Low secondary market prices for upcoming, not-yet-sold-out Penguins-Caps game; NHL resale prices up overall
Washington Capitals tickets on secondary market sites like StubHub and NHL Ticket Exchange have been selling at their lowest average prices since the 2010-11 season (10/8/13) and the team’s upcoming November 20 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, while one of the higher priced Caps home games on the resale market, is no exception.
“We’re seeing an average ticket price of $120 for that game, which is the lowest for a Caps-Penguins game in D.C. since we began tracking data on the NHL resale market [in 2010],” wrote Connor Gregoire, Communications Analyst with ticket search engine SeatGeek, in an October 22 email. ”The average resale price in the 400 level for that game is $71 per ticket.”
Average Resale Price for Pittsburgh at Washington since 2010
for tickets overall and 400 Level tickets (Source: SeatGeek)
|Date||Avg Price||400 Level Avg|
The November 20 match-up against Pittsburgh is not yet sold out. Tickets remain available through TicketMaster, starting at $84 in the 400 Level of Verizon Center. The lowest priced tickets for sale to this game on the secondary market as of this posting are a pair for $63 each in section 431, Row G on the NHL Ticket Exchange.
Overall, average NHL resale prices are on the rise. Gregoire explained, “We’ve actually seen a 10 percent uptick in the average ticket price across the league through this point in the season as compared to the lockout-shortened year. The average resale price across the NHL is $89 per ticket so far this season compared to $81 through as many games last season. In the 2011-12 season, tickets sold for $87 each on average through this point in the year, so it appears that we’re seeing a recovery in demand for tickets in 2013-14 after the lockout.”
Washington has been promoting value-added ticket deals via email for some games in recent weeks, including Ticket-Food-Drink packages starting at $59 per ticket and another offering two upper level seats and a signed puck for $99. The November 20 game against Pittsburgh is not listed as part of either offer.
The team also continues to promote “Fan Packs” for some games, offering two tickets for $69. But that deal doesn’t make much sense for customers, considering seats to those games are available at far cheaper prices in the same sections of Verizon Center via the secondary ticket market, including NHL Ticket Exchange, which the Caps also promote via email (“Sorry Caps, but this is bad marketing,” 10/7/13).
The Caps did not respond to a request to comment for this story.
While in Detroit this past week, I took a side trip to one of my favorite craft brewers, Bell’s Brewing in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and then stopped by the home of the Plymouth Whalers on the drive back to the city.
Plymouth is where Michal Neuvirth won an OHL championship in 2007 and where Caps rookies Tom Wilson and Connor Carrick (recently assigned to the Hershey Bears) played junior hockey. Former Cap Pat Peake’s jersey is hanging from the rafters as well.
I snapped a few pictures:
And here’s Mike Ribeiro (63) in a Coyotes jersey during the Phoenix-Detroit game at Joe Louis Arena the night before. We were able to grab seats 11 rows from the ice for $39 (face value of $110) through StubHub. Not a bad secondary ticket market bargain!
- Orland Park’s Connor Carrick making his NHL debut tonight against the Blackhawks (voices.suntimes.com)
- Is Tom Wilson The Missing Piece? (japersrink.com)
- Caps Q&A with sportswriter Ted Starkey (brookslaichyear.com)
- Caps Q&A with Sick, Unbelievable (brookslaichyear.com)
Prices for Washington Capitals tickets on the secondary market, the term used for platforms such as StubHub or Ticket Exchange where individuals can resell seats to sports and other events, have seemed extremely low as the 2013-14 hockey season has gotten underway. It turns out, prices are the lowest they’ve been since 2010.
An analyst with SeatGeek, a ticket search engine that looks at “dozens of the biggest ticket sites and present the results all in one place,” was kind enough to put together some numbers for me on secondary market prices for Caps tickets. They have data going back to the start of the 2010-11 season and it shows just how low prices currently are.
- Two of the Capitals’ next three home games — Thursday against Carolina ($37 average resale price) and next Monday against Edmonton ($38 average resale price) — are the two cheapest Caps regular season home games since the start of the 2010-11 season. In fact, only one other game — an October 13, 2010 matchup against the Islanders ($39 average resale price) — has drawn an average resale price under $40 in that span.
