NHL Fight Tickets are Cheaper than UFC

Updated: 309 Ice Hockey

NHL Fight Tickets are Cheaper than UFC

Elliot, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Dan Tracey Data Scientist and Football Editor

Writer, analyst, podcaster, Spurs fan. Three out of four is not bad. If there is a data angle, I will find it.

Different Kind Of Fights

Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux are names that are largely synonymous with the NHL. Another aspect that is synonymous with the sport is the fights that take place on the ice.
A spectacle that although bruising, does seem to elicit a positive response from the crowd.

However, the blades of steel are no longer digging in for a scrap at the same rate that they once were. With roughly 40% of matches seeing at least one fight between 2001 and 2020, that rate has at least halved in the past five years. 

Have the stars of the NHL got softer, is the appetite for a duel still there? The data would say perhaps not. Then again, when compared to other major combat events, watching a fight in the NHL may be far cheaper.

Season Total Matches Fights Fights Per Game Matches With Fights % Games With Fights
2021-22 1312 331 0.25 281 21.42%
2020-21 868 195 0.22 163 18.78%
2019-20 1271 194 0.15 171 13.45%
2018-19 460 86 0.19 77 16.74%
2017-18 1271 280 0.22 227 17.86%
2016-17 1230 372 0.30 306 24.88%
2015-16 1230 344 0.28 288 23.41%
2014-15 1230 391 0.32 331 26.91%
2013-14 1230 469 0.38 366 29.76%
Players With the Most Penalty Minutes in NHL History

Players With the Most Penalty Minutes in NHL History

Because although the lure of watching the UFC may appeal to many, that appeal comes at a considerable price. To the point where MMA fans could end up being priced up from any attempts to watch in person. 

Which gave us an idea for an analysis piece. If you were happy to watch a sporting fight of any kind, how much money could you save? 

We took a recent UFC event, a UFC event that contained Canada’s greatest George St Pierre and the ticket prices from each of the seven NHL franchises that currently represent the nation and here is what we found (all figures in Canadian Dollars)

Event Min Max Notes
UFC 281 740 12544 Recent Event
UFC 217 414 8814 George St Pierre
Vancouver Canucks 115 647 Canucks vs Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers 106 736 Oilers vs Colorado Avalanche
Montreal Canadiens 89 984 Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs 69 551 Leafs vs Philadelphia Flyers
Winnipeg Jets 64 393 Jets vs Montreal Canadiens
Calgary Flames 49 413 Flames vs New York Islanders
Ottawa Senators 30 385 Senators vs Washington Capitals

Sven Mandel, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

For those who prefer to watch the UFC over the NHL, you may want to talk to your bank manager beforehand. With UFC 281 being held at Madison Square Garden, the cheapest seat in the house comes in at 740 dollars.

A figure that is higher than any of the maximum values of the seven NHL franchises and that is before we take a look at the highest ticket cost at the Garden. A cost that is an eye-watering 12,544 dollars. 

While things were not all that better when it came to UFC 217 and Georges St Pierre’s latest entrance in the Octagon. The cheapest seat in the house would have set you back 414 dollars, the most expensive would have been 8,814.

If you are paying that much for a fight and one that could be over in seconds, then surely it makes sense to take in a hockey game instead. Especially as the cheapest seat at the Ottawa Senators can be as little as 30 dollars.

Their clash with the Washington Capitals is exactly and if you are feeling really flush, the most expensive is 385 by comparison. To put this into further perspective, the maximum value is just over half the minimum value at UFC 281.

Even the most expensive seat within the NHL data is only 244 dollars more than UFC 281 and with the Montreal Canadiens charging just short of 1,000 to watch them play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning, you could certainly watch this game in style.

Of course, food and drink is always an important factor when it comes to any fighting event and if you have any change from the UFC – something that could be rather unlikely, then you may want to treat yourself to a beer.

One that comes at a cost of 11,50 and if you want to wash that down with a slice of pizza, then make sure to use the rest of your 50 dollar note to buy it. The bad news is, you will not get any change from your second transaction. 

Then again, beer in Toronto is also going to put a dent in your wallet. If you fancy taking a 20 oz cup to your seat, it is going to cost you 13.50 for the cheapest offering, it is going to be 14.25 for the most expensive.

If you are really thirsty, you can treat yourself to a 28 oz cup instead. Although be warned at the same time. The cheapest offering is going to set you back 17 dollars, the most expensive brand is going to cost you 17.75.

Even though the beer is expensive in Toronto, the cost of a match ticket between the Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers starts at 69 dollars. What you save on entry, can then be spent on an ice-cold beer instead.

Ticket prices are taken from the following: 

https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/3B005D0BB2AA1A4E UFC 281 740 12544 UFC 281
https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2017/09/give-a-expletive-tickets-for-ufc-217-on-sale-today UFC 217 414 8814 George St Pierre
https://www.ticketmaster.ca/toronto-maple-leafs-vs-philadelphia-flyers-toronto-ontario-11-02-2022/event/10005D082E329A29 NHL 69 551 Toronto Maple Leafs
https://www.ticketmaster.ca/montreal-canadiens-vs-tampa-bay-lightning-montreal-quebec-12-17-2022/event/31005D033F8453FD NHL 89 984 Montreal Canadiens
https://www.ticketmaster.ca/edmonton-oilers-vs-colorado-avalanche-edmonton-alberta-01-07-2023/event/11005D127D8518CF NHL 106 736 Edmonton Oilers
https://www.ticketmaster.ca/calgary-flames-vs-new-york-islanders-calgary-alberta-01-06-2023/event/11005CFE96842927 NHL 49 413 Calgary Flames
https://www.ticketmaster.ca/vancouver-canucks-vs-edmonton-oilers-vancouver-british-columbia-01-21-2023/event/11005D05E89152CB NHL 115 647 Vancouver Canucks
https://www.ticketmaster.ca/ottawa-senators-vs-washington-capitals-ottawa-ontario-12-22-2022/event/31005D02D211379B NHL 30 385 Ottawa Senators
https://www.ticketmaster.ca/winnipeg-jets-vs-montreal-canadiens-winnipeg-manitoba-11-03-2022/event/11005D09A4B62C8A NHL 64 393 Winnipeg Jets
UFC 217            

Data correct as of October 2022 

Author Information

Andrew Powell manages our hockey analysis articles, meticulously updating the data for our hockey content on OLBG. Dan Tracey assisted in this article with the data collection.

Dan Tracey

Dan Tracey

Data scientist and football editor

🥅🏒 Our stateside Hockey specialist, Noah knows just about all there is to know about the NHL and covers the NHL for various publications in Canada - Our go-to guy for our Hockey content.
Andy Powell

Andy Powell

Content editor

Andy also possesses a keen interest in American sports with a particular affinity for the NFL and the NHL. He follows the Pittsburgh Penguins, emphasizing his broad palette for diversified sporting events.

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