Super Bowl XLIX: Your Fearless Forecast

For the fourth consecutive year, your Fearless (and as usual, some might say feckless) Forecaster is back, with his prediction for the latest edition of the NFL’s Big Game, No. 49 in the series to be exact.  After a losing pick last year in a blowout, your Forecaster might be excused if he didn’t come back; but he has a reputation (two wins against one loss) to uphold.  So, without further ado, your winner of Big Game No. 49 is:

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Blackhawks Ticket Prices Below Season Average For Upcoming Road Trip

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The 30-15-2 Chicago Blackhawks are looking to start the second half of the season on a high note. The ‘Hawks will be traveling away from the United Center for their next six games due to Frozen on Ice taking over the arena. Four of those games will be played this week.

Forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will look to continue their dominance, as Kane ranks third among all players with 51 points. The team will look to improve on the power play, as they are in the top-5 in every major team category except for, oddly, when they have the man advantage. According to Razorgator, tickets are going for lower than average this week, as the average ticket price for the week is $158.85. These numbers are well below the average price for Blackhawks tickets for the second half of the season, which is $228.54.

01/28/15 @ Los Angeles Kings | Average Price: $175.46 | Get-in Price: $62.00

The ‘Hawks travel to the Staples Center to take on the Kings in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals. These two teams have met already this season, in a game that turned out to be a 4-1 blowout in favor of Chicago. Chicago may be able to get their power play back on track, as the Kings rank 25th in the NHL in killing penalties. However, the Kings have been famous for playing their best hockey in the second half of season (and postseason). The average price for this game is $175.46 on the secondary market, but tickets are going for as low as $62.00.

01/30/15 @ Anaheim Ducks | Average Price: $170.26 | Get-in Price: $50.00

The Blackhawks don’t have to travel very far to face their next opponent, but they will be in for an extremely tough matchup. It’s looking like the Anaheim Ducks could potentially meet the Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals. The Ducks are the top seed in the West currently, and hold a six-point lead over the Blackhawks. Goaltender Frederik Andersen is second in the NHL in wins with 26, and center Ryan Getzlaf is seventh in the NHL with 50 points. Fans will be able to see this top-tier matchup at a good price. The average ticket price for this game is $170.26. You can get into this matchup for just $50.00. However, prices have increased by 9% in the past seven days, so now is the time to purchase these tickets.

01/31/15 @ San Jose Sharks | Average Price: $132.51 | Get-in Price: $55.00

Next, the team will travel upstate to San Jose to take on the Sharks. This will be the cheapest game of the week, as tickets are going for an average price of $132.51. With a get-in price of $55.00, this is a great value to see a potential playoff preview. The Sharks are second in the Pacific division, and are the eight-best power play team in the NHL. Center Joe Pavelski is out to prove that he is still a force, as he has netted 42 points so far this season. This team also features NHL vet and future Hall of Famer Joe Thornton. The Blackhawks will have to keep up to their usual tricks on the penalty kill, as they are the best penalty killing team in the NHL.

02/03/15 @ Minnesota Wild | Average Price: $175.69 | Get-in Price: $72.00

As the calendar turns to February, things will really be in full swing in the second half. The Blackhawks will square off against the Minnesota Wild in a matchup of central division opponents. The Wild have been trending downward as of late, having lost eight of their last 11 matchups. The Blackhawks have already beaten the Wild three times this season. This is one of the most expensive games of the week as these two division rivals square off. The average price for Wild vs. Blackhawks tickets is $175.69. With a get-in price of $72.00, this game features the most expensive minimum price of the week.

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Final Four Tickets Already Commanding High Prices

Kentucky

March Madness is on the way, and it’s never too early to start planning to see your favorite college basketball team compete in the Big Dance. Already halfway through conference games, the contenders are starting to cement their status for the tournament.

Of course, the popular favorite to win it all this year is the #1 Kentucky Wildcats. Led by the sophomore Harrison twins and talented freshman Devin Booker (10.4 points per game), the Wildcats haven’t lost a game, and they are primed to make a run at returning to the Final Four in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The also-undefeated #2 University of Virginia Cavaliers may not receive the attention the Wildcats command, but they will look to challenge for the Final Four. Justin Anderson, Malcolm Brogdon, and Anthony Gill makeup a solid trio of scorers for the Cavaliers, as they attempt to win the ACC and conference tournament for only the third time in team history. Capturing a number one seed could potentially get the Cavaliers back to the Final Four for the first time since 1984.

