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With fans coming back, most teams hike ticket prices

10/6/2006 - NHL

NEW YORK -- Fans have come back to the NHL. And now they're going to be paying for it.

Led by the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, more than half the league's teams have raised ticket prices, including 10 of them by more than 5 percent.

The results were released Friday by Team Marketing Reports, which also found that a family of four will pay an average of $258 for a game this season.

Carolina tickets now average $38, an increase of 45 percent over last season, the first since the NHL returned from a lockout that cost the league the 2004-05 season.

Still, that makes a Hurricanes ticket a good value. The average price around the NHL rose nearly 4 percent to $43.

The Florida Panthers bumped up prices 29 percent after they were only one of six teams to raise prices last season. Stanley Cup runner-up Edmonton, Calgary, Nashville, Boston, Dallas, Montreal, Philadelphia and Ottawa also raised their prices by more than 5 percent.

The Phoenix Coyotes' average price of $25 is the league's lowest. Right behind them are the St. Louis Blues, who dropped prices by 29 percent under new ownership.