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Flyers use salary cap as excuse to raise ticket prices

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Ticket prices haven't gone up in Philadelphia over the last three years, so we should have expected them to go up sooner rather than later. That's exactly what's happening, via Tim Panaccio at CSNPhilly.com:

The Flyers also looked to see what tickets in the arena were and weren't moving on re-sale and what prices people were willing to pay for specific tickets in certain parts of the arena.

The average season ticket will increase $6 per ticket or $260 overall in the full season package. The top seats currently at center ice cost a season ticket holder $79 (discounted). That price will increase to $95.

The basics are simple: there are some weird "inequities" in the seating at the WFC, such as the fact that you can sit in the first row mezzanine behind the net for the same price as a seat at center ice, seven rows up in the mezz. That's weird, and apparently they're out to fix that sort of thing in the pricing. There will be six different price ranges in the lower bowl, according to the article, as well as a different price for all 15 rows in the mezzanine.

But the bottom line, and the thing that we all care about, is that ticket prices are going up across the board. It's understandable after three years of static prices, but the reasons the organization are giving us for the increase seem less than the truth.

Again, from CSNPhilly.com:

"We are rescaling the arena so that our revenues are more in line with other top teams in the National Hockey League," said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. "This rescaling still allows us the opportunity to provide affordable pricing options for our fans."

[...]

[Flyers Senior VP of Business Ops Shawn] Tilger said the price increase was spurred, in part, by the dramatic rise in the salary cap from $39 million in 2005-06 to nearly $60 million this season.

Tilger pointed out that ticket prices here have risen 5 percent in eight years, while the salary cap has increased 52 percent.

First, speaking to Luukko's comments there. They want "revenues to be more in line with other top teams," yet to call the Flyers anything but a top team in terms of revenue already would be inaccurate.

According to Forbes, the Flyers ranked fourth in the NHL in revenue last year, generating $121 million. That's behind only Toronto ($187 million), Montreal ($163 million) and the New York Rangers ($154 million), and it's ahead of Chicago ($120 million), Vancouver and Detroit (both at $119 million).

Is there room for growth? Of course. Are they already an elite team in terms of revenue? Of course.

Secondly, on Tilger's comment that one of the big reasons for the jump in ticket pricing has to do with the salary cap. We all know that just isn't true at all. If ticket prices are directly related to the salary cap, how come they didn't go down dramatically in 2004 when team payroll dropped from $65 million to $42 million?

They only dropped about two dollars following the lockout, from an average of $57.06 to $54.81. By comparison, the average ticket price this season is $60.25, up from $55.93 in 2007-08. Again, increases in ticket prices are expected, especially as the team sits atop the Eastern Conference, but can't they just tell us the real reason why prices are going up?

The team is good and they want more money. Kinda simple, and I'm okay with the reality too.

Some info via Andrew's Stars Page was used in this story.

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