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Winnipeg Jets among most expensive pro teams to watch

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At $118.46 per person, the Winnipeg Jets are the second most expensive NHL team to watch, trailing only the Toronto Maple Leafs.


At $118.46 per person, the Winnipeg Jets are the second most expensive NHL team to watch, trailing only the Toronto Maple Leafs. Photo Store

Winnipeg is home to the 10th most expensive professional team to watch in person, according to a U.S.-based website.

A list compiled by the online magazine Business Insider placed the Winnipeg Jets at No. 10 among the 25 most expensive professional teams to watch in person.

At $118.46 per person, the Winnipeg Jets are the second most expensive National Hockey League team to watch, trailing only the Toronto Maple Leafs at $151.40 per person (No. 5 on Business Insider's list).

It would be a "be careful what you wish for" scenario except that Jets season tickets and the MTS Centre, with a capacity of 15,004, are sold out and there is a waiting list of 8,000 people eager to drop the cash.

Business Insider used data from to create what it called the Adult Cost Index (ACI) determining how much it might cost one fan to attend a game. The ACI included the cost of one average-priced ticket, one beer, one soft drink, one hot dog, and half the cost of parking at the venue (assuming the parking cost would be shared with at least one other person).

The list includes 17 National Football League teams, four National Basketball Association teams and four NHL teams.

The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys are the most expensive team to watch in person with a ACI of $166.70 per person. The other two NHL teams to make the list were the 15th place Vancouver Canucks at $112.17 per person and the 25th place Montreal Canadiens at $104.47 per person.

There are no Major League Baseball teams in the top 25 because it is much cheaper watch those games in person. The Business Insider list notes the MLB’s Boston Red Sox are the most expensive baseball team to watch at $82.63 per person, but that ranked the Sox just 53rd overall.

Meantime, a list of average NHL ticket prices published earlier this year does not paint the correct picture of what it costs to watch the Jets in Winnipeg, team CEO Jim Ludlow said in early April.

The list, compiled by Team Marketing Report as part of its annual Fan Cost Index rankings, showed the average ticket price in Winnipeg at US$97.84, second-highest in the NHL.

The report’s methodology isn’t specific but there are a wide array of variables that go into ticket prices here, not limited to seven unequally distributed season-ticket categories, different single-game prices for A, B and C games over seven categories, as well as the fact the MTS Centre is the league’s smallest venue.

Also making apples-to-apples comparisons difficult on a league-wide basis is this; the MTS Centre’s highest-priced tickets are among the cheapest in the NHL, but it’s lowest-priced tickets are at the higher end in cost across the league.

The Team Marketing Report list was published alongside a story backgrounding the Jets’ recent decision to increase season-ticket prices two per cent for 2013-14.

Ludlow said last month the Jets’ average price for 2013 is $86.25 CDN gross (including fees, taxes) and the team’s net revenue on tickets ranks it sixth among the seven Canadian NHL franchises, at less than $76.

He said he believed that ranking of sixth out of seven would hold on the gross number but he didn’t have complete data on taxes and fees in all other cities.

"The first thing I should say is that the season-ticket price numbers — this year the range is $40.17 to $132.87 (per game) — are a significant value proposition compared to walkup," Ludlow said, pointing out 13,000 seats of the building’s 15,004 capacity are sold that way.

"I think it would be difficult for a third party to be accurate about an average ticket price. I’m not trying to critique the list because that’s not my place but my guess is that it’s heavily qualified and I just don’t want to focus on it.

"On a net basis, where we rank is sixth out of seven teams in Canada."


Updated on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 4:45 PM CDT: Corrects tense.

5:00 PM: Adds sidebar, swaps link

5:52 PM: Corrects typo, adds link to online poll

8:13 PM: Added files from previous story.

8:15 PM: Changed lede.

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