A week after firing five employees, suspending another and accepting the resignation of a ticket department executive, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is investigating whether its employees pocketed money from the sale of personal-seat licences.
Known as PSLs, the licences are one-time payments for the right to buy season tickets. For the Leafs, PSLs range from about $9,000 to $30,000. The licences can be resold.
MLSE, the parent company of the NHL’s Leafs and NBA’s Raptors, last week confirmed it was investigating its ticket sales department but has since repeatedly declined to elaborate.
The firings have put MLSE executives “in lockdown mode,” according to one source. Another source said company officials are combing through years worth of employees’ e-mails and hauling staff members into conference rooms for taped interviews.
A Toronto Police Service spokesperson confirmed this week that the fraud unit has contacted MLSE officials to ask whether they believe criminal activity has taken place.
“MLSE had become very strict about the transfer of tickets,” said a former MLSE executive. “It used to be that you only had to say you wanted to transfer seats to your cousin, and it wasn’t a problem. But now the company’s attitude is you have to prove you’re a direct blood relative with a birth certificate.”