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Moncton CFL game ticket sales off to a slow start

The Toronto Argonauts will play the Montreal Allouettes on August 25 in Moncton, N.B.
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Football
(Photo courtesy of cfl.ca)

The Toronto Argonauts will play the Montreal Allouettes on August 25 in Moncton, N.B.

But ticket sales for Touchdown Atlantic have been dismal, and some have wondered whether it's worth the price.

"It's much higher than the last time it was out here in Atlantic Canada. I think seven years ago the ticket prices started around 25, 30 dollars, and now you're buying the cheapy seats for around 80 bucks," says Moshe Lander, an economics professor at Concordia University in Montreal.

After a story published by Global News last week, at appears tickets are currently on sale for Father's Day, with some seats now listed at the lower price of $50.

Lander says the price is especially high for a game between two teams that don't have stakes in Atlantic Canada.

The economist thinks people are still focused on the end of the school year and beginning of summer, and haven't yet made their plans for August.

"Ultimately it will sell out as we get closer and people start to think about the end of the summer," Lander tells ENWS 95.7's The Todd Veinotte Show.

Unlike the NHL season, which is popular from the time training camps open, Lander says most fans don't pay attention to the CFL until later.

"Most people don't even realize the season started," he says. "It's when you get to the Labour Day Classic that people start focusing in."

But for a region that is hoping to get our own CFL franchise, Lander says the low sales are discouraging.

"The CFL does want a tenth franchise," he explains. "And the fact that we keep seeing the CFL commissioner coming to Halifax on multiple occasions seems to suggest that they really are interested."

But this year's game won't be held in Halifax, but instead in Moncton because the stadium already exists.

"If you're going to host a CFL franchise, you should probably put the game in the city where the team's also going to be," says Lander.

Lander says this adds to the growing list of mistakes that the Atlantic Schooners group has made in their ongoing attempts to get a team here.

"They should've been hosting a Grey Cup party back in November, but they were nowhere to be seen," he says. "If they want to sell out this game, they should be highly visible."

Another main topic of debate has been the construction of a stadium, with the main proposed location of Shannon Park, in Dartmouth.

But Lander doesn't think that choice is ideal when compared to stadium locations in other cities.

"You don't put the stadium on the edge of town or near a bridge, you put it right where the people are," he explains. "Where everybody can congregate in a central location, where there's bars and restaurants nearby. You want to be able to come out of downtown office space, and grab a beer and then go to the game, and then grab a beer before you go home."

Lander says the turn out for 'Jurassic Park' in Halifax shows that downtown would be a great location, if only there was room.

"If you really want to put the stadium in the perfect spot, you drop it in the Halifax Commons or the Public Gardens," he laughs.

But one thing the Schooners have done right, Lander says, is keeping ownership local.

"There's nothing worse than an ownership group that has no interest in the city where the franchise is," he says. "And you do have a lot of big companies out here in Atlantic Canada that could certainly get behind a franchise, whether it's through naming rights on the stadium or putting promotions around the skirts of the stadium."

For the upcoming game, at least, Lander says the tickets will sell out, one way or another.

"They're going to make sure that it's full one way or the other," he says. "Even if they have to have some sort of in-house sale through Sobeys or something, spend 50 bucks and here's a ticket."

Tickets to the Moncton game are available to purchase online through Ticket Atlantic.




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Victoria  Walton

About the Author: Victoria Walton

After graduating from journalism at King's, Victoria Walton now works in the film industry and as HalifaxToday.ca's weekend editor.
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