As expected, regular season tickets to see the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks sold out quickly on Monday morning.
Thanks to Ticketmaster’s software and sky-high demand, most fans were frustrated by the buying experience, with many left out in the cold wondering how much they would have to spend to see a game this year.
The answer: $200.
At lunchtime on Monday, just three hours after tickets went on sale, the cheapest ticket with a seat attached for the Hawks home opener is $206 per seat (in the 13th row of the 300 level). Standing room only tickets are starting at $139 each for that night, when the Blackhawks will raise their first banner in the United Center before hosting the Detroit Red Wings.
Considering the number of home games (41), the cost of Blackhawks games is astronomical compared to other teams in town. When the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers for a nationally-televised Monday Night game in late September, a 300-level ticket can be had for $135; the Bears only host eight regular season games per season. Multiple second-hand ticket sales agencies confirmed Monday that both Cubs and White Sox tickets are available for at or below face value for games down the stretch. Tickets for the coming season of the Chicago Bulls go on sale Oct. 1.
While scalpers are always the dirty side of sports, and long-time fans are angry about being shut out on tickets, this is simply the cost of winning. Just four seasons ago, the Blackhawks ranked 29th in the NHL in average attendence and couldn’t give tickets away. Now, with the youngest team in the league and jewelry being handed out on the West Side, Hawks tickets have become the hottest item in Chicago.