To put that in perspective, for that October 13, 2010 game against the Islanders, which was the last time the average resale price for Caps tickets was this low, Tomas Fleischmann was on the team, DJ King was in the line-up for the first time as a Capital, and Matt Bradley, though scratched due to an injury, was still with Washington.
Another stat from SeatGeek:
- The average resale price in the 400 level is $40 or less for each of the Caps’ first 11 home games of the season, including last Thursday’s home opener against Calgary. That’s by far the longest such stretch since the start of the 2010-11 season; in that time, we’ve never seen more than three consecutive Caps home games with an average 400-level resale price of $40 or less. For the Carolina and Edmonton games, 400-level seats are reselling at an average of just $18 per ticket.
And one final SeatGeek point:
- The secondary market for Capitals tickets as a whole is down considerably this season. Washington currently ranks 21st out of 30 teams in overall average resale price at $73 per ticket, falling from 14th at $90 per ticket last season; that’s a 19 percent dip in average resale price. In the 2011-12 campaign, the Caps ranked 15th at $101 per ticket, and in 2010-11 they were 12th at $90 per ticket.
It’s a great time to be a buyer, Caps fans.
- The cost of these 400 Level Caps season tickets went up 90.7% in five years (brookslaichyear.com)
- How to see a Washington Capitals game without spending a ton (brookslaichyear.com)
Caps email: “Limited Tickets Available for Caps Home Opener” — Secondary market has far better options though
The Caps sent out an email this morning titled “Limited Tickets Available for Caps Home Opener.” That’s true, there are still some tickets available via TicketMaster for the team’s Thursday, October 3 match-up against the Calgary Flames. And those aren’t just scattered singles. You can buy multiple seats together in various locations, mostly in the 400 Level of Verizon Center.
But in reality, there are plenty of tickets available for the Caps home opener and other games through the secondary market and, in many cases, they’re far cheaper than if you buy them from the team. As of this posting, you can spend $57.90 via TicketMaster for a full price ticket to the home opener in Section 426 or you can get a seat in that same section for $30 through StubHub and for $25 via Ticket Exchange, “the official resale partner of the NHL,” which the Caps link to from their own website.
There’s nothing wrong with the Caps pushing their remaining tickets for the home opener; they’re a business and have inventory to sell. But a well-informed consumer could get in the door for about half that price if they take advantage of the deals available through resellers, where availability is far from limited. As of this posting, there are 1,518 seats listed on Ticket Exchange for that first home game and 2,409 on StubHub.
- The cost of these 400 Level Caps season tickets went up 90.7% in five years (brookslaichyear.com)
- With hockey season one week away, plenty of cheap Caps tickets are available through the resale market (brookslaichyear.com)
- How to see a Washington Capitals game without spending a ton (brookslaichyear.com)
With hockey season one week away, plenty of cheap Caps tickets are available through the resale market
The Washington Capitals took a break from raising ticket prices this season after being pretty aggressive with some of their increases for several years in a row. I’ve spoken with more than one person who feels it’s become a bit expensive to go to a Caps game during the Rock the Red era and that’s certainly something I can relate to as a father of three.
Demand rose as the team got hot and the days of $10 top row Eagle’s Nest seats at Verizon Center are gone by miles. It would cost about $250 for my family to attend a Caps game this season in the 400 Level seats furthest from the ice (which I don’t mind sitting in at all), if I purchased them through the team. And that’s just for the tickets.
Park the car or pay for Metro, buy a snack and we’d be at over $300 for one family night out at a regular season game in the cheapest face value seats available. People are right to say a trip to Verizon Center has become a pricey experience over the past five-plus seasons or so.
But here’s some good news if you enjoy going to Caps games, yet don’t have a budget that allows you to spend the equivalent of a car payment for your family to attend a sporting event. Washington opens the 2013-14 NHL season next week and tickets to most of the team’s home games are available at big discounts on the resale market, including several in October.
