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Leafs Tickets Still The Highest In Hockey

With summer officially behind us and the fall season in full swing, many Canadians are looking for new ways to entertain and enjoy themselves. Packing away the rollerblades and swimsuits, people from over Canada are now gearing up for what some consider their favourite time of year – hockey season.

With the 2009/2010 NHL season kicking off last week, many Canadians are happily back on their couches to turn on the television in time for their favourite team's first games of the season. For some, the idea of staying in and watching the game is a welcome thought considering the tough economic situation facing the nation.

For others, heading out to the arena to watch their team in action live is simply a must. But how has the economy affected the hockey fan's decision? For some Canadians, the decision to go to a game is easy. For others, shelling out the big bucks to see their heroes on ice is a difficult choice.

As The Toronto Star's sports reporter, Chris Young writes today, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs have it the toughest among all NHL fans. According to his article, Toronto fans pay more than double the league average for a ticket to their home team's games.

Bases on a Chicago-based Team Marketing Report's annual survey that was released earlier this week, Toronto Maple Leafs games at the Air Canada Centre carry an average ticket of $117.49 U.S. this season. The league standard is $51.41.

Not only that, but of the 11 NHL teams raising ticket prices this season, the Leafs' 10 per cent increase is the highest in the entire league. Fans of the Montreal Canadiens pay an average of $72.18 a ticket to see their home team play at the Bell Centre in Montreal. It's the second highest price paid in the league.

For those of you who don't follow hockey (are you sure you're Canadian?), the Toronto Maple Leafs have not even earned a playoff berth since the 2004-2005 NHL season was cancelled. Many Torontonians cannot figure out why the price of a Leafs ticket is so high and only continues to increase.

“Absolutely disgusting,” one reader of The Toronto Star posted online, “How they can justify high ticket prices is beyond me given their performance.”

Will the current economic climate coupled with the inflated prices for Leafs tickets affect the box office at Air Canada Centre this season? Chances are ticket sales will remain very successful. The Toronto Maple Leafs themselves, on the other hand…

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