The average NHL ticket price is down 7.5 percent from 2003-04, the last time the league played before a lockout wiped out last season.
The average price of $41.19 is even lower than the figures for the 2002-03 season, according to the Chicago-based Team Marketing Report's fan cost study. The reductions were the only major decreases reported in the 12-year history of the study for any league.
More than two-thirds of the league's 30 teams reported significant season ticket price reductions, with 19 teams cutting back Fan Cost Index totals -- comprised of the price of four tickets, two small beers, four small soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking for one car, two game programs and two adult-sized caps.
With a 3.6 percent decrease, a family can expect to pay an average of about $247.84 at a game this season. Philadelphia has the highest average price -- at $54.81 -- topping New Jersey by 14 cents. The Devils' prices held steady from their previous figures, and the Flyers actually decreased season ticket costs by 4 percent. Vancouver increased prices by less than 1 percent, but is now the fourth-most expensive team to watch.
Detroit, perennially one of the most expensive tickets in the league, cut the average season ticket price by nearly $14 to $43.13 -- a reduction of more than 24 percent. Other teams with double-digit ticket price reductions include Dallas (23.1 percent), Anaheim (19.5), the New York Islanders (17.2), Carolina (16.8), Phoenix (16.7), Pittsburgh (16.4), Buffalo (16.2), Nashville (14.5), San Jose (14.3), Washington (12.4), Ottawa (12.1) and Chicago (11.7).
The Atlanta Thrashers showed the greatest ticket price increase, 12.9 percent to $41.68. Only four other teams reported increasing prices -- Edmonton (6.8 percent), Florida (5.3), Tampa Bay (2.3) and Vancouver (0.6).
The Hurricanes, who have remained near the bottom of the NHL ticket price rankings for five years, are again hockey's best bargain. On average, fans will pay $26.15 for a seat at the RBC Center, Sporting News reports.