When the Stanley Cup Final was set, matching the Vegas Golden Knights against the Washington Capitals, fans of both teams quickly started scouring the secondary ticket market in search of a way into the event. Unfortunately for those diehard fans, scoring a ticket to one of the games, either in Vegas or in Washington, will cost a small fortune.
Washington vs Vegas: A Hot Ticket
For fans lucky enough to be season ticket holders of the Washington Capitals, the face value of a Stanley Cup Final ticket in the upper level of Capital One Arena is around $100. However, tickets, including ones in the very last row of the arena, are going for more than seven times that on the secondary market.
A check of StubHub has the cheapest ticket for Game 3, the first Stanley Cup Final game in Washington in 20 years, at just over $800. Tickets in the lower bowl are selling for well over $1,500.
According to TicketIQ, a ticket tracking site, the average asking price to see a Capitals’ home game during the final round is $2,060. That’s the fifth-highest amount since the site began tracking ticket prices ack in 2011.
Tickets for the games being played in Vegas are just as expensive. In fact, according to TicketIQ, tickets to see a game in Sin City are the second-highest since 2011. The average listing price of $2,505 is topped only by last season’s Nashville Predators, who had an average asking price of $2,664.
Overall, when combing numbers for both teams, a ticket to see the Capitals and the Golden Knights play in the Stanley Cup Final in either city is the most expensive NHL ticket ever.
Washington fans have waited 20 years to watch their team compete for Lord Stanley’s cup. After numerous heartbreaks in recent seasons, it is not a surprise that demand for tickets is so high.
In the case of Vegas, there’s obviously no history or tradition with the team, but the story is remarkable. An NHL expansion team has never enjoyed the amount of success that the Golden Knights are experiencing in the franchise’s first season. The same is true throughout sports, meaning that Vegas has put itself on the map as the best expansion team in any sport.
Capitals and Golden Knights an Unlikely Meeting
The Capitals were set for success the last two seasons, hence the winning of back-to-back President Trophies in 2015-16 and 2016-17. However, inconsistent play, some questionable coaching decisions, and running into the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins all played a role in denying the Capitals a chance at playing for the Stanley Cup.
In fact, despite being one of the more dominant teams over the last 10 years, they could not figure out a way to advance out of the second round.
Having success in the postseason was expected the past few years, but not this year. The roster was completely decimated, especially at defense, due to free agency and the NHL Expansion Draft. Head coach Barry Trotz was forced to use some unproven and inexperienced guys to fill roster spots. Chandler Stephenson, Christian Djoos, Devante Smith-Pelly, Alex Chiasson, and Jakub Vrana were all guys who stepped in and contributed both in the regular season as well as the postseason.
The Caps found a way to succeed during the regular season and once again captured the Metropolitan Division title. The postseason was filled with some adversity, including yet another meeting with Pittsburgh, but the Caps battled through and advanced out of the second round of the post season for the first time since the 1997-98 season.
Following the win over Pittsburgh, the Caps won the first two games against Tampa Bay, but after losing three straight, needed seven games to dispel the Lightning.
Washington entered the 2017-18 with a team with less depth, and arguably a bit less talent, but found a way to finally advance to play for the Stanley Cup. Fans in Washington have been waiting to hose a Stanley Cup Final game for a long time, hence the high interest in tickets.
Vegas was set up for some success due to the rules of the draft, though few, if any, thought they’d have this kind of season.
The Golden Knights were able to select from a talent pool of current players on NHL rosters. Perhaps the most important acquisition for the Knights was veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The 33-year old veteran put up remarkable numbers during the regular season, winning 29 games with a 2.24 GAA.
He’s very familiar with the Caps due to his time spent in Pittsburgh, and played a pivotal role in eliminating Washington last postseason.
Still, getting a new team together, getting the guys to play together, and to trust and believe in each other is a difficult task. Being able to do so in just one season is a remarkable accomplishment.
Even though Vegas was having a successful regular season, it was difficult to imagine that the Knights would be able to make a long postseason run. However, they exceeded expectations and kept it going once the playoffs began.
Vegas won all three of their series fairly easily, sweeping LA in Round 1, knocking out San Jose in six games in Round 2, and taking out Winnipeg in just five games to win the Western Conference.
The Knights were easily the best story in the NHL this past season. That, paired with Washington finally being able to rewrite the narrative on it’s terrible postseason reputation, make this year’s Stanley Cup Final one of the most popular to ever take place.
Getting in to see a game live won’t be easy, but it is possible. You may have to take out a second mortgage, or sell some valuable body parts, but other than that, it won’t be to difficult to watch the action live.
Barry is the site expert at Victory Bell Rings, covering Penn State football, hockey and basketball. He’s also written about the NHL for RotoWire, Bleacher Report and FanSided. An avid hockey fan, he’s been a Washington Capitals supporter for most of his life.