Final Four tickets for an All-Sessions Pass cost an average of $2,243.08, which is up 35% since last week. These tickets are for the diehard fans that feel their team is destined to lift the trophy at the end of the tournament. For the less serious fans, the get-in price for the All-Sessions Pass currently sits at $300.00. Moreover, for those fans that just want to attend the semi-finals, the average price for those tickets is $1,669.52, which is 14% more than it was a week ago. Also, the get-in price at the gate for the semi-finals is $227.00.

Although #1 Kentucky and #2 UVA are expected to waltz into the tournament, there are several other programs ready to make some noise. A Duke Blue Devils team coached by Mike Krzyzewski is always expecting to win the Big Dance. Coach Roy Williams and Marcus Paige are giving the North Carolina faithful reason to believe in a run with wins over Ohio State and Louisville. Furthermore, there’s always going to be a “Cinderella” team that shocks the world.

Last year, the Final Four was defined by the impressive runs of #7 seed Connecticut and #8 seed Kentucky. Kentucky triumphed over the #2 seed Wisconsin with a last second victory, whereas UConn handily beat the #1 seed Florida by 10 points. The two teams met in the Championship Game and UConn prevailed and were crowned as champions in 2014.

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AL Central Champion Tigers Tickets Still Hot Even After Scherzer Loss via Free Agency

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The new look Detroit Tigers will have there work cut out for them enter the 2015 MLB season.  Last year’s stellar regular season crusade was overshadowed by an abrupt early exist from the 2014 postseason, at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles, who swept the Tigers 3-0 in the American League Division Series.  Detroit had high expectation heading into last postseason, finishing the regular season with a record of 90-72, as the American League Central Division winners.  The Tigers were defined by an outstanding offensive display, finishing the regular season with the highest batting average in all of the MLB.  This .277 combined team batting average was coupled by another standout statistic as they scored a total of 757 runs, which ranked them as the 2nd highest scoring team in the league.

To have another strong year, the Tigers will need be among the prolific offenses once again this season as they prepare for life after losing pitcher Max Scherzer to the Washington Nationals through free agency.  The offensive firepower of the Tigers is reflected in the ticket prices headed into this season.  Detroit Tigers tickets on the secondary market for home games currently average $271.41.  However, Tiger’s fans can rest assured knowing that tickets not all home games will be this expensive.

The Tigers home opener this season will be on Monday, April 6th against American League Central Division rivals the Minnesota Twins.  Last season the teams played a total of 21 times with the Tigers going 9-11 overall, recording five wins and five losses in the 10 meetings at Comerica Park.  Tigers vs. Twins tickets are currently available on the secondary market at an average price of $225.32.  For fans contemplating attending, lower priced tickets can be found as this match-up features a get-in ticket price of $136.00.  Tickets have trended down just 2% in the past week.

Fans can rejoice knowing that not all early season home games will cost big bucks. The third and final meeting of the Tigers first home stand against the Twins will feature the season’s least expensively priced home game.   Manager Brad Ausmus and the Tigers will look to close out the trio of games when they square off on Thursday April 9th.  Tigers vs. Twins tickets are currently available at an appetizing average price of $36.  Less expensively priced tickets can also purchased, as the current get-in price stands at $5.

Second basemen Ian Kinsler was a main part of Detroit’s success in 2014, having one of his best seasons of his career.  Kinsler will aim to continue this when the Tigers take on his ex-team the Texas Rangers on Sunday August 23rd.  This, the conclusion of a four game home stand, will be the fourth of seven meeting between the American League opponents.  Last season, the Tigers went 4-3 against the Rangers, winning all three games played at home.  Tigers vs. Rangers tickets are currently available at an average price of $451.04.  With a get-in ticket price of $17, this will be the last chance Tigers fans have to see them at on the Rangers at Comerica Park.

In addition to losing Max Scherzer, Detroit will need to fill another starting pitching void.  Acquiring outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to replace center fielder Torii Hunter cost them 26-year-old right-hander Rick Porcello.  The Tigers will call on Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene to replace the pitching duo.  Pitching was the weak spot of Detroit last season, as the offense carried a pitching staff that sported an ERA of 4.01. Returning with major offensive contributors such as designated hitter Victor Martinez and first basemen Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers will need the duo to once again step up in order to challenge for their fifth consecutive division title.

