at First Niagara Center when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town. It's an interesting theory, but not one that works out at the box office.
The Predators have stopped selling single-game seats to the Blackhawks games. To attend those games in Nashville, fans would have to buy either season tickets, a multi-game plan or tickets to a second home game.
Team officials say they want to discourage Chicago fans from driving south to overtake Music City. Blackhawks players have complimented the feel of their games in Nashville, saying the chants for them were louder than chants for the home team.
In many cases – certainly last season, which was a rare bad season for the Sabres combined with a good year for the Leafs – that was the case when Toronto trekked to Buffalo. The Sabres know the Canadian contingent will be strong for these games, and they charge more for Leafs tickets than any others (once again in 2013-14, the Leafs are the only team to have a game priced at the platinum level, the highest of five levels the Sabres price tickets at).
They know Leafs drown out Sabres fans – some of the quietest in the NHL – most nights. But they don't really care. And why should they? If they can double their gate receipts for a day, why should it be their concern if Buffalo fans don't pay the premium prices?
Heck, many Sabres fans use the profits from selling their Leafs tickets to Canadians to help offset the cost of their season tickets. And even with high mark-ups, Leafs fans can still attend a game more cheaply in Buffalo than in Toronto, where fans must pay an average $123.77 per ticket for the privilege of getting into the Air Canada Centre.
If Sabres fans are upset by the Canadian invasion, then they need to step up their games and get their hands on those tickets. Because the Sabres have no need to play Bad Cop and keep opposing fans out.
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