Thursday, December 9, 2010

How Times Have Changed

In most cases, when a hockey fan attends a National Hockey League game, their only concern is witnessing an exciting contest with the home team gaining 2 points.

A week ago, with Taylor Hall making his first NHL regular season stop at the Air Canada Centre, I strolled into the building with great anticipation. I was not disappointed. Hall displayed his greatest weapon, speed, when he accelerated past the Leafs defence, and planted a Dave Keon-like backhand into the goal.

Without hesitation, I can run this play through my mind in great detail. On the other hand, I have no recollection as to what I wore to the game.

Say What?

It may not be a concern in our current society, but in previous decades it was a relevant issue.

On January 4, 1961 Maple Leaf Gardens sent the following letter to their season ticket holders...

Dear Subscriber:
 Among those attending the National Hockey league games in Maple Leaf Gardens there has been a noticeable letdown lately in the dress and general deportment of a number of people occupying the box seats.
 These naturally, are not the regular box seat holders but, having always been able to keep a high standard in the Maple Leaf Gardens, we are asking our subscribers to exercise care when they release their tickets to someone else.
 We know that our concern regarding the above is also yours, and will appreciate your co-operation.
Yours very truly,
MAPLE LEAF GARDENS LTD

With most season tickets (2010) in the Platinum section at the Air Canada Centre being controlled by corporations, it would be a major challenge to follow the MLG guidelines.

The request "to exercise care when they release their tickets to someone else" would require extra staff for those companies who pass out tickets to clients.

In 2010, the conversation would go something like this...

 "Well Mr. Client, as a way of thanking you for increasing your order by 20%, I want to present you with a pair of tickets to the Leaf game on Saturday night. Before I give you the tickets, your signature is required on this waiver."

 "What is it for?" Mr. Client says with a look of concern.

 "It releases our firm from all responsibility concerning your chosen apparel for wearing to the game."

 "What the..." fumes Mr. Client, shaking his head.

 "Sorry, but it is a necessary condition prior to our handing over the tickets. We have no desire to get on the wrong side of MLSE."

That ladies and gents sums-up how and why times have changed.

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