Scott Hinckley has the ideal Valentine’s Day gift suggestion for the Canadiens fan in your life — a couple of tickets for the Habs game against the Florida Panthers Thursday in Sunrise, Fla.
“If a guy is a loyal Habs fan and wants to treat his woman to a couple days of sun, the savings in ticket price vs. the Bell Centre helps partially subsidize the airfare of the Valentine’s visit to the Sunshine State,” Hinckley emailed from his digs in Port St. Lucie.
Hinckley has been attending Canadiens-Panthers games in Sunrise for more than a decade.
“I always got good tickets, but had to buy them early in the season because of high demand from Montreal fans,” Hinckley wrote. “In a typical year, the Panthers sell out only five games: two vs. the Habs, two vs. the Leafs, and the home opener. In fact, a few years ago the Panthers dropped their seating capacity by over 2,000 seats per game for all but those 5 matches.”
This year, Hinckley went online on Feb. 3 to take advantage of a “valued member of the Panthers” offer and found he could get eight consecutive lower-bowl seats opposite the faceoff dot in the Panthers’ attack-twice zone for $100 each and only one service charge of $2.50. He settled for two lower-bowl tickets behind the goal for a total of $122.50. The face value for non-valued members is $81.75 each.
Hinckley said the fact he is a valued member of the Panthers is scary because he attends only two games a year when the Canadiens are in town.
The Panthers are reporting an above-capacity average of 17,591 for four games, but Hinckley is skeptical.
“The fact that the face value (for the $100 tickets) is $138.25 is less troubling than the fact that I can buy fistfuls of the tix a few days before a Canadiens-Panthers game,” Hinckley wrote. “I cannot imagine the ticket sales of the non-Habs and non-Leafs games. In that market they cannot (even) give away thousands of tix (i.e., to goose attendance, boost beer sales, etc.).”
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