Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No Such Thing as "Cheap Seats" At Wild Games


Saw this over on Puck Daddy, and I've been waiting for it. The Team Marketing Report hockey Fan Cost Index. It's one of my favorite reports of the hockey season.

And, what does it tell Wild fans? That you're paying too damn much!

The league average Fan Cost Index for this season is $313.68 for 4 average-price (weighted average of season non-premium ticket prices for general seating categories) tickets, 2 small draft beers, 4 small sodas, 4 regular hot dogs, parking for 1 car, 2 programs and 2 least-expensive adult-size caps.

The Wild is ranked 8th-highest in the NHL with a FCI of $346.01.

The top 10 are:
TOR $572.32
MTL $474.44
CGY $366.29
NYR $364.49
VAN $357.02
CHI $350.58
EDM $346.46
MIN $346.01
BOS $336.27
PHI $329.59

But, and here's the interesting thing, the Wild is pretty inexpensive in the Average Premium Ticket price range. The study defines this as "tickets that come with at least one added amenity." The average premium ticket price across the league is $121.02. The Wild's average premium ticket price is $99.38 (21st-highest in the league).

Does that mean the Wild is pinching the common fan? Well, the average non-premium ticket price across the league is $54.25, but it's $62.63 at a Wild game (6th-highest). However, the Wild's non-premium ticket prices went up less than the average for the league from last year to this year. The $62.63 average represents a 2.6% increase from last season. The league average percent increase for non-premium tickets is 4.4%.

Although, of the 5 teams with higher average non-premium ticket prices than the Wild, three of them (TOR 0.0%, MTL 0.0% and VAN 0.0%) increased less than the Wild's did. CGY went up 2.9% and Edmonton went up 4.2% (cashing in on the Taylor Hall cache?)

A summary of the rest of the stats:
item Wild price, league average

  • Beer $6.75, $6.71 *league average based on average 16-oz beer. Wild's price based on 20-oz beer. Per ounce, Wild is $0.3375 and league average is $0.419
  • Soda $3.75, $3.90 *League average based on 18-oz, Wild based on 20-oz. Per ounce, Wild is $0.1845, league average is $0.2166.
  • Hot dog $3.75, $4.14
  • Parking $10, $14.19
  • Program $3/$2.61
  • Cap $18/$15.86
Overall, the average FCI went up 4.4% from last year. The Wild's increased 1.6%.

Just because I'm a stat nerd, I ran the FCI numbers through last season's points totals for each team. Here's what each team's fan pays to go to a game, per point in the standings, from least to most:

1. PHX $2.14
2. BUF $2.29
3. DAL $2.53
4. SJ $2.55
5. COL $2.56
6. WAS $2.70
7. STL $2.73
8. TB $2.84
9. NAS $2.89
T10. NJ $2.94
T10. DET $2.94
T10. LA $2.94
13. CHI $3.13
14. CAR $3.15
15. ATL $3.17
16. ANH $3.20
17. PIT $3.23
18. CBJ $3.41
19. VAN $3.47
20. OTT $3.50
21. BOS $3.70
22. PHI $3.75
23. FLA $3.95
24. CGY $4.07
25. MIN $4.12
26. NYI $4.13
27. NYR $4.19
28. MTL $5.39
29. EDM $5.59
30. TOR $7.73

So, remember that this is THIS year's FCI divided by LAST year's points. So, the Isles, for example, had the 3rd-highest FCI increase (13.3%) after a pretty bad season. That seems harder to justify than the Oilers who also look expensive given their performance last season, although they do have a shiny new #1 overall pick to show off/entice the good people of Edmonton to shell out some more of their hard-earned shekels. And Toronto? Well, no excuse for that kind of discrepancy. But, what's a rancher to do if the sheep just keep walking into the slaughter house on their own like that?

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