When the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs come to Buffalo, the tickets are filed under "platinum" status in the Sabres' variable pricing plan; one that, like others, puts a premium on games against popular opponents so lesser foes seem like "bargains" by comparison.
The difference between a "platinum" game and a "bronze" game, you ask? Why, that's the difference between a $233 club level seat in the 200s for the Canadiens, and the same seat costing $114 for a game against the Florida Panthers. Or a $98 Club Level II seat in the 300s for the Leafs going for $39 for a game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
As you can see above, the market for price gouging ain't what it used to be in this economy. If the Buffalo Sabres are having to offer a free autographed jersey with the purchase of two or four premium tickets for hugely popular rivals like the Canadiens and Leafs -- teams that bring so many of their own fans to the game that they served as a catalysts for the team's variable pricing -- it's time to revisit the policy.
Puck Daddy reader Brian, who sent over the above image from an e-mail sent to Sabres fans, writes:
"[They're] just trying to sweeten the deal. Of course it's only if you buy more than one seat, or around $400. I take this as a sign that they won't have these ‘Platinum games' next season. This season those games are all home games against Toronto and one (the one in the ad) against Montreal. In other words, the games people would really want to see they made too pricey for 90% of people to afford."
There's no question the downturn is making teams get creative. But if it's also helping to eliminate the despicable act of price-gouging for highly anticipated regular-season games ... well, there's always a silver lining, right?