The Chicago Blackhawks are a hot ticket right now. And an expensive one. With an average ticket price of $79 this season, it costs you around $300 just for tickets for a family of four. Then add parking, food and souvenirs and you’re easily out more than $500.
But for that kind of money, you not only can take the family to see a game, you also can get out of town for the night. Within a three-hour drive of Chicago, you’re still able to catch games this spring from three different hockey teams.
Quad Cities Mallards
The farthest of these options from Chicago, the Mallards, are part of the East Coast Hockey League. With more than 9,000 seats in their arena, your family can get a big game feel for a small game price. The most tickets cost is $28 per seat, but they can go down as low as $10. Check out myqcmallards.net for details and to see what fun promotional events may be happening (including ticket specials for kids and families for certain games).
If you’re not going to take in a Blackhawks game, this might be a close second because they’re the farm team of the big guys. Part of the American Hockey League, the IceHogs also regularly play another team you may be familiar with—the Chicago Wolves. Tickets can sometimes be tough to get since they play in a slightly smaller arena (only 5,700 seats), so make sure to order ahead of time. Seats are $8-$27 and increase $2 for same-day purchases. Everything you need to know about the team can be found at icehogs.com, including a great Hockey 101 page that explains the rules for those new to the game.
By far the closest option (playing their home games in Bensenville), the Steel are part of the United States Hockey League. The biggest difference between these guys and the others? All of the kids on this team (yes kids) are under 21, not paid, and are playing to be recruited to play at the college level. Former USHL players in the NHL include Patrick Sharp of the Blackhawks and Tom Gilbert of the Montreal Canadiens. Aside from watching up-and-coming talent, here is the best part: tickets are just $8, parking is free, and food and drinks are affordable. Details on the team, tickets and players is found at chicagosteelhockeyteam.com.