Simmons: "Grey Cup prices shocking" "Argos clueless"

Shocking Grey Cup ticket prices show Argos clueless about situation

[b]The timing could not have been worse — or perhaps more tone deaf.
In one 24-hour period, the Toronto Argonauts — forever fighting to find local relevance, coming off a sloppy defeat with their wonderful new home more empty than full on Wednesday night — have punched us in the stomach once again.

The Grey Cup ticket prices are out and the Argos are either incredibly ambitious or incredibly blind and foolish to their situation in this city.
The prices, frankly, are shocking at first glance, stunning at second glance.
My $75 seat in Section 124 at BMO Field on a beautiful summer night is $599 on Grey Cup Sunday, weather undetermined, in November.

One championship game for the price of almost eight regular-season games.
The top ticket price for Grey Cup 2016 in Toronto is $899.
The next price of a seat is $799.
After that, it scales back from — gulp — $699 to $599 to $499 to $399.
And if you want to go on the cheap — imagine that — the lowest Grey Cup ticket price in years, they say, is $169 a ducat.
In other words, I’m out.

If I had any intention of buying Grey Cup tickets for my family before Thursday, it’s not even a consideration now. It’s way too rich for my blood or bank account.
“Fifty percent of the tickets are under $300, a quarter of them are under $200,? said Sara Moore, the Argos’ senior vice-president and COO of the 2016 Grey Cup. “Our average ticket price is just over $300. We think, for Toronto, pricing that’s just about right.
“It’s a championship game,? she added. “I’m not worried about (sales) at all.?

Last year, in football-crazy Winnipeg, they worried about sales. The average ticket price was $285 for a Grey Cup seat. In Winnipeg, where they’ve paid for years for terrible football, selling the Grey Cup wasn’t easy at all.
Two years before, in football-nutty Regina, the average Grey Cup ticket was also $285.
Regina pays for anything that is football. Toronto is being asked to pay just a little bit more now.
The average price now: Just more than $300 a seat.

And here’s what I can’t get out of my head, because I really want to believe in the new Argos, the new ownership, the new business people.
I want to give them every chance to succeed. I sat in my new season-ticket seats on Wednesday night, enjoying the atmosphere, taking part in the pre-game tailgate, trying to experience whether football can be fun again in Toronto and across the field, while on the other side of BMO, the stands were basically empty. Attendance was announced at 12,373.
More seats were empty than filled at the beautiful new stadium.
At reasonable prices. In the middle of summer. With kids out of school.

Yes, there can be a complete disconnect between Argos sales and championship-game sales, but one has to be built alongside the other. The better time to do a Grey Cup here was a year or two down the road, once something has been established or re-established here.
But the CFL and Argos were opportunistic, or perhaps too quick on the draw here. In 2012, the Argos had 8,000 season-ticket holders and 54,000 at Grey Cup. By the time last season ended, they had just 3,600 season seats sold. Now they’re up to 7,000, according to team president Michael Copeland.

If other season-ticket holders are scared off by Grey Cup prices, the challenge grows even more so for the Argos. The prices seem rather monstrous in a year of World Cup and world junior hockey and — who knows — maybe a World Series in the market.

In the end, there’s only so much money to go around.[/b]

I was shocked when I saw the prices. Tannen-Bell is trying to hit a home run and have a financial war chest set aside to cover Argo losses for the next 5+ years. Is it a bridge too far? We'll know in November.

Yes I also heard yesterday while at the game how my same ticket as Simmons’ will be this rather gauge like amount.

I agree with Simmons. If you were going to charge this amount, you needed to build. Now they look greedy. How many tickets are available? I'm assuming high 30's.

If they sell out, this will be a $15M payday for Tannen-Bell and will cover the Argo losses for a half decade plus.

A little birdy tild me the game is already sold out... Then I put the crack pipe down... Cant believe you fooled people into thinking the Argos had more than twice as many seasons as they actually
I actually signed up to defend you against

Fans say that the CFL should be considered "major league" in Toronto, but they won't pay major league prices.
Fans would pay higher prices for a Jays World Series or playoff ticket or a Raptors NBA final ticket.

Nothing to worry about people, relax about the price point on those Grey Cup ducats. I mean after all our very own resident expert on all things CFL none other than A-51 has all but guaranteed everyone that the game will be sold out based solely on the fact of it being played in the BIG CITY where everyone is Football Mad and absolutely nuts about the sport. :roll: :lol:

The Raptors have had 76 consecutive sellouts, their playoff tickets are in demand, most tickets go to season seat holders who get first dibs

Jays playoff tickets are less, way less

perhaps the higher ticket prices is a reflection that BMO can only be expanded another 10,000 more in seating for Grey Cup events which is the lowest capacity in the CFL.

