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NHL games get more affordable
Ticket prices come down 7.5 percent following last year's canceled season.
October 5, 2005: 4:01 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - National Hockey League fans will have yet another reason to cheer when teams take the ice this season.

In addition to the return of the sport after last year's lockout, the cost of a ticket is going down as well.

The average price for an NHL ticket dropped 7.5 percent to $41.19, falling below 2002 levels, according to Team Marketing Report, a trade publication. Because no tickets were sold during the 2004-2005 season due to the labor dispute, prices were compared with 2003-2004.

More than two-thirds of the NHL's 30 teams cut prices, some drastically.

The Detroit Red Wings cut their average ticket price by nearly $14 to $43.13, a reduction of more than 24 percent. Other teams with big ticket-price cuts include the Dallas Stars (23.1 percent), the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (19.5 percent) and the New York Islanders (17.2 percent).

The Atlanta Thrashers was one of five teams that raised prices, and had the biggest jump of 12.9 percent to $41.68.

Philadelphia Flyers, with an average ticket price of $54.81, sell one of the most expensive tickets in the league.

But if the cuts entice enough nonseason ticket holders into the stands, the NHL could have a very strong-attendance attendance year.

Susan Cohig, the league's vice president of strategic development, said that out of its 30 teams, 23 have had 90 percent or more of their 2003-04 season ticket holders renew their ticket packages. Two years ago, only eight clubs saw that renewal rate heading into the season.

In addition, a third of the teams are reporting at least 2,000 new season ticket sales, and single-game ticket sales are also well ahead of two years ago.

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