If you don’t already have season tickets, the Buffalo Sabres are banking you will be willing to spend a little more money to see Jack Eichel & Co. this season.
Coming off its second straight 30th-place finish in the NHL’s overall standing, the team has announced an across-the-board hike in box-office and mini-pack prices for the 2015-16 season. Individual tickets will increase from $2-$7 in four of the five price categories.
The Sabres have also released their game designations for variable pricing, featuring far more expensive games than last year. The variable pricing is based on opponent, time of year, day of the week, classic rivalries and marquee players.
Last year, there was just one Platinum game (a November contest against Toronto). This year there are two, the Oct. 8 season opener against Ottawa that is the expected debut of No. 2 overall pick Eichel and the Dec. 19 matinee against Stanley Cup champion Chicago. Ticket prices for those range from $84-$250 at the box office, a jump of $4-$10.
Here is the comparison of the other price levels:
Gold: 10 games (7 in 2014-15). Prices run from $70-$195, an increase of $2-$5.
Silver: 18 games (14 in 2014-15). Prices run from $59-$155, an increase of $2-$7.
Bronze: 5 games (11 in 2014-15). Prices run from $48-$135, an increase of $2-$7.
Value: 6 games (8 in 2014-15). Prices run from $37-$125, an increase of $2-$5.
Despite the increase in higher-priced games, there are still some good buys to be had. The two visits by Stanley Cup finalist Tampa Bay are Silver and Bronze games. Other Silver games include the March 1 visit by Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, and the March 26 visit by Tyler Myers and the Winnipeg Jets.
The New York Rangers are here for a Bronze game while Value games include matchups with Anaheim, St. Louis and Dallas.
Minipacks go on sale to the general public on Sept. 3 and existing minipack holders can renew beginning on Aug. 27. Those tickets can save as much as 25 percent off box-office prices and range from $35-$188 based on seating area and game designation.
Individual games become available Sept. 19 at 10 a.m.
The complete list of variable pricing games:
Platinum: Oct. 8, Ottawa; Dec. 19, Chicago.
Gold: Oct. 23, Montreal; Nov. 27, Carolina; Dec. 12, Los Angeles; Dec. 28, Washington; Jan. 15, Boston; Jan. 22, Detroit; Feb. 12, Montreal; Feb. 21, Pittsburgh; March 31, Toronto; April 8, Columbus.
Silver: Oct. 10, Tampa Bay; Oct. 21, Toronto; Oct. 24, New Jersey; Oct. 30, Philadelphia; Nov. 7, Vancouver; Nov. 14, San Jose; Nov. 25, Nashville; Dec. 4, Arizona; Dec. 31, NY Islanders; Jan. 2, Detroit; Jan. 16, Washington; Feb. 14, Colorado; March 1, Edmonton; March 5, Minnesota; March 12, Carolina; March 16, Montreal; March 18, Ottawa; March 26, Winnipeg.
Bronze: Oct. 12, Columbus; Nov. 5, Tampa Bay; Feb. 4, Boston; March 3, Calgary; March 8, NY Rangers.
Value: Nov. 17, Dallas; Nov. 23, St. Louis; Dec. 15, New Jersey; Dec. 17, Anaheim; Jan. 5, Florida, Feb. 9, Florida.