Panthers restrict ticket sales to U.S. residents for home games against Maple Leafs
Maple Leafs fans planning to attend the team's road games in the upcoming second-round NHL playoff series against Florida may find themselves with limited ticket options.
The Panthers have restricted early sales for Games 3 and 4 to American residents.
"We are giving our local fans first access to tickets to the series for the first 24 hours of the single game ticket on sale," Adelyn Biedenbach, the Panthers' vice-president of communications, said in an email. "Anyone can purchase tickets on the secondary markets today."
The Maple Leafs have a fan base that travels well, particularly in the Snowbird-heavy Sunshine State.
News of restrictions led many fans to believe it was an effort to limit the number of Leafs supporters and maximize home-ice advantage. Under an 'Important Event Info' listing on the Ticketmaster website linked to the Panthers' site, a tab outlined sales requirements.
"FLA Live Arena is located in Sunrise, Florida. Sales to this event will be restricted to residents of the United States. Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside of the United States will be cancelled without notice and refunds given," it read.
More specifics were added to the tab later in the day.
"The pre-sale will end on May 2nd, 2023 at 11 a.m. Resale tickets are available for all buyers."
Dates for the Florida home games — which would include Game 6 if the best-of-seven series lasts that long — have not been announced.
Tickets in the upper reaches of the arena were available early Monday afternoon at about $320 each, according to the SeatGeek ticketing platform website.
Game 1 is scheduled for Tuesday night at Scotiabank Arena. Game 2 will be played Thursday in Toronto before the series shifts to Florida.
The Edmonton Oilers, the other Canadian NHL team remaining in the post-season, were set to begin their second-round series Wednesday in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights.
No restrictions appeared to be in place on Canadian ticket purchases for games at T-Mobile Arena.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2023.
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Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press