There's no sugarcoating it; the Montreal Canadiens are an expensive team to watch live. Even if you attend an away game, if it involves the Habs, you know you're paying more than people typically pay, wherever your seat may be located.
Thanks to some great work by the people over at SeatGeek, we've been provided with some analysis as to what effect the teams around the league have on ticket prices when they are the visiting team. It may be surprising for some to hear, that the Montreal Canadiens are not the most expensive team to see in an away game.
That honour actually goes to the Chicago Blackhawks, who boast a whopping 57% increase in ticket prices when they are the away team. One could suppose that multiple Stanley Cup wins will have that effect. They are followed by the New York Rangers with a 39% increase, then the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 38% (probably Crosby factor) increase, and then the Canadiens in fourth with a 29% increase.
As the graph below will show you, some teams actually have a negative effect on their host's ticket prices. The Arizona Coyotes cause a 25% decrease in prices, The Florida Panthers decrease by 24%, and the Columbus Blue Jackets decrease by 23%. Even our newest rivals, the Ottawa Senators, have a negative effect, causing an 18% decrease.
Moving on, we were also provided with figures relating to the average cost of home resale tickets. When you consider that home games for popular teams like the Canadiens or the Rangers are usually sold out, it stands to reason that a lot of available tickets are resales. Once again, Montreal is not the most expensive in this category.
For home resale tickets, it is actually the Toronto Maple Leafs, where the average resale ticket costs $177. They are followed closely by the Chicago Blackhawks at $176, then the New York Rangers at $163, and the Canadiens once again come in fourth at $143. Again, even at home, Habs fans don't have it so bad when you look at these numbers.
The chart below shows the average home ticket resale prices, in contrast with the aforementioned effect on away ticket prices. Try not to get too jealous at the average resale price of $44 in Columbus, which probably means that their cheap seats are around 20 bucks.
Based on the numbers provided, it seems accurate to call the Canadiens the fourth-most expensive NHL team to watch live. Personally, I found these numbers very interesting, as I have always assumed that the Habs were at the top, or at least a close second. It is almost comforting to know that their are fans out there who are paying a bit more of a premium to watch their teams.
That said, I'm sure most Habs fans would gladly pay the Chicago premium, if it meant watching the team take three Cups over the next six seasons.