Guest post from our friends at TicketIQ.com.
The Washington Capitals are no stranger to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But qualifying and making a run are two different things — and the Caps haven’t advanced past the second round since 1997-98, when they advanced to the Stanley Cup and lost to Detroit. All those early exits appear to have bred some apathy among Washington fans, as evidenced by the low prices for playoff tickets on the secondary market.
According to secondary market vendor TicketIQ.com, the average asking price for a ticket on the secondary market for the Caps opening-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday is $203 — the cheapest it’s been in a decade. That number, while low, isn’t the lowest across the NHL. The cheapest first-round series ticket is $161 to see the San Jose Sharks host the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 next week, followed by the Los Angeles Kings hosting the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 Sunday ($172). The most expensive ticket is $652 to see the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Boston Bruins.
Despite the low asking price for first-round tickets, there are certainly those out there who believe the Caps have a great chance at making it to the Stanley Cup Finals. On ShooWin.com, a secondary market vendor that allows fans to pre-buy or make reservations in the hopes their team will advance, the current price to reserve tickets to see the Capitals in the Stanley Cup Finals is $200 — less than the current asking price on the secondary market for a first-round game.
That price is the highest listed on ShooWin.com, and seven of the 16 post-season qualifiers are currently commanding that price, including the Nashville Predators, who are widely favored to win it all. The other teams with a $200-reservation price are Boston, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vegas and Winnepeg.
OddsShark.com gives every one of those teams — except Toronto — better odds at winning the Stanley Cup. The Maple Leafs and Capitals are both currently at +1200. Comparatively, the Predators, who lost in the Stanley Cup Finals last year, are favored at +350.
While low first-round prices may be a reflection of fans’ skepticism, those low expectations could work in the Capitals’ favor, taking the pressure off. Whatever the scenario, first-round tickets are a great deal for Capitals fans. The current asking price represents a 35 percent drop against last year, when it cost fans an average of $313 on the secondary market to the Caps play in the opening round.