Post Canada Day thoughts

Ticats 2103 logo on Guelph checkerboard

I have written about the coming of the Ticats and the expansion of Alumni Stadium here, here, here and here. Most of those stories and the accompanying photos focus on the shiny new bleachers, the $450,000 payment the school will receive, plus the huge intangible benefits for the University and the football program from the national media exposure.

The Tiger-Cats will leave behind some much smaller, or at least less-noticed, things as well. For example, all of the seats and sections in Alumni Stadium are now numbered. There is brand new signage, bearing both a Gryphon and a Ticat logo, on each section and in other parts of the stadium as well. If you refer to the Tiger-Cats seating chart you will see that the existing seating of Alumni Stadium is divided into Sections 102 to 106.

The numbering of the seating means that the U of G can sell reserved seat tickets. At the current time that may only be significant for Homecoming or playoff games. But if the Gryphons can grow their fan-base and attendance going forward, it will allow for tiered ticket pricing. If I recall correctly only McMaster, Western and Queen’s do that now and even then only to a limited extent. Seating in other OUA stadiums has always been on a general admission basis. Being able to guarantee premium seats can be an incentive for fans to buy season tickets and a benefit to offer donors and sponsors of the program.

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A check of the Gryphon Box Office @ gryphons.ca shows that 2013 Football Season Tickets are still not available. [The 2012 games are still listed on the site.] In other years season tickets were on sale before now. Last year the ticket sales started early then were put on hold until the stadium renovations were complete. Questions over the status of The Hill, and thus the crowd capacity limits, needed to be resolved. One possible explanation I have heard is that the Athletic Department is considering using the Tiger-Cats ticketing system.

For this one season at least, Guelph has the same 13,000 seats available for sale as the Tiger-Cats do. So the symmetry of that makes sense. Mind you I heard that rumour two months ago and I’m starting to wonder what the delay is. If it turns out to be true then I think the benefits may be worth the wait. I’m all in favour of the Guelph Athletic Dept learning whatever they can from the Ticats. But at the same time 2013 presents a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.

Coming off an amazingly successful 7-1 season in 2012 [9-2 overall] and with 13,000 seats available Guelph should be focusing on setting attendance records and building its ticket-buying base. I know that the Athletic Dept realizes that because AD Kendall said as much when the Ticats-to-Guelph announcement was made back in March.

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Writing about Gryphon season tickets got me to thinking about our 2013 road games. I checked out the websites of our four OUA road opponents – varsityblues.ca, varsity.uwaterloo.ca, goravens.carleton.ca & gogaelsgo.com.

What I learned: Currently, UofT and Queen’s already have tickets for their matches with Guelph on sale. Meanwhile, in 2013 Waterloo still doesn’t offer on-line ticket ordering. And the revived Carleton Ravens program’s ticket site displays the following message: Ticket sales begin 8/16/2013 @ 1:00 PM ET .

The links for tickets:

UofT tickets

Carleton tickets

Queen’s tickets

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2 Responses to Post Canada Day thoughts

  1. Cam La Civita says:

    Windsor has a gold section and a blue section with different pricing.

  2. Bob from Burlington says:

    Peter. Saw your comments on the .org site regarding a very very good Labour Day game at Richardson in 2009. I was likewise at that game having dropped my son off the day before for his first day on campus as first year Engineering student. Final score 52-49 with Jimmy Allin having 3 returns for TD’s with final FG being scored by Gaels with time running out at end of regular time.

    I told some of the players on the field that they would never play in a 100 point game that was decided on the last play of the game. Beautiful sunny day that day and they had just as much troubles at box office as they do presently- one or two wickets at most and one VISA/MC credit card machine with huge amount of walkup crowd before game. Queen’s has the worst system in place for buying tickets in advance of the stadium games I usually attend including Western, Mac, Guelph, Laurier and Queen’s.

    My son regrettably was one of the ENG students slamming his purpled coat in front of Laval bench after semi final game just before Vanier game and he did get “what for” from his father(me) later. I was in Florida for the game taking the game in on the other cis.ca site by blog. Obviously coach Constantin of Laval had not watched the 2009 Queen’s/Guelph game tapes when Laval tried that 47 yard field goal that Jimmy Allin ran back to stun the Rouge et ‘Or.

    Look forward to seeing Guelph this year in several games. Regrettably Gryphons will not be going to TD Waterhouse during regular season to give Western the rematch from last year’s Finch debut.

    BTW- the Guelph supporters likely had the biggest tailgater group I have seen on Mac parking lot I have seen- as my Mustangs eliminated I was there to support Yates and both McMaster and Guelph. We dined on Denninger veal and spinach sausages, pulled pork sandwiches, fake and real beers with Gryphon supporters nearby for Yates. Gryphon supporters outnumbered Mac supporters 5 to 1 in that tailgater before game. Well done Guelph!

    BTW- I pick Guelph to be 2nd this year behind Western, with Mac and Queen’s battling it out for third and fourth

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