Scaredy Cats: Florida Panthers Lamely Limiting Ticket Sales to US Residents

The Panthers don't want Toronto Maple Leafs fans dominating FLA Live Arena

The Florida Panthers and their fans celebrate after a goal.
The Panthers don't want to be overrun with Leafs fans.
Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty

Sadly, discrimination against all sorts of people and groups has become fairly commonplace in Florida so perhaps it is actually somewhat fitting that the state’s namesake hockey team is refusing to sell tickets to Canadian fans who want to come cheer for the Maple Leafs when they take on the Panthers in the second round of the NHL playoffs.

The Panthers, who don’t exactly have the most dedicated fanbase, are geo-restricting ticket sales on Ticketmaster to keep Toronto fans out of FLA Live Arena when Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven series will be played. “FLA Live Arena is located in Sunrise, Florida,” per a message on Ticketmaster’s page. “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 canceled without notice and refunds given.”

Of course, a restriction like the one mentioned above won’t prevent Toronto fans from purchasing tickets on the secondary market, but it will make getting in the door that much more expensive for Leafs fans who want to support their team. It may be a shrewd move by the Panthers, who had the seventh-lowest average attendance in the NHL during the regular season, but it also underscores how worried the team is about crazed Canadians taking over FLA Live Arena.

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This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a worried team attempt to keep visiting fans out of the building, but hopefully it will be the last as it is a lame practice that podunk franchises rely on to make up for the fact that they lack real fan bases. The Golden Knights, who are taking on another Canadian team in the Edmonton Oilers, have not placed any restrictions on ticket sales because the people of Las Vegas actually support their local hockey franchise even though it has only existed since 2017. The Panthers, who have existed since the 1993-94 season, do not enjoy that same support.

Toronto will host Game 1 of the second-round series tonight and Game 2 is set to take place on Thursday.

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