Join Us for a NCAA Final Four Hangout with Chip Brown, Kris Hughes & Jeff Kubiszyn

We are heading for a crazy, classic, all-time great NCAA Final Four and we’re excited to have some top sports journalists join us for a fan-focused discussion on what the 2014 championship in Dallas will bring.  Here are the details:

When: April 1, 2014 @ 12:15pm CT

Where: The hangout will stream live at this blog post link.

What: Everyone’s buzzing about who will go all the way.  We’re hosting a Google Hangout featuring some of the smartest folks in sports to ask: what does the 2014 Final Four mean to fans- and what can you expect if you’re heading to Cowboy’s stadium this weekend?

Who’s Joining: 

1d2ea35b6b92ec15ff0786c93c61c9a8Chip Brown (@ChipBrownOB) Chip is a writer for Orangebloods.com, as well as an on-air personality at 104.9 The Horn.  Before joining OB, Chip was a reporter at The Dallas Morning News, where he covered the Longhorns and Cowboys.

af2gsBKCKris Hughes (@Kris_Hughes) Chris is currently the hiring manager at Rant Sports and is a contributor for Lindy’s Sports Mag.  Kris is also a former collegiate basketball player and collegiate recruiter.

a32fc74fdbe012ed80a7d7463e8fd68dJeff Kubiszyn (@JeffKubiszyn) Jeff is a writer for Rant Sports, Fansided and LaSportsa Nostra.

Top 10 Most Expensive MLB Opening Day Tickets

For many baseball fans, Opening Day serves as a symbol of rebirth, a chance to forget last season and start fresh with a 0-0 record. This translates into record ticket demand, as fans clamor for a seat to the game.  A ranking of the top 10 most expensive MLB Opening Day tickets can be found here.

While most of North America was fast asleep, the first Opening Day game in 2014 took place on March 22nd on a cricket field in Australia, with both games expected to draw over 40,000 fans.  Excluding the prime-time Padres-Dodgers match-up on March 30th, all other MLB teams will kick off their 2014 season on March 31st or April 1. A few match-ups that stand out on the list:

Opening Day TicketsMilwaukee Brewers at Boston Red Sox, April 4  With last season’s World Series Championship title under their belt, the average ticket price for the Red Sox Opening Day game is currently $265. Ticket prices are up 143% compared to last year’s opening game (average ticket price in 2013 was $109). The Red Sox are also playing in the second most-expensive Opening Day game of the season against the Baltimore Orioles’ at Oriole Park.

Philadelphia Phillies at Texas Rangers, March 31st - Texas Rangers Opening Day ticket prices are up 30% from last year. The investments the Rangers made in their rooster during the off season seem to have re-ignited fans after the team fell short last season. Additionally, Phillies opening day starter Cliff Lee will be making his first return to Arlington since leaving Texas Rangers following the 2010 World Series.

Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals, April 7 - Rivals Cincinnati and St. Louis hold the #4 & #5 spots for both Opening Day games. Last year’s MVP Michael Wacha will start in the Cardinals home opener against their rival Cincinnati.  The last time these two teams faced each other, Wacha held the Reds to six scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits.  The average ticket price for both Opening Day events is $157.

 

Maple Leafs Rank #1 For Best Fans Second Year in a Row

When we released our study of the “Most Engaged” Fan Bases in the NHL post-lockout last season, the results definitely sparked some debate.  Everyone has an opinion about who are the best and worst fans in the league, and that’s why we’ve taken a data-driven approach to rank the team’s that do the best at engaging their fans both online and offline.  We look at things like game attendance, social media following and ticket demand to determine the final ranking.

Based on the study, we found the NHL has seen huge growth in their communities on social media post last season’s lockout.  In fact, the average growth rate in Twitter followers for the league was 56%, with some teams like the Maple Leafs and Blackhawks nearly doubling their follower base over the course of the season. The official Facebook communities for each franchise also experienced growth, although not as extreme (+22% increase in likes).

Who were the “winners”? Coming off a championship year, the Blackhawks made one of the most dramatic jumps in the league, climbing from #7 to #3 on the list.  The Bruins also increased their rank from #4 to #2, as a New England region that had been rocked by tragedies rallied around the Bruins during their Stanley Cup run.

And of course, there’s no ignoring the Leafs, who now hold the #1 spot for the second consecutive year. Despite a 46 year championship drought, the Maple Leafs hold the #1 or #2 spot in the league for the most Twitter followers, highest average attendance, and most expensive ticket on the secondary market (average ticket price is $191).

