I guess the hope of a shiny new sports arena with all the bells and whistles is going to cost. For the most part, fans/citizens are both interested and excited about the prospect of a new arena in downtown Calgary. THe only problem? The cost. Almost everyone I’ve talked to welcomes the idea, but not at the expense of any taxpayer money. The ownership group would have it differently with around 25%+ coming from the taxpayers coffer. That amounts to 250+million. The other side of the coin is the ticket-sale ‘tax’ where fans will pay incrementally with higher ticket prices.

Everyone seems to be on board with this idea, if you love the Flames and pay to watch, then you’ll pay for the new arena too. But how high have ticket prices gone? Well, we know now, it’s double. Sometimes more than double.

For example, you can purchase 9-game packs: 8 regular season games, 1 pre-season. Two seasons ago, if you were to buy this pack it would cost about $853 for TWO seats. This year, a single seat 9 game pack is $873, more than double. And this is the same section, second level near the top.

Wanna see the Canucks, Oilers, or Canadiens? Better get ready to dish out some serious cash. Press Level seats (aka nosebleeds) are going for over $200 for the Montreal game.

In the free-market enterprise you design your pricing based on what the market will allow. If fans will pay the prices, then cudos to ownership, they should charge what they can. It does make Flames’ tickets among the most expensive in the league, but if the market will allow it, then have at ‘er. Of course, if you want to act as a free market engine on one hand, you’ll be hard pressed to challenge for public dollars on the other. Not sure if you can have your cake and eat it too

But my sense is, deep down inside, everyone knows public money will be in someway contributed to the project, it’s only a matter of how much.