Throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the New York Rangers have been the leading team in secondary market prices. As the Rangers have advanced to the Eastern Conference Final, prices have risen, almost exponentially. For the average fan, these prices have been a deterrent from purchasing tickets for home games at Madison Square Garden. Game 7 between the Rangers and the Washington Capitals in the second round was the most expensive non-Stanley Cup Final game TiqIQ has tracked on the secondary market since 2010 with an average of $1,441.64. Rangers fans might wonder what they have to do to see the Blueshirts play, and the answer might soon be to take a vacation.
While prices of Rangers playoff tickets for Game 5 are nearly double those in Tampa for Game 4, the difference is not yet great enough for desperate Rangers fans to hop on a plane to Florida. The current average of Game 4 on Friday night is $320.09. Game 5 on Sunday at the Garden currently holds an average of $622.88, 95% more expensive than Game 4. However, the $302.79 difference isn’t enough to cover the flight from New York City to Tampa. The cheapest roundtrip flight on priceline.com surrounding Game 4 is currently $377.20, which would bring the overall average traveling cost of the game to $697.29, 11.9% more expensive than the average for Game 5 before factoring in a hotel stay.
The cheapest tickets for each game see an even smaller difference, as the $235 get-in price for Game 5 is just $102 more expensive than Game 4.
If the series extends to six and seven games — something Rangers fans would hope for after losing in overtime in Game 3 — the warm weather of Florida appears to be the better option. Tampa Bay Lightning playoff tickets for a potential Game 6 of the series at Amalie Arena currently has a secondary market average price of $402.06. A Game 7 at Madison Square Garden currently has an average price of $1,870.66, 365.2% above the average for Game 6 and 29.8% above the previous round’s Game 7 against Washington.
Flights on a Thursday afternoon, when Game 6 would be held, are also less expensive for a trip from New York to Tampa. The least expensive roundtrip flight is $297.70. A flight an average ticket for Game 6 would come to a total of $699.76, leaving $1,170.90 to spare compared to the average of a Game 7.
Fans could save money even when looking to buy the cheapest tickets for both games. The get-in price for Game 6 is currently $122. Combined with the flight, that brings the total to $419.70, $130.30 below the least expensive ticket for Game 7.
Prices for the two final non-guaranteed games of the series are subject to change with the results of Games 4 and 5. If Tampa Bay scores another six goals on the Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers again in Game 4, Game 5 prices could drop while potential Game 6 prices could rise. With the price discrepancy between Games 6 and 7 — should they happen — there’s not a likely scenario that wouldn’t make Game 6 the best value for fans of both teams.