First, the most expensive of the upcoming games: For the Caps home opener against the Calgary Flames on Thursday, October 3, tickets currently start at $32.20 on StubHub and at $27 on the Capitals Ticket Exchange, prices that are well below face value. There are 2,594 available for that game on StubHub and 1,818 on Ticket Exchange. Those $32.30 seats available through StubHub, which includes all fees in that price, are in a section of the 400 level at Verizon Center that would cost $57.90 total with fees through TicketMaster. That’s close to half-price for the first home game of the season, which I’ve always found to be a fun event.
From there, most of the October tickets get even cheaper. When the Carolina Hurricanes visit a week later on October 10, tickets are currently priced at $16.80 on StubHub with 2,870 available and at $14 on Ticket Exchange with 2,132 seats listed. The New York Rangers, often a fairly hot ticket in DC, visit Washington on Wednesday, October 16 and prices for that remain relatively low as well. 2,729 tickets are currently posted on StubHub, with the lowest priced at $31.10. On Ticket Exchange, 1,889 are available and they start at $26.
You can also see Edmonton when they visit on Monday, October 14 for as little as $13 (StubHub), Colorado on Saturday, October 12 starting at $24 (Ticket Exchange), and Columbus for $27 (Ticket Exchange) when they visit on Saturday the 19th.
October isn’t the only time when 2013-14 Caps tickets are available at discounted prices. As of this posting, there are plenty more tickets for sale at below face value over the course of the season if you scroll through the listings for the Caps on StubHub or Ticket Exchange.
If you really want to see a game for dirt cheap, check out the resale prices for the Caps two preseason games at Verizon Center this week against Nashville and Philadelphia. You may not see all the stars in those lineups and the games don’t count in the standings, but seats can be had for $4.49 (StubHub) versus the Predators or for $5 (Ticket Exchange) when the Caps face the Flyers.
Another approach is to wait until the day of a game to see if prices drop further on the resale markets as the start time approaches and ticket holders look to just get whatever they can, rather than nothing at all (be sure to confirm what time the resale sites cut off sales). This can work against you if inventory gets low and prices start moving up instead of down. But sometimes you can get some bargains – I got five seats for a grand total of $54.90 using this approach the season before last: “How to see a Washington Capitals game without spending a ton.”
- Looking at the bigger picture and the dollars of the Caps continued season ticket price increases (brookslaichyear.com)
- StubHub’s Goal is to Score with Fans, Says CMO Ray Elias (mediabistro.com)
- Ticketmaster Puts Resale, Unsold Tickets in 1 Spot (business.time.com)
Resale Report, a column focused on the secondary ticket market, runs every Wednesday here on BrooksLaichyear.com. Check out the first Resale Report from last week if you missed it.
Wednesday, February 13, 2012 Resale Report
Leonsis on ticket scalping at Verizon Center – “Selling tickets and sadly, buying tickets outside of Verizon Center is illegal. Scalping has become a major concern for many of our fans and they communicate these issues to us directly,” wrote Ted Leonsis, owner of the venue and three DC sports teams that play there.
In the age of online resellers such as StubHub and Ticket Exchange, it’s hard to believe that any buyers would make scalpers near a venue their source for tickets. Fraud protection and, in most cases, better prices are available through online outlets, which also don’t come with the risk of being stopped by the police or having to haggle with a scalper.
The chances of getting five people into Verizon Center for the price of one face-value ticket is a transaction that would be highly unlikely to ever occur outside the arena. But there are bargains to be had like that to games around the country on a regular basis when you use the more high-tech and legal ticket solutions. Unless you’ve waited until less than two hours before game time to purchase a ticket, when resellers have cut off resales, there’s hardly ever a reason to take your business to a scalper outside the venue. Even a tweet or a Facebook post in those last two hours before an event starts might yield tickets at a better price than purchasing them on the street.
So much for a victory tour? – The reigning Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings visited Detroit on Sunday afternoon for a nationally televised NHL on NBC game. On Friday, tickets for that Kings visit to the Wings were available starting at $15 on StubHub. On Monday, when L.A. played at St. Louis, tickets for that Blues home game were available for $7.95 on StubHub late that afternoon. The Kings at least appear to be a hot ticket back home in L.A. On Friday, they play the first of three home games in four days, as they face the Bluejackets, Avs and Ducks. Nothing is currently available on StubHub under $30 for any of those three games.