Check out the graphic below to find out where your team ranks, and let us know if the comments if you agree!

best and worst nhl fan bases

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<a href=" http://blog.ticketcity.com/2014/02/28/mostengagednhlfanbases2014/">Most Engaged NHL Fan Bases 2014</a> created by <a href="http://www.ticketcity.com/nhl-tickets.html">TicketCity</a>

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10 Ways to Celebrate the Super Bowl in NYC like a VIP

Going to the Big Apple can be daunting, especially during the Super Bowl where the City That Never Sleeps goes into “overdrive” with celebrity appearances and big parties during the day & night.

We’ve gathered the veterans- our team has been making the trip to the Super Bowl for the last two decades- to come up with this top 10 list of the best super bowl parties, sports events & shows happening in NYC during Super Bowl weekend 2014:

gotham1. Ultimate Tailgate Party
Gotham Hall; Feb 2 @ 11:00am
Hosted by big celebrities, this is one of the hottest spots for Super Bowl pre-game. Super-Chef Marcus Samuelsson will prepare the menu and admission includes motor coach transportation to/from the game. Need access to this VIP event? Call one of ticket specialists at 1-800-880-8886.

2. Miami Heat  vs.  New York Knicks
Madison Square Garden; Feb 1 @ 8:30pm
The Heat couldn’t shut-down the Knicks energetic offense in their last meeting, can NY do it again and clinch a Playoff spot?

maxim_vip3. Super Bowl Maxim Party
Espace; Jan 31-Feb 2 @ 10:00pm
With  a new theme each year, the Maxim Party lends to the best surprises of the year. Special guests include ALESSO (Jan 31) and Kendrick Lamar (Feb 1). Entrance to the party includes an open bar.

4. WFANs Big Hello To Brooklyn
Barclays Center; Feb 1 @ 7:00pm
Artists include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, New Politics, MS MR, J-Roddy Walston & the Business, and Basic Vacation.

https_proxy5.“The Catch” Gameday Experience
Edison Ballroom; Feb 2 @ 4:00pm
Taking place in New York’s most upscale venues, NFL Legends Joe Montana and Dwight Clark will on hand for personal meet and greet sessions, along with retired New York Giants: Howard Cross and Sean Landeta. Five signature food stations, open-bar pouring top-shelf beverages and over 20 flat-screens to enjoy the game, this is the party to be at all day & night.

6. New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers
Madison Square Garden; Jan 31 @ 7:00pm
An inner-State battle, this rivalry also unofficially known as the “Battle of New York.”

7.The Book of Mormon
Eugene ONeill Theatre; Feb 1 @ 2:00pm
Put your fit up for a bit & enjoy this winner of 9 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, the Creators of South Park bring you a musical of religious satire about two young Mormon missionaries and their journey to share their scripture and teachings in a small village.

jay-z-magna-fail-samsung-6508. DIRECTV Super Saturday
Hudson River Park Pier 40; Feb 01 @ 9:00pm
The annual Super Saturday Party brings football to another level. Each year the Beach Bowl attracts thousands of spectators to see Hollywood’s biggest stars compete against former NFL greats in a wild flag football game where anything can happen.

9. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Brooklyn Nets
Barclays Center; Jan 31 @ 8:00pm
The Nets last second buzzer-beater took the W away from the Thunder. OKC rally back and play
their game or will Brooklyn be named king?

750_venue310. Leather and Laces Party
Liberty Theater; Jan 31 – Feb 1 @ 9:00pm
Located in the heart of New York City in the vigorous Times Square District, this party has old world class. Since its inception in 2004 the Leather & Laces Party quickly became a Super Bowl hit when more than 3,000 guests packing through the doors at the sold-out event. Of course, we still have tickets- just give us a call (1-800-880-8886).

Get to know Texas’ new head coach Charlie Strong

School president Bill Powers pronounced it a “historic day for the University of Texas.”  Charlie Strong accepted the position of head coach of the Longhorns on Saturday and faced his first official press conference this morning.

So what does Strong bring to Texas?  In the infographic below we’ve pulled together highlights from Strong’s career as both a player and a coach, including his last four years as head coach as Louisville where he achieved a 37-15 record.

Do you think Strong is right for Texas? Let us know in the comments below.

Charlie Strong