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The Cost of Being a Buffalo Sabres Fan

Getting the most bang for your buck

Toronto Maple Leafs v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

The Buffalo Sabres are one of the more enjoyable teams in the NHL.

At least that’s what the numbers say.

A recent publication by datascience@Berkeley, the online masters in data science program from UC Berkeley, used advanced metrics to compile data to analyze the ‘cost’ of being a sports fan. They analyzed teams from the NHL, MLB, NFL and NBA.

So how did the Sabres stack up?

First up: the fun factor. Teams were scored on three variables: ticket prices, average fullness of arena, and price of beer.

Taking all that into consideration, the Sabres ranked seventh among NHL teams. (Note: this data was compiled prior to Vegas’ entry in the league.) With an average ticket price of $49.72, decent arena fullness, and a beer averaging $4.80, the Sabres fell into the top part of the league.

Dallas ranked number one, with $37.28 average ticket price and $4.50 beer. Carolina ranked last ($61.04 average ticket, $4.88 for a beer, and just over half-full arenas.)

Teams were also ranked on the average cost to attend a game, parking & food - and how that compares o the team’s success and value and the city’s cost of living.

The Sabres ranked 22nd among NHL teams in that category, with a team value of $350 million. All things considered, the “cost” of being a Sabres fan was calculated at $74.97 - taking into consideration that the team has a low all-time winning percentage and low five-year winning percentage.

Finally, teams were analyzed to determine which team gives fans the most “bang” for their buck.

The Sabres were ranked as a “bad deal,” seventh-worst in the NHL. That’s due to their winning percentage over the last five years (not great) combined with ticket price (actually one of the lowest in the league.)

Tampa Bay was determined to be the ‘best deal’ in the NHL, while Toronto was - unsurprisingly - the worst.

The final analysis was on the cost of fans’ commitment to their city’s teams. Buffalo wasn’t ranked in this one, since only teams with at least one sports team in each of the ‘big four’ leagues was considered. Buffalo is, of course, missing the MLB and NBA teams.

That being said, the NFL’s Buffalo Bills were ranked in the bottom half among NFL teams in terms of how enjoyable the game experience is; 17th in terms of the cost if the game, and considered middle of the road when it comes to being a “good” or “bad” deal.

Full report available here.