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Outrageous Ticket Prices

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04-02-2005, 10:22 PM
svetovy poharu
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Outrageous Ticket Prices

With all of the current talk on spoiled overpaid players and greedy owners, here's a little historical gem from the Almonte (Ont.) Times, Jan./Feb. 1910. I guess some things never change.

"Witnessing a game of hockey in Renfrew is a luxury this season which only the very rich can enjoy, the price of seats being in keeping with high salary figures paid to the players. The admission to the rink will now cost 50 cents, and it costs 75 cents for an ordinary reserved seat and a whopping one dollar for the front row."

Some background: Renfrew was denied a challenge for the Stanley Cup in 1907. But by 1909-10, the small town's hockey officials made a decision to enter the professional ranks and to finance the team, Renfrew looked to its most prominent citizens. The tiny town in the Ottawa Valley only had a population of 4000, yet 2 of its men were among the richest in Canada--lumber baron Alexander Barnet and railroad builder/mining magnate Michael John O'Brien.

The Toronto newspaper, the Telegram, chose to mock the Stanley Cup dreams of the small Ontario community by taking a shot at the townsfolk saying: "Renfrew have challenged for the Stanley Cup. Now don't laugh. If you've never lived in a country town you don't know how seriously those people take themselves. Anybody who went into Renfrew and gave voice to an opinion that there was a greater team on earth than Renfrew would be lucky if he escaped with his life."

But by that hockey season of 1909-10, there actually was no greater team on earth than Renfrew--or at least no greater collection of high-priced superstars.

Does this sound eerily familiar?

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