Tickets for Sunday's sold-out Memorial Cup final in Halifax have reached NHL prices as fans try to see the home team win it all.
The 10,000-plus tickets sold out before the Halifax Mooseheads even secured their spot in the championship game. Those tickets went for $50 to $75, but are now being resold for hundreds of dollars.
That's pushing people like Evan Tanner-Nodding of Spryfield out of the market. He's a big fan of the team, though his attendance has dropped off since his daughter was born in December.
"I thought I might get to go to a game with my father," he told CBC News Thursday as he tried to get tickets.
He expected to pay up to $300 for two tickets. "I did find tickets on StubHub, but they were lower bowl around centre ice for $489," he said. "The order would have come to over $900, which is just too much money for a regular old Joe like me."
Many Kijiji sellers are asking for $500 or more per ticket. Some are priced at $750 per ticket. StubHub lists two seats going for $795 US each, or more than $1,000 apiece.
By contrast, Toronto Maple Leafs tickets average just over $330 US during the regular season, according to ticket reseller TicketIQ, or about $445. You can watch the Toronto Raptors play in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals for a minimum of about $360 a ticket, according to current posts on Ticketmaster's resale platform.
Season-ticket holders got first dibs
Mooseheads president Brian Urquhart said their main goal was to ensure season-ticket holders got good seats and a decent price.
"We have over 95 per cent uptake from our season-ticket holders, so the building will be rocking on Sunday with our fans who have been with us every step of the way," he said Thursday.
Urquhart said the quick sellout was a great show of fan enthusiasm in Nova Scotia. Those tickets topped out at $75.
"I have a philosophy that what makes junior hockey great, part of it is the price tag. It's where you get to see a Nathan MacKinnon for $20, $40, before you have to pay $100 to see him," he said.
Urquhart said the game will be shown on TV.
When Halifax won the right to host the tournament last year, the Mooseheads hoped they'd find a way to the championship game. They did, via the unlikely process of losing to Rouyn-Noranda in the last game of the round robin.
That's driven up demand for tickets. No laws prevent reselling tickets for increased prices in Nova Scotia. Ontario tried to introduce such a law, but later dropped it.
Risk of buying stolen or lost tickets
The Scotiabank Centre in Halifax urges people not to buy tickets through brokers and prohibits people from selling tickets on its premises. It warns people: "If you accidentally purchase lost or stolen tickets, you risk being removed from your seats."
Tanner-Nodding and his father spent many happy days at Mooseheads games when he was growing up and they'd hoped to make some more memories. He's holding out hope one of the online contests he's entered will pay off, or he'll find someone selling for a "reasonable" price.
He said he did look for tickets earlier, but most came as part of multi-game packs, driving up the cost. With full-time work and a young daughter, he wouldn't be able to go to that many games anyway. He said his father supports the Ottawa Senators, while he's a Maple Leafs fan.
"So we don't watch a lot of NHL games together," he said. "But for the prices of tickets for this game, I could have went and seen a Leafs game with my father."
The Guelph Storm and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies will play in the semifinal Friday night. The winner will play Halifax in the final Sunday.
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