StubHub’s 2019 NHL Preview: St. Louis Demand Skyrockets after Stanley Cup Win; Golden Knights Remain #1 In-Demand Team

eBay sales data reveals fans side with Sidney Crosby in rivalry with Alex Ovechkin; Bruins dominate in overall merch sold on the marketplace

See past NHL Previews here: 2018, 2017

With only two weeks to go until the NHL season opener on October 2, StubHub is excited to reveal the Top 10 teams of the year, the best-selling games of 2019, teams on the rise and much more. StubHub also teamed up with eBay data analysts to determine which NHL teams, states and players drive the most merch sales on the online marketplace. Read on for in-depth highlights in the season preview below. 

LEADING SQUADS: TOP 10 IN-DEMAND TEAMS OF 2019

  • Vegas Golden Knights Reign: Vegas Golden Knights take the #1 in-demand team for the third year in a row, based on ticket sales on StubHub. They outsell the #2 Rangers by 28%.
  • Newcomers: St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators enter StubHub’s Top 10 in-demand teams list for the first time ever in 2019. 
  • The Great North Stay Strong: Two Canadian teams make the Top 10 list for the sixth year in a row. 
  • Staying Power: Five teams have been on StubHub’s Top 10 in-demand list for six straight years: Blackhawks, Bruins, Rangers, Canadiens and Maple Leafs.

“The 2019 NHL season has some unique storylines with the combination of both historic and emerging teams,” said Akshay Khanna, GM of the NHL at StubHub. “Maintaining their position as the top-selling team, The Golden Knights still have that newcomer excitement, but we also have the reigning first-time Stanley Cup champion Blues making their debut on StubHub’s Top 10 list of 2019.” 

eBay’s TOP 10 MOST POPULAR NHL TEAMS 

  • The Stanley Cup Bump: Following their first-ever Stanley Cup win in June 2019, sales of St. Louis Blues merchandise jumped an impressive 220% on eBay from the month prior.
  • Bruins Beat the Blackhawks: In the past year, the most popular hockey team on eBay, the Boston Bruins, shut out number two team, the Chicago Blackhawks, by 50% in terms of total merch sold.
  • Champions On and Off the Ice: Recent Stanley Cup winners maintain their titles on eBay too; the Washington Capitals (2018 winners), Pittsburgh Penguins (2016 and 2017 winners) and the Chicago Blackhawks (2015 winners) are all among the marketplaces 5 most popular teams.  

eBay’s TOP 10 MOST POPULAR TEAM JERSEYS

  • The Comeback: After a rough start to the 2018-19 season, the Chicago Blackhawks caught fire in the second half of the season which was reflected on eBay; the team sold the more NHL jerseys than any other team in the past year.
  • East Versus West, Answered: Nearly 60% of the top 10 most popular team jerseys on eBay are east coast teams.
    • New York even edged out California by 5% in NHL merchandise sold on the marketplace in the past year.

“Thanks to our breadth of inventory, eBay is poised to get an inside look at fans’ loyalties heading into the 2019-20 NHL season. For example, while Bruins merch is the most popular on eBay overall, fans are repping Blackhawks and Penguins jerseys more than those from Boston’s home team,” says Sam Bright, eBay’s VP of Soft Goods. “As we gear up for the first puck drop in October, hockey lovers around the US know they can head to eBay to find that perfect jersey or piece of merch to rep their favorite team.”

eBay’s TOP 10 Most In-Demand Players

  • The Fans Pick a Side: While Penguins legend Sidney Crosby sold the most memorabilia on eBay over the past year, he’s been dethroned by Oilers player Connor McDavid when it comes to most valuable merch. On average, McDavid merchandise was 144% more expensive than Crosby’s.
  • O Canada: Half of the 10 most popular hockey players on eBay hail from Canadian teams; only 3 of the top players are from the US.

TRENDING TEAMS: BIGGEST GROWTH SINCE 2018

  • A Different Type of King: Reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues are #1 trending team of 2019, up 277% from 2018. 
  • Drafting Up: New Jersey has the second-highest growth from 2018, likely thanks to their highly-regarded #1 overall draft pick, Jack Hughes. 
  • On the Rise: Predators have a 60% growth in ticket sales since their 2018 playoff run, not only landing them at the #7 spot for trending teams but also lifting them to the overall Top 10 in-demand list for the first time ever.
  • The Great North Trends: There are three Canadian teams trending in 2019: Vancouver has the highest growth, followed by Montreal and Winnipeg. 

POSTSEASON SUCCESS DRIVES EARLY ENTHUSIASM

  • The past four Stanley Cup champs experienced an average increase of 40% in sales on StubHub in the season after their victory. 
  • The Top 10 In-Demand list and Top Trending list have a strong presence of teams that made the playoffs. Of the 16 teams that made it to the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, nine are featured on the two lists, proving that postseason success can lead to early optimism the following year. 
  • All eight teams that made it to Round 2 of the playoffs experienced positive growth in ticket sales since 2018, including the massive increase in demand from the Blues, Stars and Avalanche. 

“StubHub is seeing big growth from teams that went far in the 2018 playoffs, including the small-town Blues making big-time moves as the Stanley Cup champions, contributing to their monumental 277% growth since last year,” Khanna said. “In addition, the Hurricanes, after ending a nine-year playoff drought, the central division champion Predators and the Dallas Stars all make StubHub’s trending list after successful 2018 playoffs.”

MARQUEE MATCHUPS: TOP-SELLING GAMES OF 2019

  • Stanley Cup Champs Draw: The #1 most in-demand game on StubHub features the last two Stanley Cup champions facing off, with Washington at St. Louis. The #1 game is outselling last year’s #1 game (Flyers at Golden Knights) by 18%. 
  • Winter Classic: NHL’s popular Winter Classic matchup is in the top 5 games for the second year in a row.

eBay’s TOP 10 STATES WITH THE MOST LOYALTY

  • Illinois Fans Set the Standard: Hockey fans in Illinois came out strong to show support for their native Chicago Blackhawks on eBay. Merchandise sales in Illinois were the highest of any state with only one NHL team, and even beat out Florida, which is home to both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Panthers.

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For more information and commentary on NHL or any other event, please reach out to PR@StubHub.com. 

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