Oh to be an official season ticket holder in the National Hockey League. For the common fan, it is one of the biggest bucket list items they hope to achieve.
But for many especially early on, there are hurdles that have to be overcome depending on which team someone is interested in. If you’re a team like today’s Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators, Boston Bruins and some others, you cannot directly purchase a full-season plan as these teams don’t have any available at this time. You have to join their wait list. And who knows how long you have to wait?
The other hurdle is the price. While price points isn’t a problem for some, it’s a major issue for the rest even to just get a team’s lowest offering. That’s what we will focus on for this article. Which teams are the most budget friendly to get in for a full season? Which ones are the priciest?
For this list, we are going to just focus on full season packages, which generally range from 41-45 games depending on which preseason games are included. We are also only interested in the lowest tier package available. This will either be standing room only or in the highest part of the arena usually where your home team shoots just once.
The prices you see here are what I was able to find through a team’s website on my own research. Some teams don’t publish their pricing on the website. You have to setup an appointment to get that information. There were five teams I was unable to get a price on. Those were Calgary, Nashville, Philadelphia, Toronto and Tampa Bay. I believe the Maple Leafs would come in second overall at around $94/game, but couldn’t get a firm price for this exercise. The others I was able to get a reasonable ballpark through the website and some research.
Without further ado, here are the six teams that are the most expensive to get into based on the lowest tier of full season tickets for teams I could get a price on.
The Six Least Budget Friendly Teams
- New York Rangers: $5,236 in Section 215 of Madison Square Garden
- Montreal Canadiens: $2,655 (assumes price of $59/game for season.)
- Boston Bruins: $2,640
- Vancouver Canucks: $2,620
- New York Islanders: $2,496
- Minnesota Wild: $2,420 (44 games at $55.00 each)
To see three of the original six at the top of this list is not surprising. Considering we are dealing with Madison Square Garden, the Bell Centre and TD Garden and the demand for tickets at each venue, this is expected. Ask many around the league where some of the best places are to watch a game, these are it.
The other three though are interesting for different reasons. The Canucks have had it rough for a few seasons. Couple that with having the fourth most expensive lowest-tier package makes for a big headache. Luckily better days are coming for the franchise given who is on the way. Plus it’s their 50th-anniversary season. Maybe they’ll start to knock on the playoff door giving fans something to finally cheer about.
The Islanders will soon move to Belmont Park which should be a treat in itself. But in the meantime, an Islanders fan has to go between Barclay’s Center and the Coliseum while paying the fifth highest amount on this survey. Ever done that travel consistently? Yikes. But it is metro New York, so seeing them high on this list is not a surprise.
Then there is the Minnesota Wild. What a whirlwind it has been for the franchise especially in recent days. They are in the midst of finding a new GM and it’s the beginning of August. Imagine being a die hard Wild fan. Their cheapest seat is $55 for a full season. I don’t know about you but I’d be upset at these circumstances. Hopefully the team turns the page and is heading for much better days.
The Six Most Budget Friendly Teams
- Anaheim Ducks: $594
- Colorado Avalanche: $645
- Florida Panthers: $688
- Arizona Coyotes: $731
- Carolina Hurricanes: $774
- Buffalo Sabres: $1,030
Talk about a bargain in Anaheim. You are near Disneyland. You have a hockey franchise there that has had its share of memorable moments. And they are the most budget-friendly option. Assuming 44 games at Honda Center, all you need to pay is $13.50 per ticket. Considering how close you are to Los Angeles, that is a steal. This is very well done by the Ducks.
What isn’t Colorado winning these days? The team is on the rise and they are second on this list. Want to talk about best bang for your buck? I’m not sure there’s a better bargain than these Avalanche given the price point here. Nathan MacKinnon. Gabriel Landeskog. Mikko Rantanen. That young defense. Incredible bargain.
The Florida Panthers just invested $70 million into Sergei Bobrovsky. Now if he can be himself and the defense meets expectations, this price point is a steal. We know what their offense can do. Now will it translate to more fans in seats? We’ll see. But warm weather and budget friendly hockey sounds like a big win to me.
Speaking of warm weather, how about Arizona! They rank fourth best on this list and now have Phil Kessel in town. Plus have you been around Gila River Arena? It is spectacular with shopping, restaurants and more. Obviously lots in the air with the ownership situation, but if you want to see this team play, it won’t cost you very much. I definitely like where this team is heading.
They may be jerks, but Carolina does things right. The team just came from the Eastern Conference Final. Their AHL team won everything. And it’s affordable to watch them. Plus Raleigh is a fun market to be around. Ever been to the Pit? Yum. Anyways the future is very bright in North Carolina for their hockey.
Man, if Buffalo can ever figure the on-ice product out they got something special going. You know about their TV ratings. They love their hockey in Western New York. But it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg to watch them. At just a little more than $20 per game, the Sabres give fans the chance to commit a full season without spending too much.
The Other Teams
Here is the rest of the pricing list not counting the top and bottom six.
- Columbus Blue Jackets: $1,062.60
- Dallas Stars: $1,161
- Chicago Blackhawks: $1,300 (this is for standing room only.)
- San Jose Sharks: $1,320
- Detroit Red Wings: $1,440
- St. Louis Blues: $1,540
- Vegas Golden Knights: $1,540 (based on 2018-19 data)
- Washington Capitals: $1,760
- Los Angeles Kings: $1,763
- Ottawa Senators: $1,935
- Pittsburgh Penguins: $1,956.50
- Edmonton Oilers: $2,069
- New Jersey Devils: $2,138
- Winnipeg Jets: $2,211
Stay tuned later this month as we will explore season ticket benefits around the league as well as other items of interest such as concession prices and other things in specific arenas.