When I first took a look at ticket prices for the upcoming League Championship Series for the MLB Playoffs, I realized that many of the Cities that had a chance to, or will play in the NLCS or ALCS, also had hockey teams that had advanced to the second round of the NHL playoffs in 2013; and, in three of the four cases, advanced to the Conference Finals (Boston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh). I mention both because the NHL Playoffs essentially has four rounds (quarterfinals, semis, finals, Stanley Cup); and if you exclude the Wild Card, the MLB Playoffs has three (division, championship, World Series).
When comparing the teams in each City, and within each League I found MLB playoff tickets were more expensive in every city than their NHL counterpart in the second round. This held true for two of the three cities when comparing the second round of the MLB playoffs to the NHL Conference Finals. The only exception being in Pittsburgh where Penguins Eastern Conference Finals tickets are more expensive than Pirates NLCS tickets. This could change however if the Pirates clinch a spot in the LCS tonight. It was the Pirates who had the most expensive Division Series tickets this year despite not having home field advantage (their average price was based off two games, not three).
Also, in most cases, the Cities that had home ice advantage in the second round, have/still have a chance at home field advantage in the MLB playoffs (noted with an * for secured home advantage; noted with (*) still have a chance at home advantage). Therefore, for those cities, it is an equal comparison in average price; with home advantage (or the possibility of), the average price in the chart below is based on four home games, while those teams who did not or will not have home advantage is an average of three home games. Again, the exception being in Pittsburgh where the Penguins had home ice advantage in the second round (but not in the Conference Finals), while the Pirates would not. To note, the NHL playoffs in both the Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals has a 2-2-1-1-1 format, while the MLB Playoffs in the Championship Series has a 2-3-2 format; all series contain a potential seven games.
|Sports City (Teams)||Avg. Price (NHL- Semis)||Avg. Price (NHL- Finals)||Avg. Price (MLB- LCS)|
|SF Bay Area (Sharks, A’s)||$248||N/A||$253|
|Boston (Bruins, Red Sox)||$352 *||$584||$752 *|
|Detroit (Red Wings, Tigers)||$184||N/A||$199|
|Los Angeles (Kings, Dodgers)||$236 *||$391||$426 (*)|
|Pittsburgh (Penguins, Pirates)||$337 *||$656 *||$457|
One key finding when looking at the second round of the NHL and MLB Playoff prices, is that Detroit has the cheapest second round playoff ticket in both Leagues of the five aforementioned teams. In addition, Detroit also had/has the cheapest second round playoff ticket of each team in that round (8 in NHL, 4 in MLB). To note, Detroit Tigers tickets were also the cheapest in the Division Series. In regards to the most expensive City, Boston had the most expensive NHL and MLB second round playoff ticket of the five teams noted. Only the New York Rangers Conference Semifinals tickets were more expensive when looking at all eight teams in the League who were in the second round.
Image Credit: Kirby Lee (Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE)