Despite returning from Los Angeles down 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Kings, the New York Rangers played well enough to build on the already staggering excitement surrounding their long-awaited return to the last round of the NHL playoffs. After waiting 20 years for their boys in blue to stand so close to Lord Stanley’s Cup, Rangers fans were elated to see them play well enough to never trail the LA Kings – in regulation, at least. In both games, the Rangers let their lead slip away, opening the door for a determined Kings squad to tie the game in the third period and eventually win in overtime. Hockey fans in New York prepared to welcome home their team in force, regardless of those shortcomings. If the Rangers were to start a comeback, it would be in front of a record-setting crowd in one of the most hallowed halls in the game – Madison Square Garden.

The average ticket prices for Games 1 and 2 in Los Angeles were $563 and $667, respectively. Tickets for Game 3 in New York went for nearly 3x the price of Game 1 tickets ($1,558 average), making it the most expensive Stanley Cup Finals game since the 2011 Game 7 between the Canucks and Bruins in Vancouver ($1,928). We estimate that fans spent about $12 million on Game 3 resales, the most we’ve seen for any sporting event other than the Super Bowl (estimated $38M for this year’s game at MetLife Stadium). The previous non-Super Bowl high we recorded was $11M for Game 6 of the 2013 World Series in Boston.

Stanley Cup Finals Tickets

Ticket Demand for New York Rangers – Stanley Cup Finals at Madison Square Garden

Barring a possible Game 6 at the Garden, Game 3 will go down as the priciest ticket we’ve recorded at MSG ahead of the 12.12.12 Concert for Sandy Relief ($1,026 average ticket price). Prices for Game 4 tickets took a nose dive with the Rangers down three games to none. The average price on the secondary market was $958, down 50% from an average of $1,900 per ticket prior to Game 3. The get-in price dropped to $450 for Game 4, which is equal to face value for the 400-level seats at MSG; over the weekend, those same tickets were going for twice as much. It’ll be intriguing how high tickets for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals climb if the Rangers are able to take Game 5 from the Kings at Staples Center. Game 6 would officially close the hockey season at Madison Square Garden, win or lose, and hopes would be high that a victory could propel the Rangers to a series win in Game 7, just as it did in their fateful Metropolitan Division Final against Pittsburgh.

2014 Stanley Cup Finals Highlights

Kings Come Back in Game 1 for OT Win

LA Captain Dustin Brown Scores in OT

Lundqvist Stands On His Head, Rangers Avoid Sweep