The Vancouver Canucks kick off the preseason this weekend with a game against the Seattle Kraken in Spokane, WA on Sunday. Their first home game of the preseason will be the next day, Monday, September 27 in Abbotsford.
On Tuesday, the Canucks released tickets for the game in Abbotsford, which will be open to 50% capacity, with proof of vaccination required to attend.
Some Canucks fans, however, experienced sticker shock when they checked the prices of tickets. The cheapest tickets, including taxes and fees, are $72.89, with the most expensive ticket coming in at $105.34.
This rubbed some people the wrong way, particularly Ryan Henderson and Don Taylor on the Donnie and Dhali show.
“This is a joke. It’s a complete joke and it’s a complete money grab by everyone over at Rogers Arena,” said Henderson. “Tickets for every preseason game [should be] $40.”
Henderson also pointed out that as the second game in back-to-back nights, the Canucks’ roster in Abbotsford is likely to be a far cry from their opening night roster. He added that the preseason is an opportunity for families, who might not be able to afford regular season tickets, to see the Canucks. The ongoing pandemic, which has taken a toll on many families, makes the price point particularly hard to swallow.
Taylor, meanwhile, made the point that this isn’t the best way for the Canucks to endear themselves to a new city as they bring their AHL team to Abbotsford.
“Canucks ownership...no pulse on the community,” said Taylor. “This is your first kick at the can in Abbotsford. Your first time out...we’re going to charge you an arm and a leg to get in.”
Other Canadian teams charge as much or more for preseason tickets
The tickets certainly seem expensive but are they unreasonable compared to other Canadian teams?
Something to keep in mind is that the Abbotsford Centre doesn’t have an upper bowl. All of their tickets, then, are for lower bowl seating, which is typically more expensive.
Look at tickets for the Toronto Maple Leafs preseason. Tickets start at $30 — $35.50 with taxes and fees — which seems like a pretty reasonable price. That only gets a fan into the upper bowl, however, and lower bowl tickets start at $65 — $75.50 with taxes and fees — which is essentially the same price as the Canucks tickets in Abbotsford.
Getting into a Winnipeg Jets preseason game is relatively cheap — $49 with taxes and fees — but again that just gets you into the upper bowl. The cheapest lower bowl seats are $93 and go up to $142, which is significantly more expensive than the equivalent Canucks tickets.
Those are both teams that made the playoffs last season, of course. What about a team that, like the Canucks, missed the playoffs. In fact, how about a team that has missed the playoffs in four straight seasons, the Ottawa Senators. How much are their preseason tickets?
The cheapest ticket for a Senators preseason game is just $35. As soon as you get into the lower bowl, however, prices jump up to $85 with taxes and fees. The most expensive preseason ticket for the Senators comes out to $250.
Suddenly, the prices for the Canucks’ preseason game in Abbotsford don’t seem quite so outrageous. If the Abbotsford Centre had an upper bowl, it's likely that the Canucks would have offered some cheaper options like other teams.
Of course, the real issue might be that every Canadian team charges too much for preseason tickets. That may very well be true, but you can’t argue that the Canucks are out of line with what other teams are charging.