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NHL checks ticket prices
About half of hockey teams cut or keep ticket prices unchanged as puck drops on '03-'04 season.
October 8, 2003: 10:20 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - National Hockey League ticket prices were held mostly in check for the new season that starts Wednesday.

A survey by Team Marketing Report shows the average ticket price is up 3.3 percent to $44.22 and some of the league's most popular -- and expensive -- teams are not raising ticket prices at all.

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The league's premium seats, such as sky boxes or club seating, saw an average of 1.7 percent decrease in ticket prices to $86.42. Nearly half of the 30 teams either cut or did not increase ticket prices this season.

Teams holding the line on tickets include the Philadelphia Flyers, with the league's third most expensive seats, the No. 4 Toronto Maple Leafs, and the No. 8 New York Rangers. In addition, the Detroit Red Wings, with the league's second-most expensive ticket, raised ticket prices just 0.7 percent, on average.

It wasn't just the expensive teams holding the line. The Phoenix Coyotes, with the league's least expensive average ticket, also did not raise prices. Also leaving ticket prices the same were the Carolina Hurricanes, with the second cheapest average ticket, along with the Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens, and San Jose Sharks.

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Seven teams cut average ticket prices, including the Buffalo Sabres, one of two franchises that filed for bankruptcy court protection last year. Others with lower average ticket prices this year include 13.4 percent decrease in prices by the Atlanta Thrashers, which was recently sold by AOL Time Warner (AOL: Research, Estimates), parent of CNN/Money, and an 11.7 percent decline in ticket prices at the financial troubled Pittsburgh Penguins. The Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators all cut prices as well.

But some teams' fans will see significant increases when buying tickets. The New York Islanders increased average ticket prices 38.3 percent, and the Stanley Cup Champions New Jersey Devils raised prices 24.5 percent to become the league's most expensive average ticket price at $68.08.

The Tampa Bay Lightening, the Stanley Cup finalist Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and the Ottawa Senators, which also filed for bankruptcy court protections last season, are the other teams with greater than 10 percent increases in ticket prices.

Team Marketing Report's Fan Cost Index, which estimates the price of buying seats for a family of four, in addition to parking, food, and souvenirs, saw an average 4.1 percent increase to $256.23.  Top of page

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