Why NHL Season Tickets Are (Not) Worth It?

Posted on May 18, 2024 by Dan Kent
hockey season ticket

Going to an NHL game is a fantastic experience for those fortunate enough to get the opportunity. The sights, sounds, and excitement surrounding an NHL game before, during, and after the game are worth the price of admission. 

For some people, that buzz around a game is addicting, and they may choose to purchase season tickets for their local or favorite team. Is it worth it?

How much are NHL season tickets?

The cost of season tickets can vary wildly by the team. For example, a season ticket package in Anaheim will be drastically cheaper than a hockey hotbed like Toronto. Season tickets can cost you $660 to $25,000 or greater, depending on the location.

Season tickets are well worth it for some and a massive waste of money for others. Suppose you're keen to see as many games as possible. In that case, a season ticket can save you money, as you typically get tickets cheaper than buying them off a platform like Ticketmaster or Stubhub.

For some teams, a season ticket isn't affordable to the average-income fan. 

Let's get into the nitty-gritty of what you can expect to save/spend as a season ticket holder vs a regular ticket attendee.

Average NHL Season Ticket Price

It's difficult to determine an average season ticket price in the NHL because the prices vary so much. 

The Anaheim Ducks have the cheapest plan available at $660. This means you could attend nearly an entire season of Anaheim Ducks home games for the price of attending just two games for a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, or New York Rangers.

The more popular your local NHL team is, the more a season ticket package will cost you.

How many games are in a season of NHL tickets?

More often than not, teams will have flexible packages for season tickets. If you are a full season ticket holder, you will get access to all 41 home games plus the pre-season. However, you could purchase a half package, which could get you 20 games, or even a quarter package, which could get you 10.

hockey stadium

Many hockey fans do not have the time or money to go to 41 games a year, so they often end up selling many of their tickets or opting for a split package.

Do NHL season tickets include playoffs?

Typically, NHL season tickets do not include the playoffs, only regular season games. However, season ticket holders often get first dibs when buying playoff tickets for their seats. 

This is a significant advantage because playoff tickets get relatively expensive on the secondary market and even on ticket sale platforms like Ticketmaster and Stubhub.

Some markets may even allow season ticket holders to purchase not only the playoff seats for their seats but also additional seats. They can then sell these tickets, which will be in high demand, or give them to friends or family to attend the game.

Where to buy cheap NHL tickets?

If you're looking to buy cheap single-game tickets, the best place to go would be Ticketmaster to see if there is any available from the venue. If not, Stubhub or Ticketmaster resale is an outstanding option to buy tickets safely on the secondary market.

The fees are reasonable considering the tickets are guaranteed. You could venture out to secondary markets like Facebook or online postings. However, scams are rampant, and there is a good chance you will be ripped off.

How much are NHL tickets on average?

According to SeatGeek, a popular sports and events resale site, the average cost for a single ticket to an NHL game costs $94. 

While this may vary from city to city and game to game, it is safe to assume that you are most likely paying around that $94 mark after ticket and fees.

In an 82-game season, one should assume their favorite team will play between 41-44 home games, depending on the season.

To buy 41 tickets at the average price mark individually, your season total would be $3,854! That is a lot of money to get into the building.

Extra Costs

You will often find yourself having to pay for parking and any food or drink at an NHL arena should you choose to do so.

You'll pay this as a season or regular game ticket holder. But at some rinks, season ticket holders get a discounted price for parking and food. For example, Edmonton Oilers season ticket holders get discounts based on where they are sitting. They can range from 5% to 20% off food, apparel, parking, etc.

Which NHL team has the most expensive tickets?

Two teams are neck and neck for having the most expensive tickets in the National Hockey League. Those teams are the New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. On average, attending one of the games will cost you over $180 USD.

Toronto Maple Leafs SeasoN Tickets

This data is courtesy of Time2Play, and the cost factors in food and parking.

What NHL team has the cheapest tickets?

The Anaheim Ducks currently have the cheapest season ticket package in the NHL. You can get all 41 home games for a total of $660.

Regarding game-by-game prices, the Arizona Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Florida Panthers have some of the cheapest tickets in the NHL. Due to the low popularity of hockey in these areas, demand is typically lower. Thus prices are very attractive for fans to attend the games.

This contrasts the most expensive teams listed above, where demand is sky-high, and fans typically have to pay a hefty premium to attend the game.

Season Ticket Price Increase After a Win

The value of a season ticket package is wildly affected by the team you support and their performance that particular season. As a team improves, they will draw more interest, raising the price of a single ticket.

In addition to this, the better the team, the easier time you will have selling tickets for games you cannot attend. A better team will ultimately command higher prices, allowing you to put a little money in your pocket from the sale.

Someone who bought season tickets before the season of a team who goes deep in the Stanley Cup playoffs can make a lot of money in the resale business as demand skyrockets.

Selling Your Season Tickets

This is a way many people choose to help offset the costs of their season tickets.

With a season ticket reducing the single-game costs so dramatically, reselling single games to friends/family or online is a good way to recoup some money.

With so many platforms to sell online now, this is becoming a more and more popular option.

The problem with this is that the games that you want to see most are also the games that are probably the most popular and worth the most money.

You may be asked to make some sacrifices if you are going to go down this route.

Let's Recap

In the end, you must decide how dedicated you are to going to hockey games to determine whether season tickets are worth it for you.

Check out the average price for your favorite or local team, and then check the cost of their season ticket plans.

Ultimately, you want to enjoy your experience, so paying a bit more may be worth it to have a better view, more room, etc. Examine your situation, figure out how many games you can realistically attend, and you will have your answer. Season tickets are well worth it for some and a massive waste of money for others.

Dan Kent

About the author

Growing up in a hockey hotbed (Calgary, Alberta. And yes, I'm an Oiler fan), I decided to put my love and knowledge of the game to work. I started at five and am still playing today into my early 30s. By acquiring Brave Stick Hockey and rebranding it to Big Shot Hockey in 2023, I plan to teach people about this great game and educate them on the best equipment and history of the game. On a career level, I am in finance, running one of the largest financial websites in Canada, Stocktrades.ca.

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