It’s been awhile since Seattle fans paid to attend an NBA game, and have never had the pleasure of paying for a modern NHL game. Since the possibility of such has grown lately, the release Wednesday of the Team Marketing Report Fan Cost Index may prove useful.
After a four-month lockout, the NHL’s average ticket price went up 7.5 percent to $61.01. The average NBA ticket rose 3.5 percent to $50.99. Those numbers do not include premium seating or suites.
The NHL has always had a higher ticket price because of the absence of a large American TV contract to help subsidize operations. The Chicago sports marketing research firm said the average NFL price rose to $78.38, up 2.5 percent. The 2013 MLB ticket average will be released at the start of the season. Last year it was $26.98.
In the previous year, the NHL raised prices by 4.8 percent, while the NBA (1.7 percent), NFL (1.2 percent) and MLB (1.2 percent for 2011 season) had smaller increases.
Increased ticket prices, prior knowledge of a looming lockout and theoretical bad feelings of fans haven’t hurt NHL ticket sales this season. Through games of Feb. 12, the NHL had an average attendance of 17,652, a 1.1 percent increase from last season’s average of 17,455.
The Fan Cost Index is the price to take a family of four to a game, including tickets, drinks, hot dogs, and parking. The NHL average this season is $354.82, a 7.9 percent increase.
As usual, Canadian teams topped the list. The Toronto Maple Leafs have the most expensive average ticket at $124.69 (converted to U.S. dollars), followed by the Winnipeg Jets at $97.84, Vancouver Canucks at $87.38, Edmonton Oilers at $79.27 and Montreal Canadiens at $78.56. according to TMR research.
The Washington Capitals ($79.25), New York Rangers ($72.04) and Philadelphia Flyers ($71.59) are the top American terms in terms of average ticket price. Nineteen teams raised prices by more than one percent, while only three reported decreases.
The Buffalo Sabres reported the largest percentage increase at 26.7 percent, which brings their average ticket to $46.15, the seventh-cheapest ticket.