So you want to see one of the World Junior Hockey Championship games in HSBC Arena, but you're a little pressed for cash at Christmastime?
You can raid your little cup of spare change and find enough money to attend a game, if you don't care about seeing Team U.S.A. or Team Canada.
But if you want to see a more popular game, like Canada-Russia, you may have to invade your rainy-day savings account.
Tickets for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship are being offered on the secondary market for widely varying amounts, anywhere from $3 to more than $1,000 per ticket, according to one website late Friday.
Take the first day of the tournament, Sunday, highlighted by a tripleheader in HSBC Arena.
For the first game, Germany-Switzerland, various StubHub customers were offering to sell a total of eight 300 Level tickets for $3 apiece. Another 21 were being offered for $4 to $5. At the high end, the best seats were being offered for up to $48.
But the prices go up dramatically for a game just a few hours later, as the Canada-Russia ticket remains a hot item. For that game, 300 Level tickets were being offered for $58 to $80 apiece, while seats in the 100 Level were offered for up to $195 apiece.
Someone wanting to see the tripleheader finale, USA-Finland, could have bought a seat for anywhere from $28 to $200; there also was one offer for $500.
And secondary-market prices for the Jan. 5 Gold Medal game, especially if the U.S. plays Canada, could go right through the arena roof. Those tickets already are being offered at anywhere from $145 to a whopping $1,500 apiece, with one additional offer at $2,500.
Ticket prices offered on secondary-ticket websites don't mean that the buyers will pay that much, but they do show the relative markets for the different games.
At the box office, the Sabres, the tournament's host, say they've sold more than 310,000 individual tickets -- about 10,000 this week.
"The demand has been very strong," Buffalo Sabres public relations director Michael M. Gilbert said Friday. "The tournament hasn't even started yet, but people are starting to realize that it's here now."
By selling more than 310,000 tickets, the Sabres already have surpassed the total for last year's tournament in Saskatchewan, even before the start of the tourney.
"We still have almost two weeks of selling tickets," Gilbert said.
None of the 31 games, including 21 in HSBC Arena and 10 in Niagara University's Dwyer Arena, has sold out.
"I think all four Canada preliminary [round] games will be sold out, like Sabres games," Gilbert said. "I think the U.S. games will be a little below that."
Other games are expected to be between half and two-thirds or three-quarters full, officials suggest.
Tickets have been sold in three stages: First, all-session tickets, then day passes and now individual games.
Box-office prices for individual games range from $25/$40 (Upper Bowl/Lower Bowl) for "lower profile" games not featuring the U.S. or Canada, all the way to $150/$250 for the Gold Medal game.
Gilbert noted, though, that promotions with Tim Hortons and BlueCross BlueShield allow fans to pay half the regular price (as low as $12.50) for five specified games.
Fans can buy tickets at the HSBC Arena box office, online at www.buffaloworldjuniors.com or by phone at (888) 467-2273.