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Toronto Maple Leafs tickets are NHL's most expensive

By Alfred Branch Jr.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have the most expensive tickets in the National Hockey League, according to the latest numbers from Team Marketing Report (TMR).

The average cost of a non-premium Leafs ticket for the 2011-2012 season is $123.77 — the same amount as last season, but enough to lead the league for a second year in row. For the entire NHL, the average price of a non-premium ticket this season is $57.10, up 4.8 percent over last season.

The Winnipeg Jets, formerly the Atlanta Thrashers, have the league's second-highest average ticket price at $98.27. Rounding out the top five are the Montreal Canadiens ($88.67); the Edmonton Oilers ($70.13); and the Vancouver Canucks ($68.38). All prices are listed in U.S. dollars.

The team with the lowest average ticket price was the Dallas Stars ($29.95).

While the Maple Leafs did not see an increase in its average ticket price this season, the remaining four teams in the top five saw increases from last season to this season. Overall, 19 of the league's 30 teams saw average prices rise for 2011-2012.

The average cost for a family of four to attend a Leafs game is tops in the league, too, according to TMR. Under its Fan Cost Index — which looks at the combined cost of tickets, concession food, parking and souvenirs — the cost is $626.45, an increase of 1.3 percent this season.

The strengthening Canadian economy was the main reason for the increases among the top five teams, as more fans looked to attend games. Additionally, the league appears to benefiting from the excitement surrounding the Jets' return to Winnipeg.

Overall, the NHL is also receiving a bump from the continuing National Basketball Association lockout. In several cities, NHL and NBA teams share an arena.

"NHL [tickets] are moving great," Max Waisvisz, owner of Chicago-based Gold Coast Tickets, told TicketNews at the start of the season. "I think [the lockout] is going to help hockey 1,000 percent. People still want that event to go to."

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