Bloomberg News

Rangers-Capitals Tickets Top $700 as NHL’s Priciest of Season

May 10, 2012

Joel Ward #42 of the Washington Capitals and Anton Stralman #32 of the New York Rangers battle for the puck in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on May 9, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Joel Ward #42 of the Washington Capitals and Anton Stralman #32 of the New York Rangers battle for the puck in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on May 9, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The New York Rangers’ latest Game 7 has pushed the average ticket price above $700, the most expensive for a National Hockey League contest outside the Stanley Cup finals in at least the past three years.

The Rangers play the Washington Capitals at New York’s Madison Square Garden on May 12, with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference final against the New Jersey Devils.

The average ticket listing price is $718, according to TiqIQ, an aggregator of the online resale ticket market. Outside of the Stanley Cup finals, no NHL game has had a higher average ticket price since TiqIQ opened in 2009.

“Anytime there’s a big game at the Garden, it becomes more than a game, it’s an event,” TiqIQ spokesman Chris Matcovich said in a telephone interview.

Resale prices for Game 7 of last year’s Stanley Cup finals in Vancouver between the Canucks and the Boston Bruins topped $5,000.

Face value of tickets ranges from $108 to $1,205 for Game 7, according to the Rangers’ box office. At TiqIQ, where more than 3,000 seats are on sale, tickets are listed from $279 to $4,999.

Another online ticket aggregator, SeatGeek.com, said the average price for Game 7 tickets already sold is $558 today, up from $459 yesterday. SeatGeek’s current average listing price is about $600.

“All the good deals get scooped up and then the prices really go up because people are only able to buy what’s left on the market,” SeatGeek spokesman Will Flaherty said. “And then in the last 24 hours before the game it will decline.”

‘Feed Off Crowd’

After New York’s Game 6 loss to Washington last night, Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said home-ice advantage will be a key and that the team would “feed off the crowd” in Game 7.

The Rangers, the top seed in the East, have already played one decisive Game 7 at home, beating the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on April 26 for their first playoff series win since 2008. The average ticket price for that game reached $500 on the secondary market. The Capitals played a Game 7 the same day, beating the Bruins 2-1 in overtime in Boston.

“What happened in previous series doesn’t matter,” Callahan said. “You throw that out the window.”

The last time the Rangers played a Game 7 at home twice in the same postseason was 1993-94, when they beat the Devils and Vancouver Canucks in successive series to win the Stanley Cup.

The Rangers never have lost a Game 7 at home, going 4-0. They are 4-5 in all Game 7 appearances.

The most expensive ticket for an NHL game this year at TiqIQ had been a $522 average for the Winter Classic, which was played outdoors on Jan. 2 between the Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net


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