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October 21, 2018

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Golden Knights’ next series may have highest ticket prices in playoff history

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John Locher/AP

Players warm up before an NHL hockey game between the Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks, Saturday, March 31, 2018, in Las Vegas.

Not only are Golden Knights’ playoff games the hottest ticket in town; they’re the hottest ticket in the entire NHL.

At an average of $691 according to TicketIQ, tickets on the secondary market for the Golden Knights’ second-round playoff games are the most expensive for this round since the company began tracking NHL ticket sales in 2011.

The Golden Knights offered tickets to both full- and part-time season ticket holders at a discounted rate before the tickets were made available to the general public. Full-time season ticket holders were offered a chance to enter into the Knights Vow program, giving them a significant discount on the price of tickets but preventing them from selling on the secondary market.

The tickets dried up quickly when they went on sale Monday at noon, with some fans being turned away only minutes after. That sent hopeful buyers to secondary market options like StubHub and TicketIQ, where prices have been steep.

The cheapest ticket sold on StubHub as of Monday afternoon was $181, and the most expensive was $3,350.

As for current listings, the average price for the four games possibly hosted at T-Mobile Arena (games one, two, five and seven) stands at $691, according to TicketIQ.

That's $231 more expensive than the second-highest conference semifinal of all time, a 2015 series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.

“The fact that this isn’t an original-six team makes it even more impressive,” said Jesse Lawrence, the founder of TicketIQ. “Anything that is comparable to these ticket prices is typically associated with an original-six team like the Rangers or Canadiens.”

To put the prices into perspective, the average ticket prices for games one and two in Las Vegas are $688 per seat, while the average prices for games three and four in San Jose are only $307.

That holds the same from the first-round series for the Golden Knights, where ticket prices for the two games in Las Vegas were an average of $484 while the average prices in Los Angeles were only $188. The first-round tickets in Las Vegas were the eighth-highest since 2011.

As for who’s buying the tickets, the Knights Vow strategy appears to be working. According to StubHub, 73 percent of the tickets sold to games one and two have been to Nevada residents. California is second with only 11 percent, followed by Colorado and Arizona with two percent each.

Cameron Papp, communications manager for StubHub, provided a few tips for fans seeking tickets for the series starting by warning fans to watch out for fraudulent tickets. Because StubHub is the official secondary market ticket provider for the Golden Knights, it essentially eliminates ticket fraud.

Other sites like TicketIQ provide guarantees to fans, as well as other promotions to entice purchasers. TicketIQ has a low-price guarantee, which gives the purchaser a checkout code for 200 percent of the difference if they find a lower price on any valid ticket website.

StubHub offers a price alert feature with its mobile app, which will send a notification if a ticket becomes available at or below a specified cost.

Papp advised fans looking at other ticket providers to make sure there is a guarantee of some kind, and a customer service phone number to call just in case. He also said not to share a photo of their ticket on social media — something he has seen recently — as someone can duplicate the barcode.

Fans can still find tickets, but the prices won’t be cheap.

Jesse Granger can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Jesse on Twitter at twitter.com/JesseGranger_.

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