NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Over the years, people have flocked to the secondary market as a place to get the best deals. The basic reason for this is that the secondary market is the most efficient mechanism to meet market demand.
More often than not, the teams did not do a good job predicting demand, and the secondary market stepped in to make billions. Over the last several years, teams have become more aggressive about variable pricing, altering prices depending on the opposition.
It's a reasonable tack: you're more likely to want to see your hometown team play a high-ranked rival than a team near the bottom.
The most aggressive example of this primary market optimization may be Boston Bruins playoff tickets this postseason. For the first round, the Bruins set their cheapest ticket prices at $155.
The cheapest ticket on the broad secondary market -- which includes all major ticket re-sellers -- was $124, a 20% discount. For the second round, the disparity between the two prices has grown even further. The cheapest face value ticket at Boston's TD Garden is selling for $221, almost as high as the $264 average price on the secondary market for Boston's first-round games. The cheapest secondary market ticket for the second round in Boston is $130, 41% below face value.
Boston is only one of three remaining teams to have a discount on the secondary market.
However, the other two teams had a much smaller difference in price. Los Angeles Kings playoff tickets had a 16% difference between the $64 face price and $54 secondary price. Anaheim Ducks tickets had an 11% differential between the $28 low face price and $25 low secondary market price, hardly pricing themselves out of the market.
Anaheim also has tickets below the cheapest face value for the second round, but again it's a marginal difference between the $79 face price and $70 secondary market price. Pittsburgh Penguins playoff tickets have secondary market prices 17.39% below the cheapest face value, $100 to $121.05. Neither come close to the $91 difference for Bruins tickets.
This is a significant hit for brokers and ticket resellers in the Boston area. Instead of making money, as many would expect for high-level playoff games, most will actually be losing money by selling these tickets well below the face price they paid.
While the Bruins seem to have again overvalued the price for the cheap seats, the overall demand for Bruins playoff tickets is not low compared to the rest of the league. The average price on the secondary market for Boston's second-round games is $565, the highest of all remaining teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and 114% above the average price for their opening round series. At $458, the next-highest-priced team average is for Boston's opponent, Montreal.
As long as the Boston Bruins keep winning, fans are unlikely to care about high ticket prices. For most of them, a second Stanley Cup in the past four years would be well worth any price.
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This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.