Hosting fee caused higher Memorial Cup ticket prices, impacting attendance

Hosting fee caused higher Memorial Cup ticket prices, impacting attendance

REGINA — The organizing committee chair for the 100th Memorial Cup says that a high fee to host the tournament has caused increased ticket prices and impacted attendance.

Shaun Semple said that the Regina Pats, a team in which he is a co-owner, had to pay $3.65 million to host the Canadian major junior championship.

He said that ticket prices start at $75 per game and the Pats owners expect to lose upwards to $2 million between the tournament and opening ceremony, which featured a performance by The Eagles at Mosaic Stadium.

This year’s Memorial Cup has yet to sell out through the first four games at Brandt Centre, which has a capacity of 6,484, entering Tuesday’s night’s matchup between the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Hamilton Bulldogs.

Semple added that ticket sales for the tournament are around expected so far.

He said the ownership group wanted to bring the event to Regina in the team’s 100th year ever since the five businessmen purchased the franchise in 2014.

“We planned to lose money when we brought it in because we knew we couldn’t charge enough based on the number of seats we had and the fees we had to pay in order for us to break even,” Semple said Tuesday.

Regina’s opener against the Ontario Hockey League’s Bulldogs had an attendance of 5,678 — the lowest of the tournament’s first four games.

A Twitter user with the handle @tberbs18 said in a tweet on Friday that it’s: “Sad the Pats have turned this into a cash grab!”

Carley Olfert is a billet mom for Swift Current Broncos players Colby Sissons and Tyler Steenbergen. She said that she spent $197 for three top row tickets to Saturday’s Swift Current opener against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Titan.

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