Hockey isn’t cheap. In fact, for a sport with a blue collar image, it demands a whole lot of cash to enjoy.
J.J. at Canucks Hockey Blog prepared a chart the other day (copied below) highlighting the price increases in Vancouver this season. His comment: “Canucks fans can’t be too happy with this increase, especially one that averages in double-digit percentages. Including service charges, the cheapest tickets - yes the cheapest - will now cost more than $100 for a pair.”
Ironically, it was just yesterday that I read that even Detroit is offering some price relief for at least a few lucky people: they’re selling a pile of $9 tickets, making them available at the start of each month.
But ticket price is just the beginning when it comes to being a hockey fan. Living outside Vancouver, my access to games is limited, and yet I still blow appalling amounts of money on this addiction of mine. Like my cable bill, for starters.
First off, most televised games must be accessed on Sportsnet television, and thus well-beyond the offerings of basic cable. Plus, since pay-per-view is necessary to watch over a dozen games through the year that are not available on regular television (16 or 17, isn’t it?) I’m also required to have a digital connection during the season. Now, this final price includes my internet access (also 95% hockey related, I’d like to point out) but I still think $97 a month is getting pretty steep when the ONLY thing I ever watch on television is hockey, no??
But THEN add in the cost of actually buying that PPV package of games being held hostage from me, and that costs yet another $160.00 (approximately - I haven’t checked the new price yet) for the season. So, over the course of October till June, let’s be conservative and say that my cable television bill is about $1000. (And that doesn’t include the price of that very-necessary digital box for the TV; nor Center Ice, which just became available in British Columbia this year and I’m awfully tempted to get it…)
So, in summary: I now get about 100 channels of television-annoyance, spend $1000+ dollars a season, all so I can experience ONE sports team traumatize me relentlessly for about 7 months of the year.
Geezus. No wonder Canucks fans drink… it’s not because the team loses; it’s simply because it exists.
(I’ll have to save another rant for later, about the money I coughed up for my vintage Luongo jersey earlier this summer. The cost of hockey merchandise is worthy of a post all its own…)