LA Kings Quest for a Dynasty

The reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings have returned to the ice with training camp for the 2014-15 season underway. Their first return to game action at the Staples Center will be September 22nd when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.  For their next week, the team will prepare for that game and try to hone their skills while also putting the memory of last year’s heroics behind them as they seek to win their third Cup in just four years.

The term “dynasty” gets bandied about quite a bit, but the Los Angeles Kings are certainly in a position to make an indelible mark on the sport. No team has won back to back Stanley Cups since the Detroit Red wings back during the 1996-97 and 97-98 seasons.  The closest a team has come to winning the Stanley Cup twice in three years is when the New Jersey Devils took home the Cup in 1999-2000 and then again in 2002-2003, a span of four years.

Not only that, but the Kings have won in dominant fashion, putting away the Devils two years ago in six games (after leading 3-0) and ending the New York Rangers quest for glory in five games (similarly, after leading 3-0.) It certainly cannot be said that the Kings have won via fluke or uncommon occurrences; they have been the best team on the ice during the postseason two out of the past three years.LAKings2014

With such great level of play from the team, it’s no wonder there is such high demand for LA Kings tickets for 2014-15.  Currently, the average ticket price on the secondary market is $140 for Kings tickets.  The most expensive game on the Kings schedule is the home opener against the San Jose Sharks on October 8th.  Kings vs. Sharks tickets have an average ticket price of $322 with a get-in price of $135.  The Sharks notoriously blew a 3-0 lead against the Kings in the opening round, losing by a combined score of 18-5 over the final four games of the series.

If you’re looking to see the Kings for as little as possible, their cheapest regular season game happens to occur just a week later when they host the Edmonton Oilers.  Kings vs. Oilers tickets on October 14th have an average ticket price of $72 with a get-in of just $15.

On November 15th the Kings will host the Anaheim Ducks, another team that took the Kings to the distance in last year’s playoffs.  Anaheim led 3-2 before falling to the Kings in Games 6 and 7.  Tickets to see the Kings vs. the Ducks have an average price of $169.

And arguably the best matchup this calendar year will be when the Chicago Blackhawks visit Los Angeles on November 29th.  Kings vs. Blackhawks tickets have an average price of $208 currently and it will cost at least $53 to get in the door.  Just like the Sharks and Ducks, the Blackhawks fought the Kings for seven games last year, ultimately falling in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals 5-4 in overtime.  It was the most historic Western Conference run of any team, and they topped it off with a victory against the Rangers in five games.

And very soon, we will see if they have any magic left for 2014-15!

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2014 AL Wild Card Race

OaklandA's2014The 2014 American League Wild Card Race is shaping up to have one of the best closing stretches in recent memory. It was only a couple months ago that the Oakland A’s traded for Jon Lester and were being talked about as the best team in baseball. Since then the Athletics have seen the Los Angeles Angels clinch the AL West, and their lead in the AL Wild Card cut to only a single game as of September 19th. In August and September Oakland has gone 17-28, including getting swept by the Texas Rangers and the Atlanta Braves.

During that same stretch, the upstart Seattle Mariners have gone 26-18 and have positioned themselves to make a run at their first postseason appearance since 2001.

Throw in the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers and you have a 4 team race for the final 2 spots in the American League playoff picture.

Here is a look at the keys for each team to get a chance at playing in October:

Detroit Tigers

Out of the 4 teams in the running for the postseason, the Tigers are probably in the most advantageous position. They have arguably the best starting pitching rotation in all of Major League Baseball, with Max Scherzer, David Price, Justin Verlander, and Rick Porcello. The key series for the Tigers will without a doubt be against the Royals. If the Tigers can win 2 of 3 in that series, their chances of winning the AL Central skyrocket. Throw in the fact that Detroit’s final 7 games of the season will be at home against teams that are under .500 and you have to like the Detroit Tigers chances of making the 2014 MLB Postseason

Kansas City Royals

The Royals currently a game up for the final Wild Card Spot in the American League and are a half game back from the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. Their series with the Tigers is without a doubt the most important 3 game stretch of the season. If the Royals win the series, or if they can pull off a sweep of the Tigers, they would have to have a huge collapse in their final 7 games to not make the playoffs. Those final 7 come against favorable competition in the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, but are all on the road.

