Oilers playoff seats come at a premium for long-suffering season ticket-holders
Edmonton Oilers on verge of making first post-season appearance in 10 years
Edmonton Oilers season ticket-holders have found out how much they'll have to pay to see their team in the playoffs — and it's not going to be cheap.
The team, sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference, could make its first post-season appearance in 10 years.
After waiting out the drought, some fans feel the Oilers' 44-per-cent seat-price markup for the first round is a little steep.
"We just finally after 10 years through all the heartaches and all the BS and the coaching staff and the management staff — like after all of this, they just want to take you to the wall?" said Trevor Beck, a season-ticket holder for 14 years.
Beck's seat in the lower bowl cost $163 per game in the regular season. In the first round of the playoffs, it will cost him $235 per game, according to a pamphlet mailed out to season ticket-holders last week.
'After all of this, they just want to take you to the wall?- Season-ticket holder Trevor Beck
"They know that we're fans and we want to be part of it and they just know that people are going to do it no matter what, whatever they got to do — sell a truck, a kidney, they're going to make it work."
Although a season ticket-holder when the Oilers made their last post-season appearance in 2006, Beck missed out.
"I opted out because I didn't think they were going to make it that far," Beck said. "So that was my bad."
He said he won't make the same mistake twice, but he won't be able to afford to go to every game. He expects to sell some of his tickets to pay for a few games himself.
Comparable to 2006 prices
Ryan Batty, also a longtime season ticket-holder, did witness the Oilers' 2006 playoff run at Rexall Place.
"I was vibrating I was so excited for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. I'd never seen anything like that in my life," he said.
We didn't really have the money for all those playoff games. But what were you going to do — not get the tickets?- Season ticket-holder Ryan Batty
"We were eating Kraft Dinner by the time we were done," he said. "We didn't really have the money for all those playoff games. But what were you going to do — not get the tickets? We kept doing it and just squeezed by elsewhere."
Given inflation, the jump in playoff pricing seems "pretty comparable," Batty said.
Sitting in the 300-level at Rexall Place, Batty estimates he paid three times his regular seat price by the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.
Should the Oilers make the second round, the price of a ticket will be 68 per cent more than regular season seats. Round 3 will be 92 per cent higher and Round 4 —the Stanley Cup Final — will be 188 per cent more.
"At the end of the day, I'm not sure how many fans are going to not find the money somewhere," Batty said. "I mean, if you sat through the last 10 years, I couldn't imagine not following through at this point."
Battle of Alberta
While Edmonton is sitting in fourth place in the west, Calgary isn't far behind in sixth place. The Flames are just trailing the Oilers by a few points.
Calgary has also been absent from the playoffs in recent years, save for a two-round stint in 2015.
The Flames' 2006 campaign saw ticket prices inflate almost 60 per cent in the post season.
Toronto, notoriously the team with the most expensive seats in the league, jacked prices by about 75 per cent when the the Leafs landed a playoff spot in 2013. That same year, the Vancouver Canucks drove up prices by 50 per cent.