Yankees add new ticket resale option – The New York Yankees this week announced an agreement with Ticketmaster to create Yankees Ticket Exchange, providing fans with another option for buying and selling their game tickets. As reported by the New York Times Ken Belson, the team will provide fans with an incentive to use the new service over the popular StubHub: “Ticket holders will be charged only a 5 percent fee to sell their tickets, compared with 15 percent on StubHub. Buyers will be charged 10 percent of the resale value, the same as on StubHub.” Consumers (and brokers) can still unload or acquire Yankees tickets through StubHub and, with buyers being charged the same percentage on either service, it’s likely they’ll buy from the one that offers them the best ticket options or prices.
Cheap Valentine’s Day option in South Florida – The Florida Panthers have some of the lowest StubHub prices in hockey, with very few games starting at over $10. Valentine’s Day is no exception, as the Montreal Canadiens visit Sunrise. The lowest price ticket on StubHub for that game is currently listed for $8.00 and there are over 1,000 available. $35 will get you into the lower bowl presently. If last night’s sparse crowd in South Florida, when the Panthers hosted the Washington Capitals, is any indication, you and your date will have a pretty good chance at getting on the big screen. Own the Kiss Cam…or an entire section. On Saturday, it will be a much different resale story on Montreal, when the Canadiens return home to face Philadelphia. Seats on StubHub for the Flyers visit to Bell Centre currently start at $101 on StubHub.
Bargain alert for Caps fans – On Tuesday, February 26, the Carolina Hurricanes visit Verizon Center to face the Caps. As of this posting, there are 2,259 tickets available on StubHub, with the cheapest going for $24.99. On Ticket Exchange there are another 1,788 available and those currently start at $21. There are already below-face-value options available, but those prices could drop even further as the game date gets closer, especially if the inventory remains plentiful. The key to getting a great deal for a game like this is often to wait. The buyer risks the chance that prices could go up or never drop any further if the tickets start to move. But with patience from enough buyers and the right conditions, there could be some dirt cheap seats for this one come the afternoon of February 26. Here a few suggestions on how to score cheap seats like this via the resale market.
Use the #ResaleReport hashtag – Send me a screen shot of best deals you find on hockey tickets or other events. You can do that on Twitter at @mikeholden or through email at brookslaichyear AT gmail DOT com. You can also tag them on Twitter as #ResaleReport.
- Resale Report: A new column on the secondary ticket market (brookslaichyear.com)
- Over 20% of Yankee Stadium’s seats for Game 5 of ALDS are for sale on StubHub (mikeholden.com)
- StubHub before and after Jayson Werth’s Game 4 walk-off home run (mikeholden.com)
First some background on it…
I’m fascinated by the ticket resale market and sites like StubHub and Ticket Exchange. I tweet frequently via my own Twitter account or BrooksLaichyear’s when I see interesting prices on hockey tickets, such as a 99 cent bargain for an NHL game in Ottawa last week.
As I’ve written on my own blog at mikeholden.com in the past, these resale markets are no way to keep your tickets out of the hands of the opposing team’s fans. If you believe in and are looking to protect your team’s home ice advantage or don’t want a bunch of people in the other team’s jerseys cheering or rubbing it in when your team gets scored on in your home rink, sites like StubHub and Ticket Exchange are no way to unload your tickets. However, those sites can be a nice way to score some deals if you’re a buyer.
I’ve blogged here on BrooksLaichyear.com about how you can get some great deals on seats for a game via the resale market, if you’re willing to wait until the day of to purchase them and don’t mind sometimes seeing a potentially less popular opponent or going to a game on a weeknight (some fans will go see any two NHL teams play any night of the week if the tickets are under $10 or $20, for example). But just this past weekend, tickets could be had for less than half of face value to a Penguins-Capitals game in Washington, a match-up that normally comes at a higher cost in the resale market, even when there’s last-minute inventory that people have slashed prices on.
There are times when it make sense to pay face value for a seat or when owning season tickets results in a price break. But there are other times when demand falls and you can do much better on price, if you don’t mind some small sacrifices such as sitting in different seats each game and not knowing if you’re going until just a few days or hours before puck drop. In fact, two and half hours before face-off is when some of the best deals start to fall into place (Note: StubHub cuts off sales two hours before game time).
