SUN Hockey Pool

Thrills are not cheap

MAX MAUDIE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

While Oilers playoff tickets don't go on sale to the general public until Friday, you can already snag them from a local ticket vendor - for a premium.

TNT Tickets, a ticket broker at 11913 Wayne Gretzky Drive, is already selling packages for the first-round battle between Edmonton and the Detroit Red Wings.

They've had them up for sale since the Oil made the playoffs, Edmonton's first appearance in the post-season since 2003.

The cheapest tickets will run you $159, while lower-level seats, closest to the action, cost $400 each.

And you've got to buy at least two tickets, a visit to TNT's website suggests.

"Holy ... that's a lot of money," gasped Oilers fan Grant Davidson, 40, a bartender at a sports pub. "I can't pay that much for a ticket. That's just to get in (the building.)"

A TNT official declined comment.

And at Internet auction site EBay last night, a pair of sixth-row tickets to the first home game in Edmonton had one bid for $685.97.

But there are other options if you need a jolt of playoff electricity in Rexall Place, where only a limited number of tickets will be available to the general public because season-ticket holders get first crack.

Hockey fanatics had until midnight last night to register with the Oilers Pipeline fan club.

They will be e-mailed a password for an advance ticket sale tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Otherwise, the public release of Oilers playoff tickets is Friday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster, which yesterday referred calls on ticket prices and availability to the Oilers head office.

While this year's ticket prices weren't available last night, in 2003 the best seats sold for nearly $200 each. The Oil lost to the Dallas Stars in six games in the first round.

Davidson - who said $50 was reasonable for a playoff ticket - will likely watch the games on TV.

"I mean, it's nice to be there, (but) when you can save yourself $200, it's cheaper to go watch it in the bar."

In Calgary, where the Flames will battle the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, tickets available online through the Flames will range from $35 to $180, depending on the seat.


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