8 Most Expensive Sports Championship Tickets
Stanley Cup Finals
2011 average ticket price of all games played in series: $1,142
Ticket prices for the NBA Finals look as regimented as a 1950s layup drill compared with the outright chaos of Stanley Cup pricing. Matchups don't matter, location doesn't matter. Even the length of the series itself doesn't seem to make much difference. Last year's seven-game series between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins started with average ticket prices of $833 for Game 1 and $976 for Game 2, dropped off to $657 for Game 3 after the Canucks won the opening games at home and soared from $774 in Game 4 to $1,219 by Game 5. If fans wanted to see Game 7 up close, it cost them $2,118 on average.
That seems to go according to script, but when the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks faced off in 2010, average ticket prices never broke $1,000 and managed only $681 for Game 6 compared with more than $700 for the relatively meaningless first two games. Sometimes the economy plays a role as well, as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings discovered when their series in the middle of 2009's economic crisis featured average prices as low as $226 for Game 2 and a $746 average price for Game 7 that was the most expensive of the series, but would have been 2011's second cheapest.
BCS National Championship
2012 average ticket price: $2,251
This one will get a bit more intriguing when college football goes to a playoff system, but it's already seemingly immune to price cuts. First off, there are only four potential locations for this event and New Orleans, Pasadena, Glendale and Miami aren't known for particularly foul weather on game day. Secondly, as Boise State can attest, the BCS likes to get the biggest schools possible into its premier event, and the Southeast Conference's success in recent years has assured just that. Big, traveling fan bases have helped the average ticket price increase from the $882 fans paid on StubHub to watch Alabama beat Texas in 2010 to $1,158 to see Auburn defeat Oregon a year later.