Grey Cup ticket price change leaves some fans seeing red

The decision by the Toronto Argonauts to cut Grey Cup ticket prices just a few short weeks before the championship game has left some fans seething.

While the Argonauts haven’t officially announced the price drop – there has been no press release or from the team or the league about the changes – people who had already purchased tickets to the Nov. 27 game started receiving letters informing them of the change on Tuesday. Some of them weren’t happy, including these Hamilton fans.

The letters appear to vary depending on which section the tickets were purchased in. Here’s the message another Hamilton fan received.

According to Argonaut president Michael Copeland, are some areas of the stadium – including some of the lowest ticket prices – where the prices aren’t changing. That would indicate that Stewart’s tickets are still being sold at the same price. Not so, she says.

In the meantime, the Argonauts appear to have taken a massive number of tickets offline as they prepare for the price change. Here’s what the Grey Cup seating chart looked like on Sept. 30:

grey-cup-before

And here’s what it looked like on Tuesday afternoon. Unless the Argonauts have sold thousands of tickets in just a few short weeks, the new tickets are not yet available.

grey-cup-after

The price changes are a stunning about face for the Argonaut franchise, who faced immediate criticism when they first put tickets on sale in July. Here’s a quote from a column the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons wrote at the time:

“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.

The Argonauts response, via Argos’ senior vice-president and COO of the 2016 Grey Cup Sara Moore, was included in the same piece:

“Fifty percent of the tickets are under $300, a quarter of them are under $200. Our average ticket price is just over $300. We think, for Toronto, pricing that’s just about right. It’s a championship game. I’m not worried about (sales) at all.”

Whether the lower prices will lead to a flurry of sales remains to be seen. Fans from all over the country attend the Grey Cup as a rite of passage – they go year and year – but with the initially exorbitant ticket prices and the costs associated with travelling and staying Toronto, a number of them may have already decided to take a pass in 2016. The season-long struggles of the East Division hasn’t helped: barring a miracle, the Argonauts won’t even make the playoffs.

Still, even Stewart managed to find a silver lining from her expensive end zone seats and the CFL is clearly hoping that other fans will share her perspective.




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