For the first time since 1990, the Bruins are in the Stanley Cup. For the opportunity to witness a piece of the first Stanley Cup Title since the days of Orr, fans are paying a hefty premium over the regular season average price -- 1,220% to be exact. In the world of sports ticket data, Final premiums are the most scientific measure of raw fanatical emotion, and one the few consumer transactions where discretion can be checked at the door without hesitation.
For the 2010-11 season, the Bruins and their 1,200% premium top the list. This should come as no surprise, as the 2011 NHL Finals are an opportunity for one of the most storied franchises to end an epochal 40-year drought. This is a sharp contrast to the Celtics premium of last year, which, despite revisiting basketball's best rivalry, was a meager 418% premium. In defense of Boston fans, the Celtics were just one year removed from a title against those same Lakers.
As for other finals premiums in 2010-11, the Mavericks are comfortably leading the Heat by a margin of 981% to 660%. While one might assume that the LeBron-ified Heat, and all their star power, would be winning the premium wars, South Florida has long been know for it's lack of fan fervor. Couple that with the Mavericks quest for the first championship, and the weigh-in before tip-off goes to Mavs.
While the levels of excessive spending in the secondary market certainly tell us something about the psyche of a fan base, there is little correlation between the highest premiums and success on the court, field or ice. If fans are looking for a cautionary tale, they need to look no further than the Mavericks cross-town baseball team, The Rangers. In their bid to bring Texas its first World Series last October, Rangers' fans drove prices to a 2,000% premium -- all to no avail as the Rangers fell to the Giants in six games.
Perhaps fans that are most interested in seeing their team bring home the hardware should go against their better tribal instincts and instead of shelling out rent money for a night at game, put some money under their mattress, order in pizza and witness the thrill of victory from their living room couch.
For tickets to this year's Stanley Cup Finals, click here.