Buying last-minute NHL tickets can save you money: SeatGeek co-founder

Key Points
  • National Hockey League playoffs have the highest ticket demand and prices, according to SeatGeek Co-founder Jack Groetzinger.
  • Groetzinger says that following along and waiting until the day of a big playoff game can help save you money.
  • Hockey has more playtime than most sports, making the live experience more exciting.
SeatGeek CEO on competition in ticketing

National Hockey League tickets are the most expensive sporting tickets this season, but SeatGeek Co-founder Jack Groetzinger said that waiting until the day of a big playoff game to buy tickets can actually save fans a lot of money.

SeatGeek is an online ticket marketplace with a focus on resale. It offers tickets for a variety of sporting events, but hockey is the sport taking the marketplace by storm, with playoff ticket prices outpacing even those of the NBA. The average price for an NHL playoff game ticket is about $250, 17 percent higher than tickets for the same round of playoffs for the NBA.

"The great thing about the [NHL] playoffs is if you follow along and wait until the day of the event, you can get in for $50 or $100 for really great seats and have this really great sports experience," Groetzinger told CNBC's "Power Lunch" recently.

"Hockey is a sport that translates really well to going and seeing it live, so we've actually always historically seen NHL playoff tickets a little bit higher than the NBA," Groetzinger added.

Higher demand is driving prices higher, with playoff game costs having surged for the past two years, SeatGeek's chief said.

SeatGeek attributed the rise to strong early round match ups. Pairing the right teams together can create a big spike in price, which the NHL's Boston and Winnipeg are experiencing.

Part of the reason why hockey is so popular may be its amount of active play time. Games have a full 60 minutes of playing time, whereas on average baseball only has a mere 14 minutes of action and football only 11. With more play time and fewer breaks for commercials, the excitement of the game is more compressed. It's easy for those pressed for time to go see the live experience.

Soccer's playtime hovers around the same time as hockey, but various studies show different estimates between about 50 to 70 minutes, and soccer is perceived as less action-packed than other major sports.