NHL’s Top Draws Send Playoff Demand Through the Roof

The Sports Business Journal recently published an article on how the NHL is cashing in on the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs mostly due to the high-profile matchups. On the ticketing side, StubHub decided to dig a little deeper and came up with a similar conclusion. In fact, NHL playoff sales are currently up over 20% year over year on StubHub. Why? Because of the teams involved. Not only are the Rangers, Blackhawks and Kings perennially the top teams in terms of demand on StubHub, we’ve also seen remarkable demand from our smaller market friends up north as Montreal Canadien fans are packing the seats to see their team back in the Eastern Conference Finals. Below are some numbers that show just how popular this year’s NHL playoffs are and why.

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Top Draws

The highest selling NHL teams on StubHub this regular season were the Blackhawks, Bruins, Rangers, Flyers and Kings. It doesn’t hurt that all of these teams made the playoffs and three of them are still remaining. In fact, in the playoffs, StubHub sees a 95% increase in sales any time the Bruins are involved – the highest percentage of any team in the NHL. The Blackhawks come in second at +82%.

BUT interestingly enough, the highest selling NHL game ever on StubHub had nothing to do with either Hawks or Bruins. It was a west coast game – the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals Game 4 between the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings in LA. The second highest? Game 3 of that series, also in LA.

So which potential Stanley Cup matchup would be the most popular this year according to StubHub’s numbers?

New York Rangers vs. Chicago Blackhawks.  As stated above, Blackhawks games are always in high demand and when a perennial in-demand team like the Rangers makes the Cup after a long drought or for the first time ever (see the 2012 Kings), fans go crazy. A series with the Rangers returning could potentially be the highest selling NHL series ever on StubHub.

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Below are more numbers that show what’s driving this historical NHL playoff demand.

Highest Selling Matchup so Far: 

Montreal Canadiens at New York Rangers – Eastern Conference Finals – Game 3

Record Breaking Habs:

The NHL Divisional Finals Game 4 matchup with the Bruins was the highest selling Montreal Canadiens game ever on StubHub

Most Confident Fans:

Probably not surprising, New York Rangers fans have gobbled up 56% of Stanley Cup Finals tickets so far. The Blackhawks come in second at 24%*. Hawks fans better hope their team steps it up tonight as they face an elimination game against Kings.

*Note fans are allowed to buy tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals in case their team makes it. If their team fails to make the finals, the buyer will receive a full refund.

The StubHub blog serves as a portal for media to seek out and obtain daily, weekly and monthly ticketing trends, sales data and live event insights.  StubHub is the world’s largest ticket marketplace with tickets available for more than 10 million live sports, music and theatre events at any time in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and more than 8.5 million visitors a day generating a ticket sale every second.  StubHub’s robust data provides a valuable perspective on the live-event going spectator – the fans buying tickets on our site, are the ones sitting in the seat.  This blog is the consistent pulse of this active consumer group.

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