Who loves live sports? Really, who doesn’t? If the price was right (and if I didn’t play recreational sports myself), I’d be at a live sporting event every night. So where can I see high-level sports in Calgary for a great price? Yeah, I’m sure you already know the answer, but let’s look at the numbers anyways.
We’ll start with tickets for local regular season sporting events at the Pengrowth Saddledome to see the Calgary Falmes (NHL Hockey), the Calgary Hitmen (WHL Hockey), and the Calgary Roughnecks (NLL Lacrosse):
|Club *||Level 1||$219.42||$40.00||$62.47|
|Red 1||Level 1||$140.06||$25.00||$51.97|
|Red 1||Level 1||$43.89|
|Gold *||Level 2||$228.76||$20.00||$62.47|
|Red 2||Level 2||$116.71||$20.00||$40.42|
|Red 2||Level 2||$36.96|
|Black (Row 1)||Level 3||$35.48||$20.00||$11.55|
|U Fan Zone||Level 3||$29.88||$20.00||$11.55|
|SC Fan Zone||Level 3||$24.28||$20.00||$11.55|
A few notes. One, The Falmes charge a “mandatory club fee” for Club and Gold seats. I’m not privy to that crowd, so I’ll just imagine the cost to be “out of my price range”. Also, I did the best I could to butter the Hitmen and Roughnecks ticket pricing over the seating divisions the Falmes use, but there’s no guarantee that this list is 100% accurate.
And now, ticket prices for local regular season sporting events at McMahon Stadium to see the Calgary Stampeders (CFL Football):
|Platinum||50 Yard Line||$89.00||$97.00|
|Super Reds||40 Yard Line||$75.00||$83.00|
|Reds||20 Yard Line||$69.00||$77.00|
|Super White||Level 2 (center)||$36.00||$47.00|
|White||Endzones, some Level 2||$29.00||$37.00|
The Stamps charge “premium” ticket prices for the most popular regular season games – like the Labour Day Classic. To keep things simple, I’ll just ignore the “Premium” game prices for future analysis.
And last but not least, here’s what the Calgary Vipers are charging for us to see professional baseball at Foothills Stadium, according to their website:
Some general comments are in order. I have rarely ever paid full price for Hitmen tickets, Stamps tickets or Vipers tickets. Deals can be found quite easily for those teams (like using your Safeway Club Card for Vipers discounts at the door). I’ve never gone to a live lacrosse game (I’ve heard it’s a blast, though), but those ticket prices seem high to me. I guess lacrosse is Canada’s “official” sport, if that means anything. NHL ticket prices in this city are just stupid. I haven’t been to a live Falmes game in this city in over a year (and only three games since the lockout). Remember how the 2005 NHL lockout was going to bring down ticket prices?
There are other costs to attending games involving these teams in this city, like parking, food, glorious beer, and souvenirs, but that’s data for another day (for the record, though, Vipers parking is free, and a Big Rock beer is $4.25 … thank goodness it’s not that Molson garbage).
What I want to do now is compare similar seating across the board for all these teams, using the Vipers as a base. Here’s what I’ve come up with for equivalents:
Foothills Stadium Lower Bowl equivalents:
- Saddledome – Red 1
- McMahon Stadium – Platinum, Super Reds and Reds (averaged)
Foothills Stadium Upper Bowl equivalents:
- Saddledome – Red 2, White (averaged)
- McMahon Stadium – Super Whites
Foothills Stadium Bleachers (General Admission) equivalents:
- Saddledome – Black (row 1), Black (averaged)
- McMahon Stadium – Whites
Since Foothills stadium doesn’t have outfield seating, I haven’t mapped comparisons from all the sections of the other stadiums over to Foothills equivalents. If I could, I’d consider things like endzone seats and behind-the-goal seats to be somewhat like outfield seats. Eh, we make do with what we’ve got.
Now, to compare prices in comparable seating areas between all the teams we’ve been talking about:
Remember, that’s not including intangibles like the cost of parking, concessions, and merchandise – and even though I don’t have the research to back me up (yet), I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Vipers are much less expensive than the other teams in all of those realms as well. There are other intangibles the Vipers offer, like sitting in the warm sun and being close enough to the field to smell the grass (and heckle opposing players one-on-one) that are mostly unique to their product as well.
To further drive home the point, here’s what you have to spend at other sporting events in Calgary to equal one dollar for a Vipers ticket.
No crap, the economy sucks right now. Your live sports entertainment dollar in this city stretches the furthest at a professional baseball game.
By the way, I don’t work for the Vipers. I just like good baseball and a good deal. The Vipers serve both.