TORONTO – After a nine year absence from the playoffs Leafs’ fans will once again be able to pick up tickets to the first home playoff game, but they won’t be cheap.
Game 1 tickets are expected to rise by 75 per cent compared to a regular season ticket.
The Leafs already have the most expensive ticket in the NHL, according to a February report from the U.S.-based Team Marketing Report which lists the average Leafs ticket at $124.69, compared to the Phoenix Coyotes who charge an average ticket price of $40.32.
James Parker, a Leafs season ticket holder, told Global News that the season tickets have been in his family since the forties.
Parker said that although he was happy to see the Leafs make the playoffs he was frustrated with the increase in ticket costs.
“It would appear it’s up to us now to pay for those nine years we didn’t make it. It looks like they’re trying to make it back in one year,” said Parker. “It’s hard because in one hand you’re such a Leaf fan and you would do anything. And at the same time you’re like ‘they’re taking advantage of us’ because we’re so desperate for this team to succeed.”
Other Canadian teams joining the Leafs in the post-season are the Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens, with Ottawa and Winnipeg still fighting for a playoff berth.
The Leafs who haven’t been to the post-season since 2004 will take the ice next week in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
James C. Smith, operations manager for Showtimetickets.com, told Global News that demand for tickets is incredible.
“For the first round of the playoffs you can expect to pay $300 to $400 dollars for the upper level. And $500 and up for the lower level,” said Smith. “It’s all about supply and demand, and right now there are way more buyers than sellers.”
Rabid Leaf fans looking for tickets and expect to pay a premium through a secondhand retailer like showtimetickets.com.
Other Canadian teams will increase the price of a playoff ticket, but the increase isn’t expected to be a as sharp as in Toronto.
Vancouver Canucks playoffs tickets will go on sale Apr. 26 and will start at $123.75 up from an average ticket price of $87.83.
The Montreal Canadiens who’ve also secured a spot in the playoffs are expected to increase ticket prices from an average of $78.56 to a starting price of $143.
*With files from Rob Leth
© 2013 Shaw Media