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New York Rangers fans will have to dig a bit deeper in their pockets to see their team host Game 7 of a National Hockey League playoff series for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup in 1994.
The average price for tickets for tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators at New York’s Madison Square Garden has climbed to $493, according to TiqIQ, an aggregator of the online resale ticket market. The price is up 44 percent from four days ago, after the Rangers fell behind three games to two in the best-of-seven first-round playoff series.
Face value ranges from $110 to $440 for Game 7 tickets. At TiqIQ, the seats are listed at $223 to $2,088.
“It’s definitely a premium and since the Rangers haven’t been here in 18 years, it’s almost like a novelty in a sense,” TiqIQ spokesman Chris Matcovich said in a telephone interview. “Sometimes fans become nostalgic and will pay to see their team in a big game.”
The Rangers are the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time since the 1993-94 season and have already kept their postseason run alive once, with a 3-2 victory in Game 6 in Ottawa two days ago. Now they’re one victory away from their first playoff series win since 2008.
“Our backs were against the wall and we showed some desperation,” Rangers defenseman Marc Staal told reporters after the Game 6 win.
The last time New York hosted a decisive seventh game of an NHL playoff series was June 14, 1994, when the Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 to win the Stanley Cup. The Rangers that year also beat the New Jersey Devils at home in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
The Rangers’ average ticket prices for tonight’s game against the eighth-seeded Senators are the highest for Game 7 of any first-round series in the past three years, TiqIQ said. The price dwarfs that for the Devils’ seventh game against the Florida Panthers tonight outside Miami, where the average ticket price is $166 at TiqIQ.
“Florida tends to be an apathetic sports market, especially for first-round games,” said Joellen Ferrer, spokeswoman for online ticket reseller StubHub.com.
Even with the rarity of a Game 7 in New York, ticket prices aren’t coming close to last year’s deciding game in the Stanley Cup finals. When the Vancouver Canucks hosted -- and lost to -- the Boston Bruins in Game 7, average prices topped $5,000 on the secondary market, exceeding the cost for Super Bowl seats and for tickets to the 2010 Olympic gold medal hockey game between Canada and the U.S. in Vancouver.
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