SBD/June 11, 2013/Events and Attractions

Game 1 Stanley Cup Final Ticket Prices Soaring On Secondary Market

Blackhawks fans could pay double the cost of Game 1 tickets for a potential Game 7
Tickets for tomorrow's Game 1 of the Bruins-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Final are "the hottest items in town," according to Mitch Dudek of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Upper level seats at the United Center are "selling for between $375 and $550." Standing-room only tickets are "going for about $250." AAA Tickets Owner Paul Brown said that lower level seats will "set you back about $2,200, and mid-level seats cost about $1,500." He added that if the Blackhawks play a Game 7, expect to "pay double what you would for a Game 1 seat." Gold Coast Tickets Owner Max Waisvisz said that he has "dropped the price of higher-end tickets compared" to when the Blackhawks won the '10 Stanley Cup. Brown, on the other hand, said that prices are "pretty much the same as they were" in '10. The discrepancy "goes to show that buyers should shop around" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/11). In Chicago, St. Clair & Gregory note tickets in the resale market are "in high demand, and slightly fewer than 2,000 -- about 10 percent of United Center's capacity -- were available" yesterday afternoon. Prices start at "nearly $290 each for standing-room-only spots and end at nearly $9,400 for a front-row seat behind and slightly to the side of a goal." Those rates include an "eye-popping, slightly mysterious service charge" on the NHL's official resale outlet, NHL Ticket Exchange, that "runs as high as $1,875 for the top-end ticket." NHL Ticket Exchange reported that the "average resale ticket price of those that had sold was $678" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/11).

MUST-SEE VIEWING? ESPN's Howard Bryant said someone "is smiling on the NHL" with the Blackhawks-Bruins Stanley Cup Final matchup, as the league was "supposed to be a disaster" after the lockout-shortened season. He said, "You've got unbelievable hockey being played in the places where people care the most." Bryant said the Final matchup is "something they couldn't have written any better coming out of labor problems." N.Y. Times columnist William Rhoden said, "This is exactly what hockey needed" ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 6/9). But ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "I don't know that casual sports fans who are more fans of baseball or basketball or pro football (are) going to go running to their sets. I think you do that to see a transcendent player. ... I don't know you do that for teams. I know these two teams have massive fan bases." ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "In terms of the larger question of whether it breaks through, there's no real clamor for hockey. Hockey's still regional" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/10).
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