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Winning Streak and Star Power Push Defending Champion Spurs Tickets Up This Week

Spurs players

The San Antonio Spurs have gotten off to an impressive start this season and their tickets on Razorgator has stayed strong accordingly. Spurs tickets against the LA Lakers at the AT&T Center have the sixth-highest average price in the NBA this week. Currently sitting 4th of the Southwest Division (but just 3.5 games out), the Spurs boast a record of 26-16 while riding a three game win streak.  This season has been defined by defense as they rank 7th in the NBA in points allowed per game, giving up only 97.6.  Rebounding has been and continues to be strength of the reigning NBA Champions, averaging 43.8 per game.

The Spurs have shown once again why they are always at the top of the league as a deep roster of veterans and playoff seasoned players has been lead by future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan.  This week features two away and two home games as the Spurs aim to catch ground on the division leading Memphis Grizzlies.

1/20 @ Denver Nuggets | Avg Price: $98.86 | Get-in: $15.00

The Spurs open this week facing the struggling Denver Nuggets.  With a record of 18-23, Denver’s inability to string together consistent performances has plagued them so far this season.  Spurs vs. Nuggets tickets are available on the secondary market for an average price of $98.86.  This is the cheapest price of San Antonio’s two away games.  With a get-in price of $15.00, fans can see the current NBA champions look to stretch a three game win streak at the Pepsi Center.

1/22 @ Chicago Bulls | Avg Price: $160.38 | Get-in: $44.00

The Spurs second and final road game of this week will feature a clash with Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.  The Bulls have been very impressive this season, as veteran Paul Gaul and budding star Jimmy Butler have overpowered the Eastern Conference.  Spurs vs. Bulls tickets are available on the secondary market for an average price of $160.38.  This game will be the most expensive priced away game for the Spurs this week.  With a get-in price of $44.00, this game will be defined by the ability for each team to rebound effectively as both average over 40 per game so far this season.

1/23 vs. LA Lakers | Avg Price: $196.32 | Get-in: $37

San Antonio will return home on Friday and welcome in the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Lakers and Spurs are two teams on completely different paths.  LA has struggled greatly, allowing an unimpressive 106.7 points per game as the Hollywood club looks to rebuild this season.  Spurs vs. Lakers tickets are currently available on the secondary market at an average of $196.32.  This is the most expensive priced game the Spurs will play this week.  However, fans can enjoy a get-in price of only $37.00 for those looking to see the fading star Kobe Bryant play.

1/25 vs. Milwaukee Bucks | Avg. Price: $70.99 | Get-in: $7.00

The Spurs will end this week facing the Milwaukee Bucks.  The Bucks have had an up-and-down season, losing rookie Jabari Parker to a season ending left knee injury.  Injuries have plagued Milwaukee as point guard Kendall Marshall also suffered a season ending injury this past week.  Spurs vs. Bucks tickets are currently available on the secondary market at an average price of $70.99.  With a get-in price of $7.00, this game is the cheapest priced for the Spurs this week.  For fans looking to see the Spurs play without breaking the bank, this is a must attend game.

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Cubs Offseason Leads to High Expectations – and Ticket Prices – in 2015  

Lester Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are coming off of a disappointing 2014 season where they went 73-89 in general manager Theo Epstein’s third season leading the club. They have not won a World Series since 1908, and have generally been uncompetitive for much of the past decade (and even longer). But the tide, and expectations, seems to have turned after a very active offseason that saw them bolster their coaching staff, pitching staff, batting order, bullpen and depth.

The Cubs did surprisingly go 41-40 at home last season, so they did provide some exciting times for the home fans. Based on their improvements, in addition to the young core they have already built, those exciting times will be much more prevalent in 2015. The Cubs hired the very successful and well-respected former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon at the beginning of the offseason, and followed that up by signing former Red Sox ace Jon Lester, back end rotation arm Jason Hammel, catcher Miguel Montero, and outfielder Chris Denorfia. Young touted prospects Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell and Javier Baez will show improvement and contributions to the big league club, and Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro will continue their All-Star level play.

