While there aren’t any Canadian teams represented in the upcoming Stanley Cup final, Canadian hockey fans saddled with tight budgets might just be OK with that.
Tickets prices to the final between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks, which begins Saturday, are skyrocketing.
FanSnap, the leading live event ticket search engine in the United States, reports that the average ticket price for Games 1 and 2 (and Games 5 and 7 if necessary) is $993 US.
For Games 3 and 4 (and potentially Game 6) in Philadelphia, tickets run on average at $906.
“It is up dramatically over the last couple of years. In part because they’re great hockey towns, and we’ve also got teams that haven’t been there for awhile, so that definitely plays a part,” says FanSnap spokesman Christian Anderson.
“The last two years, obviously we had the same two teams which lessens the excitement.”
Premium seats in Chicago for the series opener, on Saturday, are running at $2,838 per ticket.
Last year’s ticket prices, for the return matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, averaged about $400, says Anderson.
“Roughly half of what we’re seeing (this season),” he adds.
Hockey’s sudden upswing isn’t so sudden, says Anderson.
He points toward the Vancouver Olympic Games as the time when hockey hit the ignition switch. Having Canada face off against the United States set off a media frenzy, as well as a ticket-buying fervour which Anderson says his company has not seen before.
“That USA/Canada gold-medal game was huge. In fact that was our hottest ticket by far for the year,” said Anderson.
“Those were running about, on average, $4,000. So to put that in perspective, the Super Bowl which usually is the big event of the year, was averaging between $2,000 and $3,000. So, that gold-medal game ended up being a huge game and you saw that carry over into the NHL season and fan excitement about hockey (continued to grow).”
The website works along the same lines as any other search engine, but with a specific destination spot.
“FanSnap is a search engine for tickets, so fans come to FanSnap and do a search, say for the Stanley Cup, and we will go out and search the web, much like Google, and pull in the tickets into one place and fans can compare brokers and eBay side-by-side and find the best value tickets,” he says.
FanSnap provides ticket search results for dozens of the leading ticket providers in the U.S., such as TicketsNow, TicketNetwork, StubHub, RazorGator, Las Vegas Tickets and eBay.
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A ticket taker checks tickets before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wachovia Center on May 24, 2010 in Philadelphia.
Photograph by: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images