Oakland A’s

There is no team on this list that is harder to read than the Oakland Athletics. They showed before the all-star break that they have the ability to be one of the best teams in the majors. With a starting pitching rotation that including Jon Lester Jeff Samardzija and new comer Sonny Gray, they have what it takes to just pitch themselves into the post season. But taking a look at their epic slide through August and September, they will have to make some major changes, and quickly. Key for the A’s chances at making the post-season will be winning games that they are “supposed” to win. They finish the season with a 4 game series as Major League Baseball worst Texas Rangers, they will most likely need to win 3 of those games.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners have been on a tear through the final quarter of the season. Behind the stellar pitching of Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, they have continued to string together series victories. Their final 7 games of the season come against a dangerous Toronto Blue Jays team, and AL West champion Los Angeles Angels. If the A’s continue on their current slide, they may only need to go .500 in these games to make the playoffs.

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Texas Longhorns Bye Week Update

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The start of Charlie Strong’s tenure as head coach of the University of Texas Longhorns football team has not been the instant success that many Horns fans had hoped for. An embarrassing loss to the BYU Cougars and a heartbreaking defeat a week later against UCLA has Texas under .500 with a tough Big 12 schedule in front of them.

But if Texas fans will look back only 1 season, they may find reason to hope.

In 2013, the Longhorns were in the exact same place. Texas got beat up by BYU, played better, but still lost to the Ole Miss Rebels a week later, then lost their starting quarterback for the season. That Texas team went on to win 6 straight games, including a rout of the Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry, err… Red River Showdown. Unlikely leader Case McCoy played gutsy enough to put the Texas Longhorns in a position to win the Big 12 title at the end of the season, coming up 20 points short.

Fast forward back to 2014. Texas has a new coaching staff, new schemes, and a new quarterback, but the same opportunity sits in front of them. A bye in week 4 gives Texas a chance to put the non-conference schedule behind them, regroup, and get a little bit healthier. The beginning of the Texas Longhorns Big 12 Conference schedule will be crucial if the boys from Austin are able to salvage 2014.

Here’s a look at the upcoming games for Texas:

Texas Longhorns at Kansas Jayhawks | September 27th 2014 | – Median Ticket Price $34

This game is huge for both teams. The Kansas Jayhawks have won just 1 Big 12 game since 2011 and a win against the Longhorns at Kansas Memorial Stadium in Lawrence would go a long way to putting the Jayhawks back on track. This game is equally as important for the Longhorns who need to gain some confidence heading into what should be the 2 toughest games on their schedule.

Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns | October 4th, 2014 | – Median Ticket Price $115

Baring an upset in Ames on the 27th, the Baylor Bears will enter this game undefeated and as heavily favored as they have been coming into a game in Austin as they might have ever been. From 1993 to 2009 Baylor beat the Longhorns only 1 time. But since 2009 the outlook of this game has changed completely. Baylor comes into 2014 having won 3 of the last 4, as defending Big 12 Champions, and as one of the hot programs in the country. The demand for this game has been on a steady rise over the last few years. The last time the Bears visited Austin (2012) the median ticket price was $95. Last year’s game in Waco, the median ticket price was $129. Look for tickets to this year’s game to approach that number and for demand for this rivalry to continue to rise.

Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners | October 11th, 2014 | – Median Ticket Price $228

The Red River Showdown is always one of the biggest games of the season. Oklahoma has serious playoff aspirations and would like nothing more than to beat up the Longhorns for the 3rd time in 4 years. Texas is hoping for a repeat of last year’s improbable lopsided victory over the Sooners at the Cotton Bowl. Despite the Longhorns struggles early this season, the demand for tickets it up from last year, where the median ticket price ended at $177.

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Get To Know Our New Hires: Ajay and Ian!!

Get To Know Our New Hires!!

Ajay:

Taking over our Network Administrator role is Ajay!  He moved to Austin from NOLA more than a decade ago – that’s what you can practically call a native Austinite nowadays, right?  The entire team here at TC is really happy for him to join our IT Ranks.  While attending UT, he met his future wife (aww) and they have a daughter in 2nd grade who loves to watch Dad play video games.  We are ecstatic to welcome Ajay to the TicketCity team!!

