Coming off a thrilling Winter Olympics, the thought was that the National Hockey League (NHL) could ride a big wave of excitement into the playoffs, which start on Wednesday, April 14. But, while a few teams, like the league-leading Washington Capitals, are generating solid interest on the secondary market, overall the NHL playoffs have not quite caught fire for resellers.
The league’s playoff picture was not set until yesterday, April 11, so the turn around for games is quick, which doesn’t help. And, the fact that the New York Rangers ended up missing out on the playoffs also could have damped some interest among resellers, because the Rangers are typically one of the league’s better-selling teams.
According to TicketNews’ exclusive Top Sports Events ranking, no NHL team was in the Top 10 for the week ending April 11, but that could change in the coming weeks as the playoffs get underway.
“As we get into the second and third rounds, things will pick up,” said Jeff Greenberg, owner of Maryland-based ASC Ticket, who said he is moving a lot of Capitals tickets, but that most other playoff teams are only doing decent but not great sales. “The New Jersey Devils are doing surprisingly well, but that’s mainly because they drew the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round.”
Fans should be able to find some pretty good bargains for playoff tickets on the secondary market, said Christian Anderson of ticket search engine FanSnap.
“We’re seeing tremendous choice available right now, from roughly 1,000 to 5,000 ticket listings per game,” Anderson told TicketNews. “With that comes tremendous variability in price for comparable tickets. The biggest variations in Home Game 1 tickets are in Boston where comparable Bruins tickets vary by as much as 52 percent.”
The average cost of a Bruins playoff ticket is $126, according to Anderson, while the average cost for Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins tickets is $246.
“We haven’t seen a huge rush on NHL playoff tickets, mostly because the [Minnesota] Wild aren’t in it this year,” said Cortney Storsved, director of operations for Minnesota-based Ticket King. “There seemed to be an early move to Major League Baseball tickets. With the new Twins stadium here and the early warm weather, sports fans are definitely much more geared up for baseball than hockey right now.”