For those of you who follow me on Twitter, Facebook or read this blog on a regular basis, you’ll know how much affection I hold for the American Hockey League.
The league has some great history, passionate knowledge fans and there is always the pleasure of seeing players grab a hold of their opportunity to shine and fight their way into the show that is the NHL.
What I want to focus on in this article though is the price of going to a game. Value for money wise, I believe it’s the best professional league in the world. On a given night you’ll be able to watch a team with a mix of players who should be in the NHL, coupled with those rookies making their way on that road and guys just below that level of play (which shouldn‘t be sniffed at).
I delved into what a cost of a season ticket would be and I think like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the findings. Sadly two teams weren’t forthcoming with prices but with 28 others happy to help it makes for more than an ample sample size from which to judge.
Three organisations offer season ticket packages starting under three hundred dollars which seems incredible value.
You can watch the Rochester Americans with basic prices starting at a smidge under $6 a ticket, while the Rockford Ice Hogs are just a dollar more.
Oklahoma City Barons have the most varied packages in price range and their cheapest season ticket offering in “Terrace Seating” is available for $285. Just 50 cents more than Rockford.
A few teams offer season ticket packages for youths, with those varying from $9-$13 per ticket for the 38 games.
St. Johns Icecaps sell out every time the team plays and although they don’t offer the cheaper prices that other teams do, they refuse to fleece fans. Season ticket packages range from 21-33 dollars per game
Texas Stars offer the most expensive season ticket package at $2472 which averages at $65 per game.
Still hardly expensive in NHL terms and they offer a host of benefits in return including 20% off merchandise, being able to brings three friends to every game, VIP Lounge and free parking.
Benefits are a common theme running through most of the season ticket packages available, making them even better value for money.
There is little doubt that the size of a team’s fan base and the capacity of the building has a huge influence on the season and single ticket prices but I’ve found there is also more creativity in the AHL to sell seats.
Take for instance the Toronto Marlies who actively encourage people to buy a pair of season tickets.
This sounds expensive but a pair at the cheapest price available works out at $16 per game and there are some fantastic benefits including days out, of which one is spent at the Hockey Hall of Fame, where the team is made freely available to them.
You can have a season ticket which works out at $16 a ticket or pay on the door for a glass seat costing around $50. A cab ride away, you’re hard pushed to pay less then $110 to stand in the rafters of the ACC, with some tickets having an obstructed view.
That might be an extreme view based on general NHL prices but hockey should be for the masses, not for those with pockets greatly lined than others.
I’ve focussed on the season ticket prices here predominately, to highlight the fantastic value but teams also offer 5-10-15-20 ticket packages and some single tickets for certain games starting as low as ten dollars (without taxes).
Cheap isn’t always better but we all love value for money, maximum bang for our buck.
I firmly believe the AHL delivers that in spades.