The 2016 NHL Classic is quickly approaching, and Gillette Stadium is already being outfitted for the New Year's Day game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. With the annual game being held in Massachusetts for the second time in its eight-year history, ticket prices on the secondary market are the cheapest since 2014's game at Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
According to TicketIQ the average secondary market price for 2016 NHL Winter Classic tickets is $433.64. That marks a 3.4% drop from last year's average of $448.89 when the Washington Capitals hosted the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationals Stadium. In fact, only 2014's game was cheaper with an average price of $155.83. That considerable dip in price can be accredited to Michigan Stadium's 100,000+ capacity, which greatly increased the number of tickets available. If looking just to get in to the New Year's day game in Foxboro the cheapest available ticket is currently listed for $217. That is also the cheapest since 2014.
2015 Winter Classic Tickets Are The Highest They've Been In 5 Years
(UPDATE - 12/30/14) Winter Classic tickets are now averaging $505.83 on the secondary market, making it the most expensive Winter Classic since TicketIQ has been tracking data. Prices are also up 4% over the last week and 7% over the last two weeks. The get-in price to see the Caps take on the Blackhawks is $317 and currently, there are just over 150 secondary market seats available.
The NHL Winter Classic has become one of the premiere sporting events in the country and outside of the Stanley Cup, is one of the most anticipated event in the NHL each season.
The NHL Winter Classic began in 2008 and is a regular-season hockey game that is played outdoors, typically in an area that has a nearby NHL team. The event stemmed from the NHL Heritage Classic, which first occurred in 2003, and has the same concept as the Winter Classic but is played exclusively between Canadian teams. The NHL Winter Classic has been played every year since 2008 except 2013 because of a lockout. The Classic has become so popular that it has twice been named the "Sports Event of the Year" (most recently in 2014) by the SportsBusiness Journal.
The most recent edition of the Winter Classic, played on January 1st, 2014, was held at Michigan Stadium, home of the University of Michigan Wolverines football team. Guinness World Record officials were at the game to try to verify the largest crowd ever at a hockey game. Despite selling more tickets than the event with the largest attendance (The Big Chill at the Big House in 2010, also at Michigan Stadium), the verified-attendance fell short by less than a thousand scanned tickets at the event. The NHL announced they sold 105,491 tickets for the event. Despite not getting the official world record for hockey attendance, the NHL easily shattered their own record attendance (71,217 at the first Winter Classic in 2008) by over 30,000 fans.
A Look at Prices For NHL Winter Classic Tickets Since 2011
Because of the amount of tickets available for last year's Winter Classic, it was actually the most affordable Winter Classic in the history of the event. The average ticket price on the secondary ticket market was $155.83 while the get-in price was $57.
Fans of this year's Winter Classic should not be expecting any where near that price threshold for this year's Classic. The 2015 edition of the Winter Classic will be played at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. on January 1st, 2015 and the matchup features the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks.The average price of tickets on the secondary ticket market is currently at $474.58 while the get-in price is $268, which is down 11% over the last two weeks. This year's Winter Classic is currently the 2nd least expensive in the series regarding secondary ticket market average prices and the get-in price, only ahead of last year's game.
The second most expensive ticket on the secondary ticket market in the series was the 2012 edition of the Winter Classic, which was played at Citizens Bank Ballpark between the home-team Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers. The average ticket price for the game was $504.34 while the get-in price was $284.
In 2011, the Winter Classic took place at Heinz Field between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. The average ticket price on the secondary ticket market was $489.41 and the get-in price was $238.
For the most part, fans have gotten their money's worth at the Winter Classic. Despite the home team only winning once in the six editions of the Classic, games have been close. Two of the Classics went to a shootout, one went to overtime and each game was decided by two goals or less.