Demand for tickets to tonight’s playoff game between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens have sent prices surging to more than double the 2010 record for a Madison Square Garden sporting event.
Tickets for Game 3 of the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference finals are selling this morning for an average of $1,006 on the secondary market, according to online aggregator SeatGeek. The cheapest seats are listed at $478.
The average is $27 less than the most expensive game of last year’s Stanley Cup Final, when fans paid an average of $1,033 to see the Boston Bruins host the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6. No game in the 2012 Final between the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils topped $1,000.
“What’s going on in the secondary market for tonight’s game is complete madness,” SeatGeek communications analyst Connor Gregoire said today in an e-mail. “Prices have been steadily rising for two full days now, and while there has to be a ceiling for how much people are willing to pay to get in the building tonight, it’s astoundingly high.”
The Rangers hold a 2-0 series lead after outscoring the Canadiens 10-3 in two games at the Bell Centre in Montreal. A win for the Rangers tonight would set up the possibility of the team clinching its first Stanley Cup Final berth since 1994 on home ice.
Should that happen, Game 4 ticket prices could surpass those for Game 3, SeatGeek said. The cheapest tickets for Game 4 on May 25 are listed now for $444, with lower-level seats starting at $640. Tickets for Game 1 sold for an average of $285 and Game 2 seats averaged $238, according to SeatGeek.
New York has played one home game in the past two weeks, fueling the rise in ticket prices. Gregoire said there were less than 700 tickets available on the secondary market this morning, down from about 2,000 two days ago, when SeatGeek said prices were already the highest for a non-Stanley Cup Final series since at least 2010. The average price of ticket sales has increased 67 percent since then.
The average face value for Rangers tickets this round is $273. Those prices range from $145 in the upper bowl to $1,776 on the glass.
Since SeatGeek started tracking data in the 2009-10 season, the previous high for an MSG sporting event was Game 5 of the NHL’s conference finals between the Rangers and Devils, which sold for an average of $461. The most expensive ticket for an event at the Manhattan venue in that span was $1,026 for the Concert for Sandy Relief in December 2012.