Despite the NHL raising ticket prices by a higher percentage than the NFL, NBA and MLB for a second consecutive year, attendance is on the rise this season (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
The NHL increased its ticket prices this season by a higher percentage than the NBA, NFL and MLB for a second consecutive year, according to ESPN citing an annual study by Team Marketing Report. The news comes approximately one month after the NHL resolved yet another lockout, the third in the past 18 years, that resulted in a loss of the entire preseason and 34 regular season games.
The average price of a non-premium ticket to an NHL game is currently $61.01, 5.7 percent higher than last season. By comparison, the average price for a ticket to an NFL game rose 2.5 percent to $78.38, 3.5 percent for an NBA game, which now costs on average $50.99 per ticket and the MLB remained flat at $26.98 for the average price of a ticket. The average cost for a family of four to go to an NHL game this season is $354.82, which includes tickets and things like drinks, hot dogs and parking, 7.9 percent higher than last season.
Perhaps not a surprise, tickets to Canadian teams are the highest in the league. At an average cost of $124.69 U.S. dollars, the Toronto Maple Leafs have the highest ticket prices in the NHL. The Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers, which have an average price of $79.27, round out the list of highest ticket prices in the NHL, respectively. At an average price of $79.25, the Washington Capitals have the highest ticket prices in the U.S. this season, followed by the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers. But it was the Buffalo Sabres who saw the highest increase in prices this season, raising ticket prices on average by more than 26 percent to $46.15 per ticket.
Despite the increases for the NHL, attendance has been on the rise this season; since the lockout, there has been a 1.1 percent increase from last season's average through games ending Feb. 12. The average attendance to an NHL game this year rose to 17,652, roughly 200 more people per game.