Thursday, October 2, 2008

A letter to Jim

per-sist: (verb) to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, esp. in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc.

Dear Mr. Balsillie

There has been speculation in various media outlets that you just might be back in the picture for part-ownership of the Nashville Predators. This fills me with much joy. I would like nothing more than to see you become the owner of an NHL franchise. Wait, there is one thing I would like more: for you to bring your team to Hamilton.

I am a life-long hockey fan who unfortunately lives in Toronto. This means that any NHL game I might want to attend comes with exorbitant ticket prices (when tickets are even available) and an incredibly sub-standard product on the ice. In business terms, buying incredibly expensive tickets to see the Toronto Maple Leafs play an uninspired game and inevitably lose is a terrible return-on-investment.

I very much want to see the Tampa Bay Lightning play this year but I simply cannot afford to go to a game at the Air Canada Centre. If you were to bring your team to Hamilton, I’m sure the cost of transportation to and from the game, accommodations, tickets, food and beer would come in less than the price of just one ticket for the Maple Laughs.

As I mentioned before, I am a hockey fan. This is why I was thrilled to attend – and watch you play – at the Festival Cup during the Toronto International Film Festival. I want to be able to see other teams and players and I believe this should be accessible to hockey fans. MLSE has made sure this is not the case and they have even gone on record saying they don’t particularly care about winning the Stanley Cup.

Even if you are unable to buy into the Predators or are unable to bring them to Ontario once you do, I have faith that one day you will put another team in Southern Ontario and I will be able to not just boycott the Maple Leafs but also MLSE for keeping true fans such as myself so far away from the game.

I have a question for you, Mr. Balsillie. As a very successful business man, you are able to afford certain luxuries. Could you please explain to me why other men and women who are able to afford such luxuries choose to spend on the Maple Leafs? Why –WHY? – do these smart, successful, capable people want to spend their hard-earned money and precious spare time on something so shitty?

I look forward to the day I can purchase my official NHL Hamilton jersey.


A Hockey Fan

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