Tickets on the secondary market for the Rangers' Stanley Cup Final home games are so astronomically expensive that it would actually be cheaper for a fan to fly from New York to Los Angeles, stay in a hotel, and attend one of the games at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. In fact, it's possible that Game 6 — a potential Cup-clinching game at Madison Square Garden — could be the most expensive ticket in New York sports history.
Right now, according to Connor Gregoire of SeatGeek.com, which tracks pricing on the secondary market, that title is held by February's Super Bowl XLVIII, which took place at MetLife Stadium in the nearby New Jersey Meadowlands complex. The average price for a ticket sold on the secondary market for that game was $2,536, or more than four times the average price of the next most expensive area game since SeatGeek began monitoring the market in 2009. Here are the top five New York–area games since 2009 by the average price of tickets sold on the secondary market:
1. Super Bowl XLVIII: $2,536
2. 2009 World Series, Game 6: $607
3. 2013 MLB All-Star Game: $601
4. 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Final, Game 6: $593
5. 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Final, Game 3: $561
Based on the average price of tickets already sold on the secondary market (as of yesterday afternoon), all three Rangers home games in the Stanley Cup Final are on track to blow away all of those except Super Bowl XLVIII.
2014 Stanley Cup Final, Game 3: $1,454
2014 Stanley Cup Final, Game 4: $1,589
2014 Stanley Cup Final, Game 6: $2,165
It's that last one that's most likely to make a run at the record. Though Game 4 could also be a Stanley Cup–clinching game, that would require a series sweep. Game 6 is more likely, and according to Gregoire, prices could rise further if the Rangers enter that game with a chance to win it all. He estimates that a Rangers clincher on home ice could indeed drive the average price up past Super Bowl XLVIII. (SeatGeek's data only dates back to 2009, but Gregoire says that's "almost certainly" the highest-priced area sports event of all-time, particularly when you factor in how ticket prices have exploded in recent years.)
Even a nose-bleed seat to this year's Stanley Cup Final at the Garden will set you back more than $1,000 right now. (The median list price for Games 3 and 4 is over $2,000, and the median list price for Game 6 is a whopping $3,335.) Here are the cheapest tickets available on the secondary market for each of the three games (again, as of yesterday afternoon):
2014 Stanley Cup Final, Game 3: $1,101
2014 Stanley Cup Final, Game 4: $1,098
2014 Stanley Cup Final, Game 6: $1,742
If there's a lesson here, it's to buy tickets to such games before it looks like they're actually going to happen, especially since fans get a refund if they don't take place. (Fans might still be on the hook for shipping, but that's a relatively small amount.) The cheapest ticket purchased on the secondary market for Game 6 of the Final at the Garden went for $450, in April, around the start of the playoffs. Explains Gregoire: "Optimistic fans who went ahead and purchased their Rangers Stanley Cup tickets then saved themselves a lot of money, as the price of those tickets on the secondary market has more than doubled since."