Interest in NHL Down, as are Ticket Prices

The NHL canceled regular season games through November 1st today. As Craig Kanalley of the Huffington Post wrote yesterday, NHL is not a trending topic on Twitter or on Google Trends. 

“The NHL has a major problem which has become glaringly obvious as its lockout extends: People don’t care. If you take a look at trending topics on Twitter, or on Google Trends, or what the majority of America cares about right now — the NHL is not on the radar.”

Not only is ‘NHL tickets’ not a trending search, it’s the only major U.S. sports league with a decline in relative search volume year-over-year in October; this according to the Google Trends data in the graphic below.

It’s no surprise with the lack of interest that Kanalley mentions – – due to players heading overseas, competition from other sports, four lockouts in 20 years – – that NHL tickets are (on average) decreasing in price. On July 23, we took a look at NHL ticket trends following the 2011-12 season; this was before the lockout had taken effect.  Since then, the lack of interest that Kanalley speaks of appears evident. The team that held the highest average ticket in July was the Montreal Canadiens at $433. Today, the team that holds the highest average ticket is the Toronto Maple Leafs at $292.   

NHL Ticket Changes from July to October:

  • Team with largest increase in average ticket price: Minnesota Wild (57%)
  • Team with the largest decrease in average ticket price: Montreal Canadiens (-49%)
  • No. of teams whose average ticket prices have increased: 12 (avg. increase of $20 per ticket)
  • No. of teams whose average ticket prices have decreased: 16 (avg. decrease of $41 per ticket)
  • In total, the average ticket price in the league has dropped approximately 10 percent since July (about $14 per ticket)

The below table shows the difference in average ticket prices, per NHL team. 

NHL Ticket Prices

NHL Teams  7-23-12 Avg. Price    10-19-12 Avg. Price   ∆ 
Anaheim Ducks $48.00 $50.00 4.17%
Boston Bruins $150.00 $190.00 26.67%
Buffalo Sabres $112.00 $137.00 22.32%
Carolina Hurricanes $86.00 $60.00 -30.23%
Chicago Blackhawks $224.00 $227.00 1.34%
Colorado Avalanche $103.00 $92.00 -10.68%
Columbus Blue Jackets $85.00 $71.00 -16.47%
Dallas Stars $103.00 $111.00 7.77%
Detroit Red Wings $202.00 $125.00 -38.12%
Edmonton Oilers $152.00 $167.00 9.87%
Florida Panthers $77.00 $53.00 -31.17%
Los Angeles Kings $125.00 $102.00 -18.40%
Minnesota Wild $114.00 $179.00 57.02%
Montreal Canadiens $433.00 $223.00 -48.50%
Nashville Predators $73.00 $79.00 8.22%
New Jersey Devils $118.00 $103.00 -12.71%
New York Islanders $70.00 $92.00 31.43%
New York Rangers $215.00 $198.00 -7.91%
Ottawa Senators $113.00 $121.00 7.08%
Philadelphia Flyers $120.00 $112.00 -6.67%
Phoenix Coyotes $139.00 $75.00 -46.04%
Pittsburgh Penguins $273.00 $215.00 -21.25%
San Jose Sharks $156.00 $144.00 -7.69%
St. Louis Blues $95.00 $134.00 41.05%
Tampa Bay Lightning $90.00 $56.00 -37.78%
Toronto Maple Leafs $306.00 $292.00 -4.58%
Vancouver Canucks $241.00 $245.00 1.66%
Washington Capitals $179.00 $129.00 -27.93%

To note, there are currently listings for Calgary Flames tickets that were not available in July. Similarly, there was a significantly larger quantity of tickets available in July for the Winnipeg Jets that were no longer available today. To avoid skewing the data, we have not included the Flames or Jets ticket prices in the table.


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