The New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets and Atlanta Thrashers have played a total of 16 home games thus far in the 2010-11 season, the four teams all average under 12, 600 fans or filling less than 72 percent of their arenas. On the flip side, the Chicago Blackhawks are among 11 teams averaging at or above 100 percent of their building each night; of 30 teams, 19 are drawing more than 90 percent. The league struggled early last season to draw, but saw second half recovery post-Olympics and Winter Classic. This combined with exciting Stanley Cup play which set high marks for TV ratings, many teams chose to raise ticket prices.
According to The Globe and Mail, prices rose 4.4 percent league wide to $54.25 per ticket. While 11 teams cut prices or kept them stagnant, teams like the Washington Capitals hiked prices 24 percent. The New York Islanders, one of the struggling teams, had the second highest bump at 19.7 percent while Stanley Cup champs Chicago Blackhawks had the third highest price raise at 18 percent. Numbers come via Team Marketing Report.
Hockey fans weren't the only ones to pay more to catch a game; prices in the NFL are up 4.5 percent and MLB for 2010 were up 1.5 percent.
In conjunction with the ticket price rise, the average cost of taking a family of four is up 4.4 percent. The average Fan Cost Index, which is the cost to purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, park, buy two programs and two team hats, is $313.68 this season. The Blackhawks rose their FCI 20 percent to $350.58, which is $200 less than the league's highest FCI, the Toronto Maple Leafs who charge $572.32.
The Dallas Stars had the lowest price in the NHL at $29.68 and the league's lowest FCI $222.68, while Atlanta Thrashers lowered their prices 10 percent to $43.59.
You can see the data for the whole league, plus TMR Executive Editor Jon Greenberg’s analysis here.
Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be followed on Twitter
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