So, given my own hobby of following the secondary ticket market and knowing others share an interest in it, I’m starting this new column here on BrooksLaichyear.com. Each Wednesday I’ll highlight some of the notable things I’ve come across involving the secondary ticket market. To start, much of what I post will likely be hockey-related but it could grow from there.
Please feel free to pass along tips and other info to me via Twitter at @mikeholden or through email at brookslaichyear AT gmail DOT com. In the meantime, here’s this week’s column:
Resale Report, 1/6/2013
- $9 to see Sid and Malkin play the Islanders? – $34 for an upper level ticket in DC for the Penguins at the Caps this past Sunday via Ticket Exchange seemed like a good deal. Those seats would normally be priced by the Caps at around $80 in the primary market through TicketMaster. But on Tuesday, when Pittsburgh visited the Islanders, the price to see Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin got absurdly low with tickets available through StubHub for $9. Not a bad price for the first place Pens versus a young Islanders team showing a lot of promise
- Stanley Cup Champs for $6 – If any big hockey fans in Columbus were bummed about the NHL lockout forcing the cancellation of this season’s NHL All-Star Game, which would have taken place in their city, they had the opportunity to catch a pretty good hockey team in their town this week. Tickets to see the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings face the Bluejackets last night could be had for $6 on Stub Hub yesterday afternoon.
- Winnipeg seems to like the Jets – On Tuesday, the vast difference in demand for hometown NHL hockey in two Canadian cities was on display. Tickets to see the Winnipeg Jets play at home have typically been the most expensive in the hockey resale market recently, with the least expensive options on StubHub often going for $100-$200+. For their Tuesday game against the Panthers, the cheapest StubHub seat that morning was priced at $129. At the same time, in Ottawa, the lowest priced ticket to see the visiting Buffalo Sabres face the Senators was going for $8.
- Steal of the week – Speaking of Ottawa, the most ridiculous deal in NHL hockey so far this season may have been on January 29, when tickets to see the Washington Capitals face the Senators in Ottawa were available on StubHub for 99 cents the day of the game. #hockeyisback, but the news may not have reached the Canadian capital just yet.
- Cheap seats in Hockeytown – Tickets to see the Calgary Flames visit the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday were going for $8 on StubHub on game day. Perhaps the opponent wasn’t attractive, as the Flames sit near the bottom of the standings. That may have also been the case back on January 29, when you could see the Wings host the Dallas Stars for $9. Yet a look at the rest of Detroit’s home games on StubHub shows many games already hitting the $20-$30 range with 1,000-2,000 tickets available. Even home games against the Central Division rival Blackhawks and Predators start below $50 on StubHub at the moment.
- Nothing for under $50 in NYC – As you might expect, there are few bargains to be had for any upcoming New York Rangers games. The cheapest seat to any Rangers home game through StubHub at the time of this posting is $51 and that’s when they’re visited on February 26 by the team with the most expensive StubHub home tickets in hockey, the previously mentioned Winnipeg Jets. There are currently 2,751 tickets on StubHub for that game. If the inventory for that remains large as game day approaches, those prices could fall a bit.
- Resale market news from Time – In a Time article, one economist says, “arena box offices should consider a buy-back strategy so that they could sell the same ticket not just once, but multiple times.”
- Send me your best deals – Send me a screen shot of the best deals you find on hockey tickets or other events. You can do that on Twitter at @mikeholden or through email at brookslaichyear AT gmail DOT com.
On StubHub, there are almost twice as many tickets available for the first round Caps-Bruins playoff games in Boston as there are for the games in D.C. That’s leaving Game 7 out of the equation, so that just three games in each city can be compared.
As of 9pm last night, with the first game in Boston three days away, there are 2,122 tickets available for it. For Game 2, also in Boston and taking place this Saturday, there are 2,765 available.
By contrast, Game 3 takes place in Washington next Monday night and only has 1,256 seats available. Game 4 is on Thursday of next week in D.C. and has 1,222 tickets posted. Game 5 in Boston has 2,495 tickets and Game 6 back in D.C. has 1,233.