Grey Cup capacity for each CFL venue:

  • Olympic Stadium - 66,300 (if roof repaired)
    *Commonwealth Stadium - 56,300 capacity
    *BC Place - 54,500 capacity
  • Mosaic Stadium - 55,400 capacity
    *Rogers Centre - 52,250 capacity
  • McMahon Stadium - 46,000 capacity
  • Investors Group Field - 40,000 capacity
  • Tim Hortons Field - 40,000 capacity
  • TD Place - 40,000 capacity

Tannen-Bell have likely accounted for the smaller capacity at BMO by raising GC ticket prices.
..and this will be the norm as fewer people are going to the park while new and refurbed stadiums are constructed to hold smaller capacities.

Yes the tickets prices are very high and we won't be taking advantage of the early window for STHs.

At the same time we haven't said we won't go either.

It's too early to say ownership is clueless. Let's start assessing that in November but hope they have the corporate accounts lined up before deciding on the price point.

Well any thought of going, I am out.

I get the smaller stadium higher prices theory. But this is the CFL. There was a time if you wanted to host a Grey Cup, you had to be able to put 50K butts in the seats.

Now Grey Cups look more like a glorified regular season game.

I don’t know the Toronto market, but I won’t be dropping over $500 for a ticket plus airfare and hotel.

I have been to five Grey Cups in the past, don’t know with the direction of ticket prices if I will be going again. Watching Grey Cup last year with such a small crowd for the championship game, was kinda depressing.

There are some that will pay those crazy prices, but not many.

Do not forget, hotels will be jacking the prices up as well.

There will be a super Grey Cup week sale to sell out the seats.

This will then piss the hell out of those who did pay the huge price.

I say this from experience .

In 2014, I paid $ 288 for my GC seat. That GC week they were selling the seats in my section for $50.

I was fine with 288. Just upset that the guy next to me got it for 50.

I was so pissed off, It kind of took the thrill out of the Stamps win.

You are comparing a one game championship for all the marbles to to a multi series championship , I have to assume a fan would not go to just one game out of a possible 12 or so .
Even if a person only went to a one series (say ALCS 3 or 4 games ) how then does the financial comparison work out ? AND even then, that fan does not see a World Series champ crowned.
Also , those are 2015 prices , you can bet the 2016 MLB playoff ones will be considerably higher.

CFL thinks blue collar fans can pay the bills the whole season and then rip them off and give tickets to the big game to the corporate elite.

That will work out well…

Its not just the CFL it the whole professional sports world , all those kids standing in Jurassic Part during the raptors run , they are out there bouncing around becasue theres not way in hell they could afford a ticket . I doubt they could afford one to a regular season game either.

That's fair but, again, they are setting the bar too high. We are NOT Major League Baseball or the NBA. We are the CFL and being "ma and pa" is suppose to be our strength and what makes us unique. We are a League of 9 teams where Toronto gets the Grey Cup on an all too regular basis for these prices.

I HOPE I'm wrong and they sell all of the tickets but they are taking a chance and swinging for the fences on this one.

I HOPE they sell every ticket at the prices list. I just think they are over-reaching.

Well said.

Yup. And we can't blame the Argos for trying to cash in. I just think they are alienating their base with these prices.


Simmons has missed one key point in his article; if this Grey Cup is a sellout it will still have the lowest attendance since 1975! Only 2 Grey Cup games since have been under 40K and both were in Winnipeg. I believe a sellout will be right around the 30K mark so is it any wonder ticket prices and average price is higher than Winnipeg last year and Regina (44.7K)?

I hate to say it, because it is such a dump and horrible place to watch a game, but wouldn't the Skydump have been a better choice? It would be at least 4 weeks after the last Blue Jays game if they went all the way and 4 months before the next Jays game. As long as it doesn't interfere with their baby I think Rogers only concern would be profit and the last Grey Cup game there sold 53k.

I thought, and please correct me if I'm wrong, the seat total was going to be in the 37K range.

I didn't fool anyone, i just reported what my rep told me. Look at the wording of my original posting.
Granted a major difference from the 15k told to me to the reported 7k by Simmons.

You forgot the Hamilton blizzard Grey Cup in 96, around 35k and they were giving away tickets.
As for THF seating 40k for a GC, where would they put an additional 16,000 seats? I think it's more like 35k.
TD Place won't be seating 40k either

A Grey Cup will sell out at BMO, probably not many Torontonians will buy tickets but fans from the rest of the CFL cities will snap them up. The premium seats and the private suites will likely sell out too.