Fans to pay a pretty penny for basketball, hockey face-offs

A perfect storm is brewing in professional sports, as fans will be treated to the spectacle of big hockey and basketball games within the space of a week. However, many of them will could be forced to cough up a pretty penny if they hope to attend any of the events on offer.

The National Hockey League finds itself hosting two high-profile elimination games, while the National Basketball Association's Finals kick off with a much-hyped matchup between Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry.

Yet let the buyer beware. Fans hoping to watch these historic matchups in person may need a second mortgage just to afford the price of admission.

On Friday, the New York Rangers fell short in a Game 7 against the triumphant Tampa Bay Lightning. Despite the crushed hopes of Rangers fans, however, ticket sellers were laughing all the way to the bank.

Seats at the Rangers-Lightning face off were a whopping 73 percent more expensive than last year's Game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center. They were also 156 percent more expensive than 2011, when the Lightning took on the Bruins at the Garden.

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The average price for Game 7 was $1,240, while the get-in price was $550, according to secondary ticket site TiqIQ. The most expensive seat in the house was rink side and cost more than $16,000.

For hockey fans hoping to catch Saturday's Game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks in California, tickets are far less expensive than at the Garden, with the average price at $408 and a get-in price of $192.

What's was behind the Rangers-Lightning game being so much more expensive?

"Anaheim is not a hockey city and New York is," said Jesse Lawrence, CEO of TiqIQ. Also, [the Lightning] are coming off a loss, while the Rangers are coming off of a win," he added.

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For the NBA, it's a dream matchup with compelling storylines. After a stormy and controversial exit from his hometown team several years ago, James is back in his Cavalier uniform, and he appears to be one step closer to completing his mission to bring Cleveland its first NBA championship title.

Add that to the fact that the Cavs are taking on the Golden State Warriors, another hungry franchise that has suffered through years of losing. In addition, its marquee player, Stephen Curry, is also the NBA's MVP and arguably the season's hottest player.

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"LeBron versus Steph is a dream matchup on all fronts: TV, tickets, merchandise," said Lawrence. The impact is being felt already on tickets, with the average price running more than $1458.

For comparison's sake, last year's face off between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat cost only $837, or 74 percent cheaper than this year.

"It's the highest since we've been tracking, and only with both teams above a $1,000 average," said Lawrence.