Ticket prices for the playoff series between the Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, the 15th postseason meeting between two of the National Hockey League's Original Six franchises, are higher than any conference final in at least five years.
The average ticket listing for the series, which starts May 17 in Montreal, is $726, according to ticket aggregator TiqIQ. That's the highest for a non-Stanley Cup Final series since the company began keeping track in 2010.
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The Rangers, who last won a league title in 1994, rallied from a 3-1 series deficit this week to eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games. The Canadiens, who have won an NHL- record 23rd Stanley Cups, advanced last night with a Game 7 victory over the Boston Bruins.
"The geographic locations of these two teams are driving prices," Chris Matcovich, vice president of data for New York- based TiqIQ, said today in an e-mail. "Canada being 'hockey country' tends to see some of the highest ticket prices during regular season, not to mention in the postseason, and New York seems to always command premium prices for tickets when its teams are doing well." The get-in price for Game 3 at Madison Square Garden, New York's first home game, is $242, with the most expensive ticket listed over $4,300, according to TiqIQ. The home average for games at MSG is $734.35.
In the Western Conference finals, the defending-champion Chicago Blackhawks are awaiting the winner of tomorrow's Game 7 between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks. Should the Kings win, the average price for that series would be $575.37; and $508.87 if the Ducks advance. Matcovich said those prices will probably change once the matchup is set and more inventory hits the market.
Sold Out The Canadiens have sold out every home regular season and playoff game since 2004 in the 21,273-seat Bell Centre, which calls itself the itself the largest arena by seating capacity in North America. Last night the team sold out the arena for fans willing to pay $10 to watch the Canadiens' road win over the Bruins. The Canadiens last won the championship in 1993, which also was the last time they reached the finals.
The Rangers last reached the conference finals in 2012, falling in six games to the New Jersey Devils. The average ticket price for this year's series is 19.3 percent higher than that series ($608.41).
To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com Jay Beberman05-15-14 1134EDT