Toronto is a city brimming with athletic talent: from hockey, to baseball, and yes, even soccer, our teams are nothing to scoff at. Unfortunately for the budget-conscious student, finding seats at prices that won’t break the bank can be a challenge. So, to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of teams which offer great games at great prices.
Based out of the Coca Cola Coliseum, the Marlies have helped many current Leafs players develop their game and make the step up to the NHL, including the likes of William Nylander, Travis Dermott, and Kasperi Kapanen. Fans will get the chance to watch the next generation of prospects looking to receive a call-up from the Leafs in action, most notably players such as Jeremy Bracco and Rasmus Sandin.
The experience of watching the Marlies play, albeit in a smaller arena, is comparable to a Leafs’ game, with intermission events including skills competitions and puck tosses. The atmosphere — created by the 7,779 seats which fans occupy during the game — helps replicate the atmosphere created within NHL venues and serves as an enjoyable day out for hockey and non-hockey fans alike. There is also a wide range of food options within the arena, and the venue is easily accessible by public transit.
Season ticket prices for the upcoming 2019–2020 season range from as low as $608, or $43 per month, and up to $1,558 for glass tickets, $109 per month. Tickets are also given out for free through Leafs Nation Network, where members can enter contests for Marlies tickets as well as Leafs tickets, memorabilia, and other prizes.
Another affordable sporting option for students — especially UTM students — is the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League. When watching the Steelheads, fans get a chance to witness hockey players hoping to get selected in the NHL entry draft and become future stars. The Steelheads franchise has produced several notable current NHL players including Jason Spezza of the Dallas Stars and Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues. Single ticket prices range from $18.90–27.80, which is a bargain, with student discounts available. Season tickets are also relatively inexpensive, with passes ranging from $429.20–650.44. Perks such as discounts on merch and concessions as well as exclusive access to league events are also included.
Team Canada Soccer
Although being one of the more painful Canadian national teams to support, the men’s soccer team is currently in the midst of a golden age, with a wave of young talent coming into the system. The star of this youth movement is FC Bayern Munich winger Alphonso Davies, who set a Major League Soccer record transfer fee in his move from Vancouver Whitecaps FC. He is accompanied by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Gold Cup Golden Boot winner Jonathan David, as well as Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Lucas Cavallini, and Cyle Larin.
The men’s team finished the qualifying round for the CONCACAF Nations League where they won all four of their games. They are scheduled to play at BMO Field in Nations League A against both Cuba and the United States on September 7 and October 15, respectively. Tickets for each game start at around $25.
Despite their historic struggles, the Canadian men’s national games always have a fun atmosphere. Fans in the supporters’ section are always jumping around and singing lively chants. While the stadium doesn’t always reach capacity, there is still typically a good turnout, especially considering how little promotion these games get.
The women’s team has generally performed better than the men’s team, and sometimes play friendlies at BMO Field, although none are currently scheduled.
Toronto Blue Jays
It’s unfortunate that this team needs to be included on this list, but it’s a reflection of the state that the Blue Jays franchise it in. The Jays’ roster is rather unimpressive, and has only been weakened with team traded franchise icons like Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez.
However, the Jays have some exciting rookies like Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, and the phenom generating the most hype, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who not only livens up otherwise uneventful matches, but remind fans, one game at a time, that the future of Toronto baseball looks bright.
Something to consider when buying tickets is the layout of the stadium: since the Rogers Centre offers seats around the entire field, choosing the right seat depends on what you want to get out of the game. If you’re hoping to catch the coveted home run ball, you will need to sit in the outer 100 sections — seats between 108 and 136 are the most optimal.
If you aren’t determined to leave the game with a free souvenir, the sections behind both dugouts and home plate are the best choices, as they offer a near-total view of the diamond. The seats in the 500s sections are the cheapest, with tickets ranging from $20–40, though they also tend to sell out first. The seats in the 200s and 300s sections are a little bit more expensive, usually around the $80 mark. Try to stick to the western and northern sides of the stadium, since those offer the best views of the CN Tower when the roof is open — quick reminder: home plate is always west.