Chicago Sun-Times
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Blackhawks raising season-ticket prices by average of 16 percent

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The Blackhawks led the NHL in points this past season. Now, they're moving closer to the top in ticket prices, too.

Season tickets will go up an average of 16 percent for the 2013-14 season, with every ticket in the United Center becoming more expensive. The most expensive seats on the glass will rise from $335 per game to $380 per game, while the cheapest 300-level seats will rise from $28 to $36.

On top of that, season-ticket holders will only be paying for 40 regular-season games, as the Stadium Series game to be played against the Penguins on March 1 at Soldier Field isn't included. Season-ticket holders will be guaranteed seats to that game if they want to purchase them separately.

Partial plans and single-game tickets also will rise, but those prices haven't been set yet. The team usually waits for the schedule to come out in July before setting those prices.

The Hawks were the 11th-most expensive season-ticket in the NHL this season, according to Chris Werner, vice president of ticket operations.

"But as recently as 2007-08, we ranked 29th," he said. "It's a major market team, and ownership and management have really updated so many things about this franchise. When you start at 29th several seasons ago, we're trying to get the price point to what is appropriate for a major market team."

Werner said the NHL lockout, which wiped out the entire preseason and 34 regular-season games, was not the impetus for increase.

Werner pointed out that season tickets are still on average 42 percent cheaper than single-game tickets, and that the fans in the 300 level save more than anyone else compared with other season-ticket holders. And with the wait list having just cracked 12,000, the Hawks won't have any trouble replacing any disgruntled fans who give up their tickets in the face of the price hike.

"The waiting list is not something that is driving any consideration of price," Werner said. "We just want to be sensitive to what the appropriate price is for a team in this market, delivering the product on and off the ice that we're delivering."

Here's the complete list of price increases for the Hawks' eight price points:

Glass seats: Was $335, now $380
100 level: Was $147, now $169
100 level: Was $110, now $127
Lexus Club level: Was $95, now $115
Lexus Club level: Was $82, now $98
300 level: Was $64, now $74
300 level: Was $48, now $56
300 level: Was $28, now $36

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Mark Lazerus was honored nationally by the Associated Press Sports Editors for three straight years at the Post-Tribune, was named one of the top three columnists in Indiana for three straight years and has won more than 20 statewide writing awards. He has covered Notre Dame for Sun-Times Media, and now covers the Blackhawks.



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