The heightened expectations have led to an increase in prices, as games average $149 per game, with a home high of $265 on average for Opening Day tickets for the Cubs vs. Cardinals. Below are the five most expensive games of the season for the Cubs at Wrigley Field, with games against their two main rivals detailed in a bit more depth.

04/05/15 vs. St. Louis Cardinals | Average Price: $249 | Get-in Price: $96

The Cubs will open the season at home against their hated Central Division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are coming off yet another division title and a 90-win season to boot. They have been playoff stalwarts and frequent World Series participants in the past decade-plus, and will not relinquish their place atop the division to the upstart Cubs quietly. This game, while just one of 162, can set the tone for how these teams will approach their season series in 2015. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals ace and 20-game winner, will likely face Lester on Opening Day, helping to prop up already robust ticket prices to nearly $100 just to get in to Wrigley Field.

07/10/15 vs. Chicago White Sox | Average Price: $235 | Get-in Price: $54

The White Sox joined the Cubs as one of the most active teams in free agency this offseason, adding outfielder Melky Cabrera, former Cubs star Jeff Samardzija, first baseman Adam LaRoche, and bullpen aces Zach Duke and David Robertson. They join unanimous AL Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu, who finished fourth in the MVP voting in 2014 with a .317 batting average, 36 home runs and 107 runs batted in.

The July cross-town series will be played at historic Wrigley Field and these teams will meet again in August at US Cellular Field as the White Sox play host to the Cubs. Prices for the games at US Cellular actually have higher average prices than the games at Wrigley, which illustrates just how in-demand tickets for Cubs vs. White Sox games are to Chicago baseball fans.

Date Opponent Average Price Get-in Price
4/5/15 St. Louis Cardinals $249 $96 BUY
7/10/15 Chicago White Sox $235 $54 BUY
8/8/15 San Francisco Giants $230 $37 BUY
7/11/15 Chicago White Sox $228 $56 BUY
7/12/15 Chicago White Sox $216 $53 BUY

 

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From Iggy to Manilow, something for everyone in 2015

 

iggyazalea(Photo via Vox Media)

Among the concert offerings lining up for music fans in 2015, there are shows for the young as well as the young at heart.
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After An Eventful Offseason Dodgers Tickets Are Averaging Under $175 In 2015

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The Los Angeles Dodgers are a team that needs to put up or shut up in 2015. This is a team that has spent a ton of money over the past few seasons, and brought in some marquee talent from around the league. They made strides last season, making it to the NLDS. However, they lost to the Cardinals by a game-score of 3-1. They ended up finishing second in the National League, but fell to a team with a championship pedigree. This is crunch time for the Dodgers. They have a $235 million payroll, which is the highest in the MLB. If they don’t make a serious move at a championship, it may be time to think about rebuilding. With the emergence of San Diego in the offseason, this could be the best division in the MLB. The Dodgers statistically have one of the best pitching staffs in MLB history. Clayton Kershaw had an unbelievable season, winning his third Cy Young award. He has also led the MLB in ERA for the past four seasons, which has never been done before. Zach Greinke, Hyun Jin Ryu, and Brandon McCarthy, who have all-star caliber arms, round out the rotation. They have the best staff in the National League, and that alone should be able to carry them very far this season.

The Dodgers will also be curious how their bats respond to the loss of Matt Kemp. Kemp is a career .285 hitter, and has been a leader in the clubhouse for a long time. This could be the year that outfielder Yasiel Puig establishes himself as an MVP candidate. They also unloaded second basemen Dee Gordon and brought in future Hall-of-Famer Jimmy Rollins. This team was 3rd in overall batting average last season. The promise of this season directly correlates to the price Dodgers tickets this season. Here are the games at either side of the price spectrum. The average price of Dodgers tickets so far this season is $173.54.

10/03/15 vs. San Diego Padres | Average Price: $350.47 | Get-in Price: $19.00

This matchup will feature one of the many returns of Matt Kemp to Dodger Stadium. The former home run king was a two-time all-star from 2011-2012. This team has also brought in Justin Upton from the Braves, who is a 2-time all star. They finalized their outfield by adding Will Myers from Tampa Bay. San Diego will continue to be buyers in the free-agent market, but they still lack an elite arm that will carry them to the post season. This matchup could be very crucial to the Dodgers, as they could be fighting for a top seed in the National League, and that means home field advantage in the post season. This also could be a game against NL West contenders. The average price that fans are paying for this game is $350.47. You can get in to Dodger Stadium for $19.00.