So, for the three games in Boston, there are 7,382 tickets available on StubHub, while only 3,711 are available for the three games in D.C. Which city wants this series more? D.C. by a margin of nearly 2-to-1. That’s it, plain and simple. Mark it down. The numbers don’t lie. D.C. loves its hockey team more than Boston loves theirs. No further research needed.
- Talking with the enemy: Bruins blog ‘Days of Y’Orr’ answers our questions about Caps-Bruins series (brookslaichyear.com)
- How to see a Washington Capitals hockey game without spending a ton (brookslaichyear.com)
- Rare Eagle’s Nest-like prices for tonight’s Caps-Jets game in D.C. (brookslaichyear.com)
In case you missed anything, below are links to all the happenings this weekend at BrooksLaichyear.com:
- Looking at the bigger picture and the dollars of the Caps continued season ticket price increases, with an example of 400 level Verizon Center seats that have gone up 90.7% in five seasons.
- Speaking of ticket prices, here is a heads up on some upcoming Caps games you might be able to get into for cheap
- BrooksLaichyear.com is not yet a month old, but Brooks Laich has been with the organization for 8 years as of this weekend
Last week, I noted unusually low ticket prices for a Caps game, as they were facing the Winnipeg Jets Thursday night at Verizon Center and 400 level tickets had dropped to $15 that afternoon on StubHub. I waited until just before 5 p.m. that night and ended up getting tickets for $8.99 each; this was for 400 level tickets that had a face value of $55 a piece. So I basically got five seats for what one would cost at face value—it’s not often you can do that for a Caps game. Granted, the team hasn’t been playing well lately and is missing some star players, but this was two days after the team had reclaimed first place with a big win at home over Florida, and before the recent losses to the Rangers and Sharks.
Looking at the team’s upcoming schedule on StubHub*, the current prices and the inventory available there, there could be some more bargain nights ahead for Caps fans looking to attend a game without spending as much as it usually takes. It’s highly unlikely you’ll get $8.99 tickets when a team like the Flyers come to town next month but—if you’re willing to go on a week night and see an opponent that’s either not near the top of the standings or a Southeast Division team that the Caps face multiple times a season—there will likely be some deals to be had. There were even some tickets available this past Monday afternoon for under $20 on StubHub for that night’s game against the San Jose Sharks, a good team that doesn’t come to town that often.
In order to get the best possible prices, keep an eye on the list of Caps home games on StubHub and wait it out until the day of the game if you can. On game day, prices can drop quite a bit as people look to dump their tickets for whatever they can get. The day of the Caps-Jets game last week, the lowest priced ticket on StubHub went from $15 at around 4pm down to $8.99 when I bought them just before 5pm. If you’re going to try this approach, it’s important to note that StubHub stops sales two hours before game time.
Here are the upcoming games that look like they have a chance at getting fairly inexpensive:
On Tuesday, February 28, the New York Islanders come to town. There are a little over 1,700 tickets available on StubHub and the cheapest seat is currently $21.
The Carolina Hurricanes visit on Tuesday, March 6 and tickets start at $27 right now on Stub Hub, with more than 2,000 available.
For Thursday, March 8, there are more than 2,000 tickets available on StubHub when the Caps host the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the cheapest tickets are currently $29.
There could be some other games to keep an eye on after that, like when the Jets visit again on March 23, though that’s a Friday and those games sometimes don’t get as cheap as Tuesday games, for example. The Sabres visit on Tuesday, March 27 and then Florida comes to town on Thursday, April 5. That’s the final home game of the year and tickets are only $26 right now. Whether prices for that game against the Panthers go up or down from here could depend a lot on what the playoff picture looks like as that date gets closer.
* I don’t mention the Capitals TicketExchange because there seems to be a floor below which a ticket’s price can not be sold there. From what I’ve seen, it appears buyers looking for the lowest overall price are better off using StubHub.
- Why StubHub Is Still Relevant (pandodaily.com)
- Keeping your Caps tickets out of the hands of the opposing team’s fans (mikeholden.wordpress.com)
- ‘Lin-sanity’ doesn’t come cheap (projectspurs.com)
- Will the Washington Capitals’ home sellout streak end anytime soon? (mikeholden.wordpress.com)
- StubHub Founder: Don’t Listen To The So-Called ‘Experts’ (businessinsider.com)