When Are Hockey Tickets Cheapest? (Plus How to Get the Best Deal)

So, you want to go to an NHL game?

But… you’d rather not empty your wallet?

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I’ll share with you exactly when NHL hockey tickets are the cheapest.

Plus, I’ve included a few tips you can use in order to get the best deal possible.

Let’s dive right in.

Here’s When Hockey Tickets Are Cheapest:

NHL Hockey tickets are almost always the cheapest right before the game starts. The second best time is to purchase them months in advance. The third best time—and the absolute cheapest—is to buy them right after the game starts.

Do NHL Tickets Get Cheaper Before the Hockey Game?

Yes, NHL tickets generally get cheaper right before the hockey game is about to start.

This makes sense due to the simple law of supply and demand.

As the game gets closer to starting and ticket sellers still have an overwhelming supply of tickets, they need to dump them quickly in order to maintain a profit.

Since ticket sales are extremely time-sensitive, this means ticket sellers will typically begin reducing the price of tickets days before. 

Then, on the day of the hockey game, tickets will typically be discounted further, possibly even a few times as the game gets closer.

And… you can sometimes even find tickets that are heavily discounted after the game starts. Most people wouldn’t want to go to a game after it’s already started, so ticket sellers may sometimes give a substantial discount on these tickets. However, it’s not always easy to find them.

If you have the patience (and the budget ahead of time), you can also get a decent deal on tickets when you buy them well in advance. The moment tickets go on sale, they will most likely be sold at a good price. By purchasing the tickets weeks or months ahead of time, you can usually lock in a decent deal.

This is good if you want the peace of mind that you’ll actually have good seats—or at least just having a seat at the game.

You should keep in mind that even if you buy tickets months in advance, or right before the game, there are no guarantees that you’re going to get a good price.

The reality is that for big games, or when superstar players come to town, you’re most likely going to pay a higher price. This means when Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, or Connor McDavid come to town, ticket prices will likely be higher.

How Much Do Hockey Tickets Usually Cost?

NHL hockey ticket prices vary widely from team to team.

According to Statista, during the 2019-20 season, the highest average ticket price was $129 USD to attend a Toronto Maple Leafs game.

The lowest average ticket price was $37 to attend a Florida Panthers game.

The median ticket price across all teams was $75.

The cost of tickets typically varies based on the size of the hockey market.

For instance, you’re going to find that tickets in the south (Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars) are relatively cheap compared to the rest of the league.

On the other hand, the bigger hockey markets will be more expensive. This means most Canadian teams and any of the “Original Six” teams (Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings) will usually have pretty high ticket prices.

Where Should I Buy NHL Tickets?

So, where should you buy NHL tickets to get a good price?

To be safe, your best option is to use official NHL sites to purchase your NHL tickets.

This typically means heading over to the official website of your favorite NHL team in order to buy tickets right through their site.

However, there are some reputable alternative ticket purchasing websites that are quite credible as well like Ticketmaster and SeatGeek.

If there aren’t many tickets available on any of these sites, then you do have a few other options. However, you should be cautious with these as these methods are used by scammers in order to dupe people into buying fake tickets.

One other option is to buy them off of a public marketplace site like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

This is usually the route that individuals will take to sell tickets to a game they can’t attend. This means there will be real tickets sold by real people. However, there can sometimes be scammers as well so do your research and be cautious.

The last-ditch effort to get a ticket for a game at the last minute is to simply buy them from a scalper outside the arena. You’ve seen them before—or at least heard them.

“Hockey tickets! Get your hockey tickets here! Good seats! 2 for X dollars!”

Just remember that whenever you’re purchasing NHL tickets from an unofficial vendor, you’re taking a risk and you may end up with fake tickets.

Your best option is to use a reputable and official channel to buy NHL tickets.

What’s the Best Time to Buy NHL Playoff Tickets?

Unlike regular season NHL tickets, playoff tickets aren’t available for purchase months in advance.

This is because only 16 of the 32 NHL teams will go on to play in the playoffs.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin every year at the end of the regular season in April. 

Your best option to buy playoff tickets for your team that made the cut is usually the beginning of April. You should check your favorite team’s website regularly at the beginning of April. They’ll typically release an announcement of the official date when playoff tickets go on sale.

What’s the Best Time to Buy Stanley Cup Finals Tickets?

Stanley Cup final tickets are only available as soon as the NHL finals matchup is determined.

This means that as soon as the two teams are officially announced as the finals teams, both teams will offer presale tickets.

Usually, season ticket holders will have first dibs on these tickets.

Then, a general ticket sale will open up to the public. It usually takes place a few days before the Stanley Cup Finals begin.

3 Tips to Save When Buying NHL Tickets:

Want a few tips on how you can save a bit of money when purchasing your NHL tickets?

Make sure you follow these three tips below:

1. Buy from the Right Vendor

The channel you purchase your tickets from has the biggest impact on the price (besides when you purchase them).

You should compare different channels like the official NHL sites and reputable vendors like Ticketmaster and SeatGeek.

Take a look at all fees included. Some providers may charge additional fees. 

You can take a look at Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist as well. You can usually find the cheapest tickets overall from these alternative routes. However, remember that you’re taking a risk by doing business through these channels. 

2. Pick the Right NHL Game

Another way you can save on your NHL tickets is by picking the right game.

What I mean by this is that game prices will vary depending on who your team is playing.

For instance, any game your team plays against an “Original Six” team will typically be more expensive.

This means games against Detroit, Chicago, Boston, New York, Toronto, and Montreal will probably be more expensive.

Also, any games with superstars will likely be more expensive even if they aren’t an Original Six team. This means if your favorite team is facing Ovechkin and the Capitals, Crosby and the Penguins, or McDavid and the Oilers, you’re likely facing higher ticket prices.

Ticket prices could also be higher if there’s a rivalry between your team and the opponent.

Plus, you’ll likely have higher prices if you go to a weekend game versus a weeknight game. This is because people have to get up early for work the next day during the week which means less demand.

3. Choose the Right Seats

Another major factor for how expensive your tickets are comes down to location.

The reality is that the guy sitting right behind your team’s bench will not be paying the same price as the guy squinting from the nosebleeds.

Seats by the glass are usually the most expensive than seats in the upper bowl. This doesn’t mean that the upper bowl will be a bad choice. Some people prefer being a bit higher up to get a better view of the game. 

Curious to know more answers to the most common hockey questions? Be sure to check out our other popular blog posts: What Hockey League Pays the Most, How Much Does it Cost to Rent Ice Time, and What Are the Best Hockey Tape Alternatives?






Recent Posts