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Friday, May 23, 2008

A Modest Proposal

Tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals are usually a hot commodity. This is especially true this year, with the exciting matchup between the Penguins and Red Wings. With that in mind, I made sure to log on to Ticketmaster at the exact minute when tickets -in both cities - were made available to the general public, in hopes of securing a seat to some exciting June hockey.

Unfortunately, I could have saved myself the effort, since upon accessing the site, I was greeted with the following disclaimer:

"Tickets will only be sold to residents of U.S. states X,Y, and Z [all within proximity to the home team]."

This meant that I, and any other Canadian [or American hockey fan in places like Minnesota], were out of luck unless we want to pay upwards of $300 for an upper level seat to be obtained through ebay a broker.

This isn't fair. And the NHL should do something about it.

Listen, I understand that teams (and the league) don't want a repeat of the Bruins' first round home games where visiting Habs fans almost outnumbered Beantown locals. It also isn't good when home town fans can't get tickets when they actually want them (which is different than what happened in Boston). But these circumstances aren't at play here. Moreover, Michigan and Pennsylvania are huge states, and when you include close-by New York (the second biggest statewide market in the country) in the access-to-ticket privileges, you're already significantly inhibiting the chances of hometown Joe to get a ticket.

[I know I'm giving short-shift to the all-important scalper/broker purchasing problem here, but again, by including all these east-coast big city markets in the permitted-to-access group, the league really isn't doing anything to inhibit such purchases anyways.]

Which is all to say, I think the NHL needs to step in and make Cup Finals tickets accessible to anyone, including Canadians.

Or at least, throw in a special exemption for Winnipeg and Quebec City residents as a form of reparations!

That's all for now. If anyone has Game 1 tickets available, let me know in the comments section!

For Illegal Curve, I'm Steve Werier

Ballhype: hype it up!

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