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The Buffalo Sabres front office announced today that they would be raising the cost of season tickets for the 2011-12 season. The hike in prices is an additional 5% and translates to around $1-4 per seat per game, depending on seat location at the HSBC Arena. The Sabres administration emphasizes that the hike in season ticket prices is necessary to qualify for the league's revenue sharing agreement. In the past, the Sabres have used a variable pricing model for individual game tickets with prices fluctuating based on the opponent. Apparently this organization is dynamic when it comes to ticketing strategy. At the end of the day, is this move warranted?
For the 2011-12 season, the most expensive season ticket package comes in at $3730 with an average of $92 per game. On the other end of the spectrum the cheapest season ticket packages are $940 for the season at an average of $23 per game. Overall, the average season ticket package for the Buffalo Sabres comes in at $44.85 per game which is good enough to be ranked 23rd in the NHL. See below for a breakdown of 2011-12 season ticket prices based on the Buffalo Sabres seating chart.
According to our ticket data, the Sabres' average ticket price stayed quite constant at around $75 throughout the 2010-11 season. There was a small spike in prices towards the end, but this can be attributable to their playoffs push. This means that the Sabres fans are loyal and their tickets are in constant demand. They also ranked number thirteen out of thirty teams in the NHL as far as average ticket prices. Therefore, it might be a smart move by the front office to try and raise prices in order to capture extra revenue from this fan loyalty. However, this might not make those die-hard fans in Buffalo all too happy.
Compared to Buffalo Bills tickets, the Sabres draw higher average prices. The Bills ranked twenty-six out of the thirty-three NFL teams last year ending the season at $50, according to our data. The Sabres seem to be dominating the ticket market in Buffalo. So it might not be such a bad idea from the Sabres front office to raise prices based on these trends.
The Sabres have made it to the playoffs both of the past two seasons, but have lost in the first round each time. The team is playing well and is apparently competitive with Stanley Cup hopes every season. If you want to get season tickets to see if they can make the playoffs for a third year in a row, expect to pay a little more than last year. Regardless, you can always get single game Buffalo Sabres tickets, or any NHL tickets, at SeatGeek.com even if the game is sold out.