Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bell Centre versus Air Canada Centre

On a lark, I ventured out to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Boxing Day to take in the Canadiens/Leafs post Christmas clash. Using some free tickets provided by a supplier and cashing in some frequent flyer points, my guest and I flew out at 4:00PM and returned home at midnight, spending not one minute too long in the Kraft dinner city!

It was touch and go, the weather barely co-operated, but we made it. Here are some random observations, made in the spirit of objectiveness.

1. Tickets cost a helluva lot more in Toronto than Montreal, if you can believe it! Here's a comparison between my season tickets in Montreal and the season tickets of my supplier in Toronto. Wow! What a diff!

2. Could you imagine selling a Leafs jersey at the Bell Centre? Arrrgh!.......

3. The Air Canada Centre provides nifty drink holders between seats. Points for them!

4. Both the ACC and Centre Bell are too snobby to have cheerleaders, ergo these lame-ass boring middle aged ice cleaners. It's a tie!

4. There is a bigger variety of food offered at the ACC as compared to the Bell Centre, but everything I tried was awful. Cold and tasteless. At least at the Centre Bell you can always eat a decent hot dog. The ACC ran out of draft beer in the first period and the only thing on tap was Lite. Eccchh! Both arenas score poorly on the food front. It's a tie!

5. The big screens in the Bell Centre blow away those in Toronto. There are too many little screens and the whole thing is a confusing assault on the eyes.

5. Some corporate boxes are so ridiculously high it's a wonder that any company would lease them.
Wait a minute it seems that they aren't all sold!

6. The ACC looks a little tired and a bit less elegant than the Bell Centre. It seems to me that the building is steeper and thus has many more seats in the 'nosebleed' sections. Checkout SECTION 306, possibly the worst seats in the NHL.

If you're expecting me to say that the fans are lame or unenthusiastic, you would be wrong. You would be right if you called them masochists, because its gotta be painful. If you're a Leafs fan and under 45 years old you've never celebrated a Stanley Cup victory......aargh....

We were sitting beside a grandfather who brought his six-year old grandson (bedecked in Habs gear?) to his first game.
When the game went into overtime the grandfather rose and bade us good-bye.
"Aren't you staying for the overtime?" I asked.
"Nah, we gonna lose anyways and it's just too painful!!!!"

Of course he was right...(sigh..)
Oh....The Leafs...


  1. A couple of comments:

    Point 1.: Of course their tickets are more expensive. That is why the Toronto Maple Leafs is the wealthiest hockey club in the world.

    Point 2.: While we do not really care which team is our opponent, Torontonians seem to be more focused in Leafs - Habs rivalry. In College subway station there, there is a pair of murals with the Leafs on one the wall in one side of the station and the Habs on the other side.

  2. I would have to disagree with section 306. I've sat up there and they are awesome seats. It is steep but you feel closer then you are. They don;t feel like nose bleed seats at all. Torontonians well rivalry and competetion. We support all canadian teams. and the 3 sections that are "empty" They are owned by company cause right now i know that there is a waiting list for corporate boxes. Even though the 3 boxes that your pointing to are owned by the leafs and are for press or visiting team officials. From an outsider looking at it it's an eye sore i understand that.