The cost of the average ticket to an NHL game this season is up 2.3%over last season, to $61.62, and the cost for a group of four to attend a game and also buy soft drinks, beers, hot dogs and souvenir caps rose 3.1% to $359.17, according to Team Marketing Report.
The Chicago-based firm, which compiles and publishes information relating to sports marketing and sponsorships, said the average cost of a ticket to see the Toronto Maple Leafs is the league's highest, at $122.20. The average cost to see the Dallas Stars, $37.28, was found to be the lowest.
Team Marketing Report also calculates what it calls the Fan Cost Index, the price to purchase four average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one car, two programs and two of the cheapest available adult-size adjustable caps. The Maple Leafs came out on top there, too, at $615.62, up 1.9% from last season. The Ottawa Senators' FCI was the league's lowest, at $259.92.
Also, 21 teams were said to have increased their ticket prices by 1% or more, led by the Chicago Blackhawks' 16% increase.
All of the figures are in U.S. dollars, and there's some small print in the explanation of how Team Marketing Report came up with these numbers. And there's always the secondary market to get cheaper tickets.
But it's clear that the league's successful return from the lockout that delayed and shortened the 2012-13 season has given teams enough reason—or gall—to charge ever higher ticket prices.