'Through the roof': Oilers playoff tickets in high demand

'Through the roof': Oilers playoff tickets in high demand

If Monday morning's release of a "a limited number of tickets" was any indication, Edmonton Oilers fans are chomping at the bit for the playoffs to begin.

It only took fans five minutes to snap up the few hundred tickets made available for two games this week as the Oilers take on the San Jose Sharks in a first-round match-up.

Tickets for the Wednesday and Friday contests at Rogers Place went on sale Monday at 10 a.m. and all were gone in five minutes, Tim Shipton, spokesperson for the Oilers Entertainment Group, said in an emailed statement.

And really, should that surprise anyone?

The Oilers, who finished last season with 70 points and in 29th place, turned it around this year with the help of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Cam Talbot and a host of other players assembled by general manager Peter Chiarelli. 

The 2017 Oilers jumped 21 spots to finish the season in eighth spot overall with 103 points, going undefeated at Rogers Place in the final nine home games.

Dan Mason is professor of sport management at the University of Alberta who has been following the team for years.

The Oilers are the main show in town and ticket demand reflects that, Mason said.

"There hasn't been any playoffs here for so long and people have been waiting for an opportunity to follow a team in the playoffs, so I think that the … pent-up demand has been building for some time," Mason said. "We're seeing that reflected in the demand for tickets and the ticket prices themselves."

And a quick search online backs that theory up.

Prices range anywhere from around $475 in the upper bowl, to at least one fan asking for $10,000 for a single ticket. Most tickets for sale are double face value, or higher. 

Fans were quick to respond online, showing disappointment at prices and that the extra tickets released by the team went so quickly.

"The demand is through the roof," Shipton said.

The last playoff run for the Oilers, in 2006, ended with a trip to the Stanley Cup final against the Carolina Hurricanes, who beat the Oilers in Game 7.

An 11-year playoff drought has clearly left Oilers hockey fans hungry.

"You've one of the best players in the world, if not the best player, you've got the nicest arena, It's almost like a perfect storm for the team in the sense of being able to generate revenues," Mason said.

But if these prices are way out of your budget, there are options. 

How about a few days in San Francisco to see the Oilers take on the Sharks later in the series?

A return flight and three nights in a hotel, with tickets to Games 3 and 4 in the first round, works out to about $1,200 Cdn. That's with the cheapest ticket to get into the SAP Center, $90 Cdn.

50/50 draw for Game 1 starts at $76,000

Fans attending the first playoff game on Wednesday will have a chance to buy 50/50 tickets for what's expected to be a huge jackpot.

The Edmonton Oilers Foundation announced Monday the 50/50 jackpot went unclaimed on Saturday, March 25. The $76,125 jackpot will carry forward to the Oilers' first home playoff game Wednesday.