Team Marketing releases a "Fan Cost Index" for the major sports leagues in the United States ever year, NHL included, and this year, as last year, the Dallas Stars come in as the cheapest hockey experience in the league at #30 (PDF).
I know Erin already mentioned this in the links post this morning but we felt it needed it's own space considering how often people say that it is too expensive to see a Dallas Stars game. The ranking is based on a "fan cost index" of their own invention that takes into account how much it would cost to bring a family of four to a hockey game, park, and stuff their faces full of hot dogs and beer, buy two hats and programs.
The Stars have the lowest "Fan Cost Index" this year and the cheapest average ticket at $29.78. In reality these days, during the week, for a "non-premium" game, you can buy a ticket for $17 to get in the door. Then you could, shall we say, accidentally sit somewhere else. Anywhere else that you want, really. Not that we endorse such behavior.
Their calculated cost of beer at the American Airlines Center stayed a constant $6.00 on average for 16oz. (Brad's beer tip: Do not buy beer from the terrace level taps. Buy bottles from vendors or cans from Motley's Pub. The tap lines up there have been crossed and messed with and taste worse every year.)
The Stars were 24th in average ticket price two seasons ago and dropped to last in 2010-2011. Here are the .PDF's from the last several years to compare:
Somehow the Florida Panthers remain in the top half of this list, and actually raised their ticket prices this year. The Winnipeg Jets ticket increase is listed at %125 over what Atlanta Thrasher prices were last season, and puts them instantly into the number three spot.
Please note that the average ticket cost does not include "premium" seating, which we assume is all platinum level and suite tickets.