What’s one thing that nobody likes to do? Hint: the answer is not ‘doing your taxes’ or even ‘taking classes on a Saturday’, because believe it or not, there are actual people who enjoy at least one of those things. No. The answer is nobody likes having to dish out cash for something that used to be free!
Some of you probably hit up your nearest Panera or Time Horton’s every so often for a cup of coffee or a sandwich, and ask for that cup of tap water because it’s free and you’d rather not pay three bucks for a bottle. Well what if one morning you stroll into that Tim’s or Panera, really looking forward to that turkey sandwich and free cup of water, only to find out that they now charge $1.25 for the damn cup of tap water. You’d probably question why the hell it matters to such a wealthy, successful business, but you’d buy it anyway because still it’s less than the stupid bottled water, and you’re thirsty.
The 2015 NHL draft was held last year in Sunrise, Florida and tickets were distributed via a lottery system. That is also how the Buffalo Sabres are approaching the distribution of tickets for this year’s draft which is being held at First Niagara Center. The only difference is that when applying for the lottery, the Sabres are making fans choose between $20 300 level seating and $30 100 or 200 level seating, whereas the tickets to the 2015 draft in Florida were free of charge.
Now when I first heard that I was going to have to toss over a twenty to watch thirty bros fulfill the dream every hockey player including myself has (or had), I wasn’t mad, but these were my thoughts: why would Florida, a disaster of a hockey market (they didn’t even sell out their first playoff game this postseason against the Islanders), not take this once-in-a-long-time chance and charge at most thirty bucks for draft tickets and make some extra money. You can’t even fill seats for a playoff game, why are you not charging money for draft tickets to counteract that?
And then here’s Buffalo, a franchise coming off of a season that saw the beginning of a new era, led by Ryan O’Reilly, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, which will guarantee perfect attendance for years to come even amidst rising ticket prices. Furthermore, the Sabres are owned by Terry Pegula, the sixth richest owner in the league as of 2014 according to therichest.com, yet the Sabres still have found a reason to charge for these draft tickets.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still putting in my bid for these tickets. I’m still going to burn that $20 bill because this is a once-in-a-long-time opportunity and I’m a huge Sabres fan, and that $20 pretty much is tap water compared to what I’ll pay to go see a game.
Yeah I could probably just hang out at the party in the plaza or even just watch from home but as long as my $20 doesn’t go towards conehead’s new hump helmet or a massive picture of Jack Eichel’s bird’s nest on the overpass in the plaza, I’ll be fine with paying that money. As long as Tim Murray doesn’t trade away the eighth pick for somebody with the first name Nail, I’ll enjoy my evening. As long as every single obnoxious Toronto fan has to burn that cash too, I’ll be satisfied. Yeah I have to pay for tap water now, but it’s probably going to be the best tap water I’ve ever had.