NHL Fans Pour $10.7 Million Into Rangers-Montreal Series in N.Y.

National Hockey League fans have shelled out a record $10.7 million on resale tickets to see the Rangers take on the Montreal Canadiens in New York.

The amount spent on three Eastern Conference finals games at Madison Square Garden is the most on any non-championship sports series at one venue since SeatGeek began tracking the secondary market in September 2009.

The average amount spent on a ticket to tomorrow’s Game 6, the third matchup at MSG, has climbed 15 percent to $848 since the Canadiens extended the best-of-seven series with a 7-4 victory last night in Montreal. There are about 5,500 tickets available on the secondary market, compared with about 2,000 seats two days before Game 3 at MSG, according to Connor Gregoire, a spokesman for New York-based SeatGeek.

“Because of the healthy supply on the market, I don’t think we’ll see prices rise dramatically from where they are now to puck drop on Thursday,” Gregoire said in an e-mail. “There’s a chance there could be enough of a buying frenzy today to change that, but I think after watching the market for Game 3, this may just be the ceiling for an Eastern Conference finals game at the Garden.”

Records Eclipsed

The previous record spent for a non-title series in a single city was $9.9 million, paid out over four games last year at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami for the Heat’s matchup with the Indiana Pacers in the National Basketball Association Eastern Conference finals.

In the NHL, the previous high was $5.6 million spent over four games at the United Center in Chicago last year for the Blackhawks’ Western Conference semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings.

“So those considered, it’s even more remarkable that $10.7 million has been spent for only three games at MSG,” Gregoire said.

About $2.2 million has been spent on resale tickets for the first three games in Montreal, where the secondary market isn’t as widely used, according to SeatGeek.

Inventory has risen partly because season-ticket holders are looking to cash in while saving money for Stanley Cup Final tickets in the event the Rangers win the series, said Gregoire.

If the Canadiens can win in New York tomorrow, they’ll host the series finale on May 31.

The Eastern Conference champion will take on the Los Angeles Kings or the Chicago Blackhawks in the title round. The Kings lead that series 3-1 and can advance with a win tonight in Chicago.

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.

Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said his team will treat Game 6 like it’s the series decider.

“We want to finish at home,” he told reporters today. “We want to have that desperation of a must-win game and bring it into our building and get a win.”

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