New York and Boston fans don’t like each other.
Whether it’s Bucky Dent, the Bloody Sock, Aaron Boone, or the Red Sox 3-1 comeback in 2004, memories of past victory and defeat die hard. With three series this month, May will write one of the most active chapters in the history of the New York-Boston rivalry.
Earlier this month, the Knicks dispatched the Celtics to notch one on-the-court victory for NYC. On the ice, the Bruins have three more chances to eliminate the Rangers to get to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in three years. When the Yankees and Red Sox meet for the 2,200th time on May 31st, both New York and Boston will likely have notched one series victory this May. Regardless of who wins that series, though, New York is virtually assured to win the off-the-court battle of the box office.
In the month of May, New Yorkers are paying $369 to see their teams play while Boston fans are shelling out an average of $265. Below is a breakdown of each series.
Celtics-Knicks NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Knicks Win 4-2)
A generation of Knicks fans are still waiting for their first taste of championship glory, and as a result, demand was up for their recently-ended postseason run.
For the Eastern Conference NBA Quarterfinals, the average price for Knicks home games was $518, or 153% more than the Celtics home average of $205. Interestingly, Knicks fans only paid a 14% premium compared to regular season prices vs. Celtics fans 105% premium. This is due in large part to the fact that the Knicks had the highest regular season average ticket price in the NBA, while the Celtics had the 8th most expensive season average.
Unfortunately for Knicks fans, all that money went up in smoke when they lost the Pacers in game 6 of the Conference Semifinals.
Bruins-Rangers NHL Eastern Conference Semi-Finals:(Bruins Lead Series 3-1)
For the first time in since the 1973, the Rangers and Bruins face off in playoff hockey. Both teams had dramatic seven-game series in the quarterfinals, and whoever emerges from the series has a good chance to represent in Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup.
Despite their two losses in Boston to open the series, the average price for Game 3 at MSG went up 21% since the series started, to an average of $480, and a get-in price of $151. After their game 3 loss, the average price for Game 4–which the Rangers won in OT–increased another 10% in the 48 hours before the puck dropped. The Rangers playoff slogan this season is ‘Believe’, and if price movements are any indication, Rangers fans are expressing that belief with their wallets.
Bruins fans, on the other hand, seem to be losing interest as the series progresses. Since winning game 2 at TD Garden, the average price for Game 5 has decreased by 14% to an average price of $351. The average price to see one of the games at TD Garden is now $385.
Overall, Bruins fans are paying a 42% premium to the regular season average price for the four games at TD Garden, while Rangers fans are paying a 81% premium for the three games at MSG. The current average price for a Game 7 in Boston, if necessary, is $504, which compares to the a $354 average price for Game 7 against the Leafs. If it gets that far, prices will likely rise before the game, as fans pay up at the prospect of the next great New York-Boston moment.
Red Sox-Yankees: (5/31-6/2 at Yankee Stadium)
Baseball is the one sport where fans in Beantown pay a premium to the Big Apple. With just 37,400 seats, Fenway Park has the smallest capacity of any baseball stadium, which is a big part of why Red Sox tickets are consistently more expensive than the Yankees tickets.
The upcoming series at Yankee Stadium has an average price of $120 compared to an average price of $199 for the July leg of the rivalry in Boston. Red Sox Fans are paying a 59% premium to regular season prices for the July series while Yankees fans are only paying a 26% premium for the May series. While the prospect of seeing Kevin Youkilis in pinstripes for the first time may be impacting prices, the teams unexpectedly strong start is also driving up demand.
According to Ace Tickets CEO Jim Holzman, the interest in Red Sox tickets is better than expected. “A strong start, a likable team and lower prices have all contributed to healthy demand early in the year,” said Holzman. To be precise, ticket prices are up 19% compared to the same time last year.
Not to be outdone, however, Yankee fans are paying 27% more than the 2012 average ticket price, as the ragtag team sits, also somewhat unexpectedly, atop the AL East. For real drama, though, May baseball can’t compete with September. Between September 6th and 15th, the Yankees and Red Sox play six times, and the average price for those games is 38% higher then the two series in May and July. If the standings then are the same as today, the AL East will be on the line. At a get-in price of $39 for the series in Fenway and $23 at Yankee Stadium, that could be the best dollar-to-drama ratio of any New York-Boston rivalry series this year.
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