Last week, I attended two (2) Toronto sporting events. The first was on Monday night, when the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Stars of Dallas. The second was on Friday night, when I got to see the last Rogers Centre home game the Toronto Argonauts will ever play. Moment of silence please.
Now that that moment of silence is over, I will continue. Both sporting events were fun, but were very different. So it got me thinking – I’m a guy that works hard for my money. I’m a blue collar kind of guy. Money is important to me. So which sporting event offered me, a really great and honest fan, the better value and overall experience?
The easiest way to determine the value of a sporting event is the literal money you spent on it. Money makes the world go round, folks.
The two tickets that TLN Managing Editor Justin Fisher and I purchased for the Leafs game were $105 a piece. This was the price for 300-level seats. A lot of people complain about the cost being so high for seats that are so far away, but if you ask me the view is actually perfect in the 300-level. You can see everything that is going on, and the game slows down for you – you can see how things develop and can actually analyze systems. It makes you feel like Wayne McDavid. I’d actually argue that the closer you are to the ice, the less tickets should cost. I didn’t buy tickets to go see a singer-songwriter perform an acoustic set at a back-alley bar – this is sports and I want to see as much sports as possible.
For the Argos game, my friend acquired two 100-level tickets for a $24 bottle of whiskey. So for $12 a person, we had field-level views of a sporting event. Conventionally, this would seem like a great deal, but as mentioned above, I couldn’t really see what was going on. I knew football was happening, but what kind of football? Were the balls inflated? Deflated? There was no way for me to know. If a play went to the other side of the field, I’d cluelessly clap and cheer or boo when everyone else did.
That said, I do appreciate that the person who sold us these tickets was willing to do so for some hard alcohol. That’s someone who understands value.
Speaking of alcohol, beer for each event was expensive, but the Argos game had a wider selection to choose from. But because I got drunk at each event, I don’t think this category really matters. The alcohol clearly wasn’t expensive enough.
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No food was consumed at the Leafs game, but I did down a 12-inch hot dog at the Argos game. It was as delicious as it was phallic. It was the kind of hot dog worth getting lambasted in the media for eating.
Hey Steve, look at this bad boy!
I probably shouldn’t say this, but I attended the Leafs game to watch the Stars. Surprisingly, I didn’t really care about seeing Daniel Winnik (RIP Daniel’s leg) and Byron Froese live. I was attending to watch the Stars score All of the Goals, and give me an All-Star Game experience without all the traveling and dealing with The Media. But in typical Leafs fashion, they won a game they had no business winning – both in terms of team they were playing, and in how they played.
A win is a win, and this win was due in large part to James Reimer’s fantastic performance. Jamie Benn scored the lone goal for the Stars, so I kind of got what I wanted (but not really). Also the Leafs really aren’t exciting right now, other than Nazem Kadri and Morgan Rielly. The rest of the team is as boring and personality-less as you can get this side of New Jersey.
Friday was all about football, and since I have given up on sending my logo and team name ideas to NFL Head Office for a Toronto-based team, the Argos would have to do. It was the last game of the regular season, and last ever at the Rogers Centre. Somehow, with a 9-8 record, the Argonauts had already clinched a playoff berth. That definitely makes sense and makes the CFL seem legit.
They hosted the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who are bad, and the Argonauts handled them pretty easily. There were a bunch of bizarre CFL rules that I had to learn on the fly, but that kept it fresh and interesting and challenged my alcohol-influenced brain. It’s good to try something new if even just for a laugh – that’s why I read articles about corsi sometimes.
Unlike the Leafs, the Argonauts entertained people with a halftime performance. The band was called The Road Hammers, and they brought the house down with hits like “Mud”.
The Air Canada Centre is famous for having a crowd that lacks passion. This could not be further from who attends a Toronto Argonauts game.
This was a fun group of people. I can almost guarantee that 50% of the people at this game had IDGAF tattooed on their body, and the other 50% just DGAF enough to get it tattooed. Yelling, vuvuzela-ing, dancing – all were on display to show one’s true passion of a sports team.
It felt like I was watching the game with people who have chewing tobacco as a snack and leave their pick-up trucks running even when they’re not using them just because they can.
Where you’d see a lot of fans at a Leafs game in suits (looking at you section 100-ers!!!), a good portion of the people at the Argos game were wearing sweatpants. It was just a chill vibe. I felt like I was watching the game on the couch at home. And everyone knew each other, which only added to the big family fun vibe of the game.
And while the ACC feels like a funeral a lot of the time, the Rogers Centre was electric. That’s a crowd that appreciates hard work folks.
Sure, on the surface the higher cost for presumably “worse” seats would be a negative for the Leafs, but the view was a lot better. Point for Leafs.
Both team won, but the Argos actually should have won. Point for Argos.
As for the crowd, this one is easy: point for the Argos.
It’s easy to look at the three areas of criteria and count it 2-1 for the Argos, but this isn’t analytics. Life isn’t about numbers. It isn’t black and white. There is a lot of grey. So with that, I’ll call this a tie. And once they call up Nylander, the Leafs will easily be the best show in town.