Road Trip Questions:

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten? Either chocolate chip cricket cookies or mealworm salsa – they’re pretty good!

What is the wildest thing you would consider doing to your hair? I regularly think about shaving my hair into a mohawk

If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce? Outlawing ketchup for anyone over the age of 9 (FYI: my country would most likely be stuck in an ideological war with Ajay’s country)

If you could be a member of any TV-sitcom family, which would it be? The Huxtables so I could hang out with Bill Cosby and eat Pudding Pops

 

Ian:

Our new Content and Affiliate Marketing Specialist is Dallas born and Arkadelphia (yes, apparently that is a real place in Arkansas) raised.  We are more than excited to have Ian join our Marketing team!!  After majoring in English at UT, he worked in a number of different industries, including non-profits, ecommerce, and transcription services.  As a sports and live event enthusiast, we couldn’t think of a better fit for him than here at TicketCity!

Road Trip Questions:

What one thing would you want with you if you were shipwrecked? A volleyball/best friend. Wilson!!

Do you collect anything? Concert posters

What is your favorite potato chip flavor? Salt & Vinegar

What is the best sports stadium/arena you have been to? For football I love D.K.R. in Austin. For baseball AT&T Park in San Francisco is absolutely gorgeous.

If someone were to offer you an unlimited supply of one thing (besides money), what would you ask for? Tacos.  Can anyone ever have enough tacos?

Ninjas or pirates?  Ninjas

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UFC 178 Preview

Demetrious JohnsonWe’re about a week away from UFC 178.  The entire card features eleven matches that evening with three Bantamweight matches (including one female Bantamweight match) as well as three lightweight, two welterweight, and one flyweight and middleweight matches each.  Those ten fights will take place before the final match on the card, the UFC Flyweight Championship to be fought between champion Demetrious Johnson against challenger Chris Cariaso.

UFC 178 will be taking place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 27, 2014.  Currently, the median ticket price for UFC tickets is $209, lower level seats begin at $220 and the most expensive seats in the house, located on the Floor next to the Octagon, start at $487.

The headliner will pit the current Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson versus Chris Cariaso.  Originally scheduled for UFC 177 to take place on August 30th of this year, but was eventually rescheduled for the 27th of September in UFC 178.  Johnsons boasts a career 20-2-1 record in Mixed Martial Arts competition, including a sterling 8-1-1 record in UFC.  He has defended his title four times thus far, winning each match.

Cariaso will be a tough opponent, though Vegas prognosticators have the challenger as a 7-1 underdog.  If Johnson can dispatch of Cariaso, he’ll retain his title and potentially receive more lucrative fights in the near future.  Johnson has repeatedly stated he views the UFC as a moneymaker for him with the pay incentive his highest priority over defending his championship or any other “Octagon glory.”

Eddie Alvarez will be making his UFC debut after being released from his contract at Bellator.  Alvarez went 9-1 during four years over at Bellator, winning most recently against Michael Chandler for the Lightweight Championship.  He’ll face off against Donald Cerrone who most recently appeared on July 16th at Atlantic City where he defeated Jim Miller in the second round.

With Johnson and Alvarez the top two draws on the card, there’s little reason for demand in the event to wane over the next few days. The secondary ticket market has demonstrated strong demand for UFC 178 and UFC officials expect a high number of UFC fans to purchase the pay-per-view.  Add in another nine matches on the card, and there will be plenty of entertainment at MGM Grand Arena on September 27th!

Below is the full card for UFC 178:

Main Card: 10:00 p.m. ET

UFC Flyweight Championship: Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Chris Cariaso

Lightweight: Eddie Alvarez vs. Donald Cerrone

Featherweight: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier

Middleweight: Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero

Female Bantamweight: Amanda Nunes vs. Cat Zingano

Preliminary Card: 8:00 p.m. ET

Bantamweight: Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki

Lightweight: James Krause vs. Jorge Masvidal

Welterweight: Patrick Cote vs. Stephen Thompson

Welterweight: Brian Ebersole vs. John Howard

Preliminary Card: 7:00 p.m. ET

Lightweight: Kevin Lee vs. Jon Tuck

Bantamweight: Manny Gamburyan vs. Cody Gibson

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