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January 11, 2003
It might difficult to get tickets for the NHL games in Toronto, since hockey seems to be everyone's favorite in Toronto--well, it is Canada! It is always worth a try, though. The easiest way is to book well in advance at www.ticketmaster.ca (try it--the more expensive tickets and single seats may be available even just a week before the game).
You can almost always get tickets from the scalpers hanging outside the ACC before the game, but if it is an important game, you may have to pay much more than the box office price! However, if there seems to be tickets available, wait a little into the game and you'll usually get the tickets for a lot less than before the game starts. We actually managed to get tickets for a play-off game in 2001 (Toronto-Ottawa), C$90/ticket, almost the normal price for two seats next to each other. But watch out--they will not tell you if it is a standing-room only ticket--it will be indicated on the ticket, but not too clearly! There are also a lot of tickets that are in a no-alcohol area so you have to finish your beer before returning to your seat.
If you live in Toronto or in the area, you can try to find out when tickets go on sale for the season, and then the day before that go to the ACC box office to get a wristband. The next day you'll have to line up according to the wristband number. Then a random number is picked, and the whole queue is rearranged starting from that number--then you get to buy tickets. You can purchase a maximum of eight tickets per person, four per game. Not all areas are available but this is your best shot at scoring tickets, especially at C$30-70 price level. We did this three times and got tickets each time, though it is not guaranteed in any way... It is also a lot of fun and you meet a lot of other real fans (plus wives and girlfriends, such as myself, who somehow got talked into this...)
Well, if you've been to an NHL game, then you know that it is fun even for someone who doesn't care much for sports--the atmosphere’s great, especially at Canadian games. We always like to go early so that we hear both national anthems and get to see all the light shows, etc. In the ACC, since it’s a new arena, you have great services available. The best and cheapest coffee you'll get is from Tim Hortons, naturally!
After the game, walk or take the subway back--it is fun to go together with all the other people from the game. The subway is packed and so are the streets close by--besides, parking costs some C$20 in the parking lots close by!
From journal Toronto - food and fun things to do
by Tim G
March 27, 2002
Anyhow once you've got a ticket you're in for an experience you won't forget. This place was built for hockey. Everything in the building says so. The ACC is immaculate. Take note of the corporate types who sit in the lower sections near the ice. They've all got private boxes under the seats to retreat to between periods!
Concessions here are very good. As are the sightlines. You'll get a good view of the action no matter where you are seated (with the exception of a small handfull of seats near the wall, the tickets say obstructed view on them). The atmosphere is fun too. However the steep price and sheer difficulty of getting tickets mean that some of the most passionate fans are watching the game at the local pub and not the ACC. But the place is always full and the crowd extremely knowledgable when it comes to hockey. That said it doesn't get as loud here as it does at some other NHL venues. Except for playoff games when the corporate suits who hold the majority of the tickets decide it's ok to chear and let loose. But there is always that special event feel at every game, playoffs or not.
All in all a great experience and if you have the chance it's a "must do" when you're in Toronto.
From journal Continously Exploring Toronto
London, United Kingdom
June 27, 2001
From journal The T-dot