Calgary Sports Ticket Price Breakdown

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):

Seat Approx Location Falmes Hitmen Roughnecks
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
Silver Level 2 $160.60 $20.00 $57.75
Red 2 Level 2 $116.71 $20.00 $40.42
Red 2 Level 2 $36.96
White Level 2 $88.70 $20.00 $32.34
Orange Level 2 $63.49 $20.00 $28.87
Green Level 2 $46.69 $20.00 $20.79
Black (Row 1) Level 3 $35.48 $20.00 $11.55
Black Level 3 $31.75 $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
Restaurant $145.66
Wheelchair $74.70
Wheelchair 1 $83.10
Wheelchair 2 $54.15

saddledome seat chart

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):

Seat Approx Location Stampeders (Premium)
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
Blue Red-Zone $49.00 $57.00
Super White Level 2 (center) $36.00 $47.00
White Endzones, some Level 2 $29.00 $37.00

McMahon seat chart

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:

Seat Approx Location Vipers
Yellow Lower Bowl $16.00
Red Upper Bowl $12.00
Bleachers 3B/Left Field $9.00

Foothills seat chart

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:

Seat Vipers Falmes Stampeders Hitmen Roughnecks
Lower Bowl $16.00 $140.06 $77.67 $25.00 $47.93
Upper Bowl $12.00 $102.71 $36.00 $20.00 $36.57
Bleachers (GA) $9.00 $33.62 $29.00 $20.00 $11.55

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.

Seat Vipers Falmes Stampeders Hitmen Roughnecks
Lower Bowl $1.00 $8.75 $4.85 $1.56 $3.00
Upper Bowl $1.00 $8.56 $3.00 $1.66 $3.05
Bleachers (GA) $1.00 $3.74 $3.22 $2.22 $1.28

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.

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3 Responses to Calgary Sports Ticket Price Breakdown

  1. mrred says:

    Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

  2. Debbi says:

    I couldn’t agree more about the great value the Vipers provide. The tickets are inexpensive, the food and drinks are reasonable, the baseball is very good and entertaining. I wasn’t much of a baseball fan before but a family member works for the Vipers so I started going to quite a few games to show my support. Now I’m hooked and can’t wait for opening day. Play ball!

  3. Pingback: What Is This Neanderthal Game of Football of Which You Speak? « Ten Prairie Sticks: Unofficial Calgary Vipers Blog

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