Early last week I saw an email come through from a co-worker who had an extra ticket to the Flames-Leafs game for last Thursday night and I figured what the heck, time to do something fun during the week and get away from my apartment.

Luckily my timing was perfect and I was the first to reply so I got the ticket.

This was quite a different experience than the Flames game I attended last year with a group from the office since it turns out that the co-worker had gotten the tickets from his sister who had gotten them from work and thus they were far from the cheap seats we had occupied the last time. Instead there were in row 9, just inside of the blue line of the Calgary offensive zone. Wow!

And…they each had a face value of CAD $252. Thankfully I wasn’t paying for this!

The craziness didn’t end with the price tag. When we got to the rink we also had access to the club level for dining and drinks before, during, and after the game, Since it was quite crowded we opted to eat standard arena fare and only get a drink at the bar prior to the game. I think that’s the first time I’ve actually drank wine at a hockey game,

We also could have ordered drinks from our seats and had them delivered. I was tempted to do it just to say that I did and opted against that since at the time I was ready to order it was intermission and a trip to the ladies room seemed like a good idea. And even that was a different experience. There were no lines.

Of course this whole experience did get me thinking a bit on how crazed the whole sports industry is that they can actually charge that much for a ticket to a single game, and in this case a game between two of the worst teams in the league. Spectator sports really aren’t for the family any more and days such as those that I enjoyed as a kid going to multiple NBA and MLB games each year are long gone.

I know there are many arguments for the high salaries and the high ticket prices that result from those salaries, but it is really very crazy.  Will it ever stop? Or will more and more corporations buy all of the seats so that the only way someone can go to a game is if they happen to work for the right man?

Will there be any positive side effects of this trend, such as minor league attendance increases? Or will losing teams begin to struggle to fill stadiums thus making the event even more out of reach of the masses as television broadcasts are cancelled?

Or perhaps we will turn to other more intellectual forms of entertainment and the various arts industries will be the winners. Don’t get me wrong, I obviously enjoy sports and had a great time at the game, but I do generally remember the details of a play I have seen much longer than those of a game. And the discussions afterwards are much more stimulating,