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Tickets To The Winter Classic At Nats Park Are Absurd

Here with a look at the ticket market for Caps-Blackhawks on New Year’s Day is Mr. Irrelevant Tickets partner TiqIQ.


The average price for tickets to the Winter Classic at Nationals Park on New Year’s Day is $487, which makes it the third-most expensive Winter Classic since TiqIQ started tracking the market five years ago. The only Winter Classic with more expensive tickets came at Citizens Bank Park in 2012 when the Rangers visited the Flyers. That year, there were plenty of Rangers’ fans who made the trip down 95, which was a big part in driving ticket prices above the $500 mark. This year, only the most die-hard of Blackhawk fans will be making the 700-mile trip to D.C. to see the Blackhawks play in their second Winter Classic.

Last year, the Nationals had an average price of $52 for their 81 home games. For their ill-fated playoff series against the Giants, they had an average price of $228, which would have gotten you about half of a Winter Classic ticket. According to data from TiqIQ, the average price for the Game 5 that wasn’t was $365, which would have been closer to WC prices. In order for Nationals tickets to get to Winter Classic levels, though, it would require a trip to the NLCS. TiqIQ had 13,994 tickets listed for Game 1 of the NLCS at Nationals Park prior to the Game 4 loss with an average price of $515, which puts it ahead of not only this year’s Winter Classic, but also the 2012 version in Philly.

As for a Capitals game, the previous high that TiqIQ has on record was $324 for the 2012 series opener for the Conference Semifinals against the Rangers. The last time the Caps got beyond the semis, Dale Hunter wore the C and the team played in the MCI Center.

The Capitals currently have an average price on the secondary market of $132, which makes them the 16th-most expensive average price on the secondary ticket market. With 40 points, the Capitals are currently in playoff position in the Metropolitan division, two points ahead of the Rangers and eight points ahead of the Flyers. If the Capitals can win the first Winter Classic in the nation’s capital, it would be a signature win not only because it’s the Winter Classic, but also because it would come against one of the best teams in the NHL. Perhaps it would be sign that the latest incarnation of the Caps is ready to find their way to a final, whether it is in the East or the Cup. That’s the only way $500 hockey tickets would be anything other than a one-day phenomena in D.C.

D.C. sports fan and digital media guy that's been doing this since 2004. Once threw a football further than Chris Cooley.



  1. Ketel on Rocks

    December 27, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Ticket pricing is out of control.

    My girlfriend tried to get me tickets to the WC for my birthday, and quickly scrapped the idea. And we aren’t struggling financially. Outside of corporate seats, I have no idea who can justify paying these prices.

    And it’s not just one-off events like the WC.

    I tried to get tickets for my nephew (rangers fan), bro in law, and myself to see the Caps play the Rags at MSG. Good fucking luck getting three seats together with a decent view that won’t cost a minimum of $600 all in.

    And those $5 Wiz tickets you always hear about? They exist if you want to bring a telescope to the game, but anything lower bowl or even mezzanine will run you north of $125 per.

    It’s getting harder to justify going to these games at these price points. And harder still when practically everyone has a 65″ flat screen with HDTV.

  2. Chad

    December 27, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Prices like this are the reason I can’t ever see myself attending another live sporting event. I’d rather just watch it on TV.

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