MADISON SQUARE GARDEN (PIX11) — For every dollar it costs to live in New York, it costs just under 60 cents to live in Los Angeles, according to CNN Money. That difference in the cost of living, coupled with New York City’s NHL franchise being in its first Stanley Cup final series in 20 years, are creating a noteworthy comparison shopping bargain between the two coasts.
Seeing the New York Rangers play in the Stanley Cup Finals in person on their home ice is a luxury affordable to only a very small group of fans with a high level of disposable income. However, it is possible for blue collar fans of New York City’s own hockey team to see them play the L.A. Kings for the title in person, at a radically different venue — and a more reasonable price — than at the Rangers’ home arena of Madison Square Garden.
It requires a nearly 2,800-mile trip west, but it could be a worthwhile adventure to Hollywood, plus a game, with better seats than you’d find in New York.
“The cheapest ticket you can get in New York is $1000,” said Connor Gregoire, analyst at SeatGeek, an online clearing house for lowest price tickets to sporting events, concerts and other happenings.
Compare that to the cost of a hotel and round-trip flight package to Los Angeles for Game 1 of the finals Wednesday night. On Expedia, PIX11 found the best rate to be $641. Add to that the cost of a ticket to the Stanley Cup finals at the Staples Center, and you’ve got an adventurer’s holiday.
“In L.A.,” said Gregoire, “you can get a ticket for maybe $350.” That’s for better than squinting seats, as compared to the MSG nosebleed tickets for three times that amount.
A bargain, yes, but it was met with mixed reviews in Rangerstown, the fan zone, complete with six foot tall letters spelling out “Rangerstown,” set up across the street from the Flatiron Building on West 23rd Street.
“New York… of course,” said Rangers fan Vera Djonovic, regarding where she would go given the choice of seeing the two teams play here in the Big Apple or in The City of Angels.
“They cost too much money here,” said Rangerstown fan Stephen Andolino about finals tickets, “and I’m not flying to L.A.”
However, the longer the series goes on, the more expensive the tickets become. “So if you want to save money,” said Gregoire, buy tickets now to Game 4 of the finals series, which is slated to be played in New York. If the Rangers are leading 3-0 at that point, “tickets will [start out at] $2000,” Gregoire said.
“We haven’t seen anything like this since the Super Bowl,” he told PIX11 News, adding that February’s NFL championship game at the Meadowlands had the highest priced tickets in his company’s history, beginning at $2000 per person, in a venue far larger than MSG.
However, Gregoire said, if the Stanley Cup finals go to Game 7 in the best of 7 series, “you could see the price go beyond that.”