In the aftermath of the Red Sox‘s historic crash and burn, and with the Celtics locked out until who knows when, the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins are poised to move up the Boston sports food chain.
Tickets to last week’s season opener, complete with the hoisting of the championship banner, were among the most sought-after in New England in years. Now, with the Bruins sharing the stage with the New England Patriots on the region’s pro sports landscape, ticket sellers are hoping to capitalize on the B’s buzz.
“It kind of helps that the Celtics aren’t around at the moment,” said Patrick Higgins, co-owner of Higs Tickets, located across Causeway Street from TD Garden, home of the Bruins and Celtics. “It channels that money into the Bruins somewhat. We’d prefer to have the Celtics, for sure, [but] we’ve seen higher prices than last year of course since they’re coming off the Cup. Bruins fans are more excited than they have been in years.”
The Patriots are the unquestioned No. 1 among Boston sports fans. (The Pats’ match-up with the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday, October 16, in Foxborough, MA, is one of this week’s hottest NFL tickets in several industry rankings.) Still, a ticket to the Bruins’ home opener October 6 had the highest average resale price in the NHL at $412, according to TicketsNow. Those prices likely won’t be seen again for a while, unless this season ends with another lengthy Stanley Cup run.
The Bruins (1-3) lost two of their first three home games this season, including the opener. But despite the team’s sluggish start, brokers hope to sustain the momentum built from winning Boston’s first Cup in 39 years.
“The tough part about having an opening night like that with the banner raising is people put out the money for that, and it’s hard to string together 2-3 consecutive big nights after that,” Higgins told TicketNews. “Nothing compares to an opening night with a championship banner. The people who put out the money for that might take a couple of weeks off. We’re looking for it to pick up again in late November or December.”
Michael Hurley, senior assistant editor at the New England Sports Network, the television home of the Bruins, made a case for the rise of the B’s this week.
Noting the rising popularity of Bruins tickets among Boston sports fans, Hurley wrote on NESN.com: “Just a few years ago, Bruins fans were mocked for buying season tickets for the B’s, who looked to be decades away from ever being competitive again. Needless to say, those fans who stuck it out have been rewarded. They’ve essentially gone from being the nerd table in the cafeteria to the cool kids table, just by being themselves.”
Ticket search site SeatGeek has the Bruins ranked 11th in the 30-team NHL on its average resale price leaderboard at $105.04, just below the New York Rangers‘ $105.57. SeatGeek’s research showed Boston was the only city with both an NBA and NHL team where there was an increase in NHL sales compared to last year, with Bruins sales up nearly 50 percent.
Similarly, ticket search engine TiqIQ’s stats showed an average price of $76 for the Bruins’ next home game, October 18, vs. the Carolina Hurricanes. That jumps to $169 for the October 27 home match-up with Boston’s traditional hockey rival, the Montreal Canadiens.