4/14/15 vs. Seattle Mariners | Average Price: $48.00| Get-in Price: $9.00

Despite having plenty of west coast star power, this is the cheapest game for the dodgers so far. The Mariners have just brought in AL Home Run king Nelson Cruz, and they also feature one of the best pitchers in the MLB, Felix Hernandez. If Hernandez pitches in this game, you can expect prices to shoot way up. The Dodger hitters will have a tough time against the man who finished second in last season’s Cy Young race. If Hernandez doesn’t go, the Mariners still have a staff full of strong, young arms. Despite the even matchup, the average price of this game is just $48.00, and you can get into Dodger stadium for as little as $9.00. I wouldn’t expect this game to be the least expensive one on the schedule for very long.

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This Week In Rangers Tickets

NY Rangers NY Islanders

The New York Rangers are currently defending their Eastern Conference title. Last year was the first time they were in the Stanley Cup Finals since they won the cup back in 1994. This season hasn’t gone as well. In the first 29 games, the Rangers have 34 points. They are still right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff mix, but they need to play better if they are going to be real contenders.  They are playing behind all-world goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who is one of the very best in the NHL between the pipes. The Rangers have a week full of Metropolitan Division opponents. They can make some moves in the division this week. According to RazorGator, Rangers tickets are going for $187.82 on the secondary market.

12/20/14 @ Carolina Hurricanes | Average Price: $61.34 | Get in Price $17.00

The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the worst teams in all of the NHL. Only the Edmonton Oilers have fewer points at this point than the Hurricanes do. This should be an easy win for the Rangers, but anything can happen in the NHL. They needed a shootout to beat the Hurricanes earlier this season. Despite the close game, the Rangers are hot right now. Expect their four-game winning streak to continue here. This game has an average ticket price of $61.34, and it only costs $17.00 to get in the door. Due to the poor play of Carolina, there is no wonder why prices have decreased by 33%.

12/21/14 Carolina Hurricanes Average Price: $225.81 Get-in Price: $75

People can see the difference between seeing a game in Carolina and seeing a game at Madison Square Garden. The difference in prices of these tickets just one night later is eye opening. Since it is a back-to-back, both teams will probably play some of their backups in this game. Expect to see a matchup between Anton Khudobin taking on Cam Talbot of the Rangers in the pipes. This is another clear advantage for the Rangers. Expect Rick Nash and the rest of the Rangers offense to thrive in both of these games.  The average price of a ticket to this game is $225.81. It costs a whopping $75.00 just to get in the door of MSG. This game is trending upwards at a rate of 6% in the past seven days, because it’s being played in New York as opposed to Carolina. Also, a lot of people take off work this week due to the holiday, so it’s easier for fans to get to this game.

12/23/14 Vs. Washington Capitals| Average Price: $358.42| Get-in Price: $104.00

At this moment, the Caps are currently two points ahead of the Rangers in the standings. They are playing well under new coach Barry Trotz. The Rangers need to stay out of the box because the Capitals hold the best power play percentage in the NHL. They score 27 percent of the time when they have the man advantage. This will be the hardest game of the Rangers’ week. The average ticket to this game is an astounding $358.42. It will cost over $100.00 just to get into the doors. This game is trending 13 percent higher than it was last week. Being that it is a crucial game for the division, it’s no surprise that prices are going up.

12/27/14 vs. New Jersey Devils | Average Price: $463.88 | Get-in Price: $159.00

The Rangers and the New Jersey Devils is one of the better rivalries in the NHL. It started back in 1994, when the Rangers beat the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Devils have fallen on some hard times, losing five straight games. They are the oldest team in the league, led by 42-year-old Jaromir Jagr. Despite the rough season, these matchups are always awesome. That can be seen in the ticket prices. According to RazorGator, the average ticket to get into this game is $463.88. Just to get into MSG for this rivalry, you have to pay $159.00. Because this is a rivalry, people shouldn’t be surprised in the 12 percent increase that we have seen.

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This year’s Big Six (adding the Cotton and Chick-fil-a Peach to the old BCS four of the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta) bowl matchups offer an intriguing set of games for the college football fan. Here’s a look at the games.
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