Rangers fans pay record prices for Game 7 hockey

Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers celebrates his game-winning goal in game 5 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals in Madison Square Garden.
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Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers celebrates his game-winning goal in game 5 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals in Madison Square Garden.

It's Ranger season in New York City.

The Big Apple's hockey fans are celebrating their team's narrow win Sunday night over the Washington Capitals with a shopping spree. The Blueshirts' victory ensured a Game 7 on Wednesday night, and the price of tickets is hitting record level on the secondary market. (Tweet this)

Those tickets spiked on Tuesday to an all-time high of $824 each for non-Stanley Cup games, according to SeatGeek, a ticket marketplace aggregator. Fans have been paying an average of $708 for a chance to see Game 7 of the series against the Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Capacity at the Garden for hockey games is 17,200.

"It's far and away the most expensive NHL game we've seen," said Connor Gregoire, an analyst for SeatGeek, which launched in 2009. "Barring the finals, it's the hottest tickets we've ever seen in the major four sports."

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The average price for Game 7 at the Garden is more than the $465 Washington fans paid on average to see all three Eastern Conference semifinal games in the nation's capital in the past weeks.

Tickets in the platinum zone at Madison Square Garden are averaging at $2,750 each, or nearly six times their regular season value. Seats in the 400 level—aka the nosebleed section—are running at $417 each, just under four times their regular rate.

"Apparently there are lots of deep pockets in the city," Gregoire said, pointing out that Rangers fans are anxious for a win after the four games to one loss in the Stanley Cup finals to the L.A. Kings last year. "There's still pent up demand for playoff hockey at MSG."

If this all seems like deja vu to you, you're not alone. The Rangers and the Capitals went head to head in an Eastern Conference semifinal in 2012, with the Rangers pulling out a 2-1 win in Game 7.

New York fans are more excited this year for the Rangers to advance, or at least they're more frenzied for a chance to see the games. Tickets for New York home games are 28 percent higher on the resale market now than in 2012, when adjusted for inflation.

Meanwhile, Capitals fans seem to have grown tired of the team's recent break-heart record (they finished first in their division in five of the past seven seasons only to come up short). Tickets on the secondary market to Capitals home games were selling for 26 percent less than in 2012.