Thank PM for cheaper ACC tickets

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Maple Leafs ticket prices are dropping for the second year in a row, but this time it has little to do with the largesse of the boys at 40 Bay St.

The combination of the Leafs re-affirming a price freeze for 2006-07 and the 1% drop in the federal Goods and Services Tax on July 1 will see a marginal saving for customers.

"It's going to save some people a few bucks, varied by ticket price, while our overall prices will stay the same as last year," said Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd.

Last July, partly in response to other teams slashing ducats as a goodwill gesture after the lockout, the Leafs reduced ticket prices 5% across the board. That moved the bar down to 2002 prices and kept more than 43% of almost 19,000 seats at Air Canada Centre at $68 or less.

The Leafs eventually will take advantage of the healthy Canadian dollar, which is trading around 90 cents US and is bound to provide a break on a $46 million US salary cap in 2006-07.

"I can't complain about that," Peddie said. "But we have an increase in insurance costs, energy costs have gone up dramatically, we have salaries of all full-time employees, fuel costs are up for flying (the team charter) and travelling and hotels are up, too."


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