If you want a real ticket, Habs fans, you’ll have to pay more

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

Mon­treal Cana­di­ens fans who cher­ish the annual ar­rival of their sea­son tick­ets got an un­wel­come sur­prise when the team an­nounced re­cently it would be charg­ing ex­tra for printed tick­ets.

Team spokesper­son Fran­cois Marc­hand con­firmed that the de­fault op­tion will be mo­bile tick­ets, and fans who want phys­i­cal tick­ets will be charged $150 plus tax per seat. A let­ter to sea­son ticket-hold­ers cited se­cu­rity, ease of use and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity.

Marc­hand said that no se­nior front-of­fice staff were avail­able to com­ment on the de­ci­sion be­cause of sum­mer va­ca­tions.

But some fans were an­noyed by the change.

Will Shead, a life­long Habs fan, said he was on a wait­ing list for 10 years un­til he got a sea­son ticket for the first time last year. The box that came with the sea­son tick­ets made it feel that much more spe­cial to him. “I’m a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed in it ... for me, it’s quite a con­trast from my first year,” said Shead, who shares his sea­son tick­ets with his brother.

“Last year we got this nice box of tick­ets for free. Now it’s like, ‘Oh no, you have to pay for what you got for free last year.’”

Be­yond en­joy­ing the phys­i­cal tick­ets, Shead said it also makes it more com­pli­cated to share with friends and fam­ily. He said he’ll still pay for the phys­i­cal tick­ets, even though the sur­charge is a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of what he forked over for his nose­bleed tick­ets.

A plat­inum sea­son ticket for the 2016-17 sea­son cost $9,564 be­fore tax, while the cheap­est ticket sold for $1,795.

While other teams do of­fer mo­bile ticket op­tions, not all charge for phys­i­cal tick­ets.

The Toronto Maple Leafs said they cur­rently don’t charge for phys­i­cal tick­ets, and won’t make a change with­out talk­ing to fans first. “We’re tak­ing a mea­sured ap­proach, watch­ing the land­scape and how it af­fects our fans,” said David Hag­gith, a spokesper­son for Maple Leaf Sports En­ter­tain­ment. A Cal­gary Flames spokesper­son also said that they of­fer both mo­bile and phys­i­cal op­tions, but don’t charge for the pa­per op­tion. An Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors spokesper­son also said they don’t charge for pa­per sea­son tick­ets.

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