The scalpers must be starving in Dallas

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In these tough economic times, it’s good to know there’s a place you can go 41 nights a year for quality, affordable entertainment.

And that place is the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Team Marketing Report has released its latest survey of NHL fan costs and it shows the Dallas Stars have the lowest average ticket price in the NHL at just $29.95.

Judging by Stars attendance this season, ticket prices might still be too pricey. Hopefully a new owner can get in there ASAP and start marketing the team like its 7-2-0 record suggests it deserves to be marketed.

After Dallas, the cheapest tickets are in Phoenix ($36.15), Tampa Bay ($37.73), Anaheim ($36.94) and Buffalo ($38.23). Must be nice for Sabres fans to have an owner that spends to the cap and doesn’t soak them at the turnstiles. Beer is only $5 too. I think it’s like $93 at Canucks game.

Meanwhile, the most expensive ticket is in Toronto, where it costs an average of $123.77 to watch the Leafs. No shock there.

But you might be surprised at which team boasts the second-highest ticket price. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Winnipeg Jets ($98.27) to the NHL.

The Jets haven’t had any problem filling the rink so far – in fact, they’re essentially sold out for the next five years. But hefty ticket prices are going to be the reality at the MTS Centre, which seats just 15,004 for hockey, making it the smallest building in the league in terms of capacity.

On the other hand, there were seven NHL teams that drew fewer than 15,000 fans per game in 2010-11, and I’m pretty sure the average ticket price wasn’t $100. The Jets also struck a TV deal with TSN to broadcast more than 60 of their games, so that’s another major revenue stream right there.

Rounding out the top five ticket prices are Montreal ($88.67), Edmonton ($70.13) and Vancouver ($68.3), with an honorable mention to Calgary ($68.18).

Canadians. Just rolling in it apparently.

The most expensive ticket for an American team is Philadelphia ($66.89), followed closely by the New York Rangers ($66.20).

The average NHL ticket price is $57.10.