Once the Stanley Cup Playoffs start, more eyes focus on hockey than during the regular season. While that is the case, there are plenty of teams that have no problem drawing fans to arenas at the regular season. Of the top 10 teams in average attendance during the 2014-15 NHL regular season, eight will be playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The two that aren’t, the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs, have a loyal fanbase regardless how the team is playing.
The Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings were the top three teams in attendance during the regular season. All three are among the most storied franchises in the NHL and have added to that legacy with recent success. That fan loyalty and success has also led to high secondary market for two of those teams. Blackhawks tickets have an average price of $313.01 on the secondary for home games against the Nashville Predators, while Canadiens tickets have an average price of $386.48 for games at the Bell Centre against the Ottawa Senators.
It would also not be surprising to see attendance rise for teams that saw play improve throughout the season. For that reason, the New York Islanders were one of the two of the year’s biggest gainers in average attendance from last season. The Islanders, playing their last season at Nassau Coliseum, saw a 10.5% increase in average attendance and have taken that to a $426.21 average price during their opening round series.
It is surprising, however, that the New York Rangers near the middle of the pack in average attendance, but Madison Square Garden only holds a capacity of 18,200. Of course The Garden will be packed during the playoffs and those looking for secondary market tickets will be paying a high premium. The current average price for Rangers playoff tickets in the first round is $653.92, the most expensive average of all 16 teams.
Another team of note is the Washington Capitals, whose fans have packed the Verizon Center to capacity in each of the past two seasons. However, Capitals playoff tickets won’t be as pricey as those in Chicago and New York with an average price of $244.40 for their home playoff games.