A Game 1 loss isn’t dampening Edmonton Oilers fans’ playoffs spirits.
In fact, some are thinking about heading down to Los Angeles to catch a game there. And, when you compare that option with a playoff ticket at Rogers Place, it’s actually not horrible.
“As soon as the games were announced for L.A., we had a huge uptick of people calling in for flights to L.A., packages and even getting them their tickets to the game,” said Hidar El Mais, a travel agent with Travel Gurus in Edmonton.
“We were able to get a few customers all booked and ready to go to the game. I know a lot of them are excited to go.
“When you add the flights, the hotel and you add the game tickets… great seats, by the way, it’s still cheaper than at Rogers Place.”
A Google search Tuesday indicates flights from Edmonton to L.A. are pricey — a round trip with Air Canada for five days will set you back more than $1,000. There are also ultra-low-cost carriers that fly into Burbank, El Mais said.
“As soon as that announcement happened, the prices did shoot up, around double,” El Mais said.
He said tickets for a playoff game in L.A. — in the lower bowl — are about $110 USD. Ticketmaster has resale tickets for the upper level at Crypto.com Arena starting at $118. With the exchange, that’s about $150 CAN a seat.
Together, that’s still roughly $70 less per seat than the cheapest tickets available for Game 2 at Rogers Place.
If you also include accommodation, four nights at a hotel near the arena — we priced out the E-Central Downtown — will cost about $1,132 CAN. But, if you share the room with someone, that’s about $566 each.
Altogether, that’s just under $1,900 per person, assuming you go to both Game 3 and 4.
The team appreciates its loyal fan base, spokesperson Tim Shipton said.
“We’re absolutely blown away all the time by the passion of Oilers fans.
“We know our fans travel all across North America. Every rink we go to, we’re excited to see those fans in Oilers jerseys cheering the team on. That’s no different from Games 3 and 4 in L.A.,” he said.
“I know the players are excited to have those Oilers fans cheer them on.”
Shipton said he’s heard that lots of fans are planning trips to L.A., including one very special family.
“Our good friend and playoff Oilers ambassador Ben Stelter and his family are going to be in L.A. for Game 4. They’re down on a family road trip to Disneyland.
“We know we’re going to have a good luck charm and an ace up our sleeve for Game 4,” Shipton said.
El Mais grew up playing hockey and has been an Oilers fan his whole life.
Despite the Game 1 outcome, he’s optimistic the team will do really well in the next couple games.
“I booked me and my father, we’re heading out to L.A., we’ll be there for Game 4,” he said.
“I’m lucky enough to have some friends there who have invited me over to their box, so me and my dad are going to have a great time in L.A.
“I’m excited. It’s nice to see the Oilers play right down the street here, nice to feel the home-town vibe. But it’s also super nice for us to be able to travel to L.A. and support the team down there. We’ll be wearing all Oilers, and I know my dad is excited too.”
Advice from someone in the travel industry? Book soon.
“Do it right away,” El Mais said. “There is flexibility. You can book some trips that are flexible just in case game dates change or don’t happen. The hotel’s very important as well. You can put the hotel on hold as well without paying and you have the ability to cancel the day before.”
And, if a vacation to L.A. isn’t in the cards for you, there are Oilers watch parties at Rogers Place for away games. Tickets are $5 and will be for sale Wednesday at noon.