They say Colorado isn’t a big hockey market. Ball Arena, the Colorado Avalanche’s home stadium (which they share with the Denver Nuggets), has a capacity of 21,000 seats. For most Avs games, around 18,000 of them are filled.
While the Avalanche are the only team in NHL history to win every single one of their Stanley Cup Final appearances, the 2021-2022 season’s victory came at a cost, literally. After Gabriel Landeskog and the gang hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup in Tampa Bay, the market responded in a way that transcends hockey and sports: ticket prices surged.
Following the victory, season ticket prices at Ball Arena increased by 42 percent — the Kroenke family and Kroenke Sports Entertainment, who own the team, responded to an increased demand to watch the Avalanche take the ice at their home rink. Playoff ticket prices also soared, rising 271 percent following the team’s run that saw them sweep both the Nashville Predators and the Edmonton Oilers. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado season tickets were relatively affordable, starting at just under $650 per year for one seat. They were one of the few markets in the league with a season ticket plan that cost less than $1,000 each. But, as the club enjoyed more success, the prices increased and then skyrocketed after the Stanley Cup victory.
Avalanche Ticket Prices, Analyzed
At the time of writing, single-game tickets for the Stanley Cup Final rematch between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Avalanche on Feb. 14 start at $65 USD. Tickets for games against clubs like the San Jose Sharks and the New Jersey Devils start at $35 USD. Conversely, to see the Avalanche play in what’s deemed a “big” hockey market, like Toronto, runs about double. Tickets for the Avs’ tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto start at $167 CAD, or just over $100 USD.
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Season tickets for this season are obviously sold out, but the price increase didn’t seem to bother Avalanche fans — there’s now a wait list to snag season tickets. As the Avalanche are now on a run and powering to make a postseason run yet again, fans are flocking to Ball Arena seats to see if the club can achieve back-to-back victories.
Colorado as a Hockey Market
According to Forbes, Colorado is 20th on the list of hockey markets. Stanley Kroenke paid $202 million when he purchased the team in 2000, and the team now makes an average revenue of $178 million annually. As of December 2022, the team’s value is $860 million. The team earns an average of $34 per fan.
Comparatively, the most valuable team in the NHL is the New York Rangers, evaluated at $2.2 billion dollars with an average revenue of $249 million annually, and the Rangers earn $35 per fan. The Toronto Maple Leafs are second, earning $38 per fan and generating $248 million annually with an overall value of $2 billion. Last on the list is, not shockingly, the Arizona Coyotes, who generate $5.8 million annually (less than half of Nathan MacKinnon’s new salary) and are valued at $450 million. They earn only $13 per fan. Other bottom-of-the-list teams include the Buffalo Sabres and the Florida Panthers, who are 29th and 30th on the list, respectively.
So, while the Colorado Avalanche have not traditionally been a prime hockey target, it seems that supply and demand are hard at work here, and directly related to the success of the modern day club. As long as the team stays hot, the ticket prices can keep going up and, maybe, make people look at Colorado as more of a hockey market.
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Though I live in Toronto, I’m a die-hard Colorado Avalanche fan. I completed both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism, at Toronto’s Metropolitan University and then at New York University, respectively. In my spare time, I volunteer with a dog rescue and love to travel the world.