With the Olympic hiatus now fully in the rearview, the NHL is back in full swing. On Saturday, the NHL will make its presence felt with another exciting outdoor game, as the Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks in the final game of the 2014 NHL Stadium Series.
Tickets for this exciting event at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, sold out in less than 24 hours when they hit the primary market. They were listed at price points between $99 and $275, and given that Soldier Field packs in 61,500 patrons, far more than the 19,758 of Consol Energy Center or 20,500 of the United Center, this is no small feat. With star center Sidney Crosby finally healthy and playing as well as ever, the Penguins have naturally been a major road draw across the NHL as a whole this season. Still, the average price of $214.48 for this exciting outdoor game carries a 60.56% premium over the Penguins road average for the season of $133.58. This serves well to exemplify both the draw of Sid the Kid, as well as the market presence of the Chicago Blackhawks in their hometown.
However, ticket prices have exhibited a consistent downward trend on the secondary market in the time since they initially sold out. With the frigid temperatures that Chicago has been experiencing of late, ticket prices could drop further in the hours approaching the game. In fact, the weather report currently calls for a day in the low 20’s with a 60% chance of snow. As a result of these concerns, today’s get-in price of $105 barely reflects any premium over the initial get-in face price of $99. It is not unlikely that ticket prices will continue to decline further as game time approaches.
Despite the decline in ticket prices, there is certainly much excitement in the hockey world for this game. Although the NHL has expanded the outdoor slate of games this year to six, this is by far the most competitive matchup of all the games and a potential preview for the Stanley Cup Finals. But while the NHL has certainly developed a love affair with outdoor games and the NFL decided to hold the first ever open-air cold weather Super Bowl this season, seeing these two teams play outdoors is most certainly a novelty item reserved for the regular season… for now.
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