Buffalo Sabres Fans Take A Stand Against the Toronto Maple Leafs

Published August 31, 2023 at 11:13 PM

The Sabres struggled with opposing fans buying tickets and filling the arena with away fans.

Sabres Ban Away Fans

Recently, it was announced that Key Bank Center, where the Buffalo Sabres play, will be imposing bans on non-Buffalo residents in an effort to prevent opposing fans from buying all of the tickets and embarrassing the franchise.

Geographic bans are not all too uncommon but normally only take place during the playoffs. Last playoffs, the Panthers imposed a geographic ban during the 2nd round after being matched up against the Leafs.

What It Looks Like In Full Effect

Here is a video from a while back of Auston Matthews scoring an overtime goal and the crowd going wild but no horn follows.

Here are the full game highlights from a game this past February. Ryan O'Reilly scored a hat trick around the 8-minute mark and watching how many hats go flying really put things into perspective.

It is always embarrassing to have more away fans in your own stadium and this ban appears to be a way the Sabres are trying to combat further embarrassment.

The Buffalo Sabres will start to limit initial ticket sales to keep away fans from taking over their arena.

The change comes after ‘several' Sabres players expressed how ‘embarrassed and disgusted' they were with the amount of away fans invading the building, especially against Toronto.

It's reported that the final straw with the players was watching the amount of hats on the ice for former Sabres captain Ryan O'Reilly's hat trick in Buffalo on February 21st.

Most observers report the crowds of approximately 80% Leafs fans when Toronto comes to town.

Away fans won't be banned completely, but they won't be able to purchase any tickets until after rounds of sales go to solely Buffalo ZIP Code residents. This also does not address the secondary market which dominates sports tickets, such as StubHub

«Official plans have yet to be released, but it's clear where this is targeted: It's about reducing the number of Canadian fans in the building for visits by Toronto and Montreal, the number of Pennsylvania fans in the house when Pittsburgh is here. Same for the number of downstate fans coming to see the New York Rangers, or Michigan fans following the Detroit Red Wings.

«Obviously last year, there were a handful of games where we saw the wrong color blue or the wrong color red coming into the building, depending on the jersey we were wearing,» Frank Batres-Landaeta, the team's vice president of sales and service, told The Buffalo News

«We want to make sure that we're providing that home-ice advantage to our players,» Baetres-Landaeta said.

As seen on Hockey Patrol - Buffalo Sabres Enforcing Ways To Ban Maple Leafs Fans
August 31   |   40 answers
Buffalo Sabres Fans Take A Stand Against the Toronto Maple Leafs

Should home fans get priority over away fans?

Yes1947.5 %
No2152.5 %
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