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Dig deep if you want to watch the Hawks up close Wednesday

Max Waisbisz works Gold Coast Tickets Chicago. June 10 2013.  | Alex Wroblewski~Sun-Times

Max Waisbisz works at Gold Coast Tickets in Chicago. June 10, 2013. | Alex Wroblewski~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 12, 2013 6:41AM



Want to press your face against the glass to see the puck better when the Blackhawks take the ice Wednesday at the United Center against the Boston Bruins in Game One of the Stanley Cup finals?

“That will cost $5,250,” said Paul Brown, owner of AAA Tickets.

The market dictates the price, and Stanley Cup tickets are the hottest items in town.

Nosebleed seats in the upper level at the United Center are selling for between $375 and $550. Standing room only tickets are going for about $250. Lower level seats will set you back around $2,200, and mid mid-level seats cost about $1,500, said Brown.

Prices rise incrementally for each home game in the series. If the Hawks play a Game Seven, expect to pay double what you would for a Game One seat, Brown said.

Prices fluctuate between brokers. Max Waisbisz of Gold Coast tickets says he’s dropped the price of higher end tickets compared to the 2010 Stanley Cup series, when the Hawks ended a 49-year Stanley Cup drought and capped a juggernaut resurrection under new owner Rocky Wirtz.

“A seat going for $2,500 in the lower level, I’m selling that for $1,000 because people aren’t buying the higher price.”

Brown, on the other hand, says prices are pretty much the same as they were in 2010. The discrepancy goes to show that buyers should shop around.

Several ticket sellers estimated 2,400 game one tickets were available Monday through brokers or season ticket holders.

To avoid fraudulent tickets, the Better Business Bureau recommends verifying the location of the seats on a chart provided by the United Center and paying with a credit card. Do not not buy tickets from Internet sites that are not clear and upfront about their policies, and check to see if the ticket broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers.

One cautionary tale was offered up by a Bucktown attorney who met a seller he found on Craigslist at a South Loop bank last week to buy Game Five tickets against the Kings.

“I saw these great tickets for $230 a piece and got in touch with this guy, and he said his boss gave them to him but he had to get rid of them because he had attend a wedding,” said the buyer, who asked not to be named.

“They were fakes. I got greedy. I should have known better.”

A few others are turning to the Internet bartering table Craigslist offers. A quick scan Monday afternoon saw offers ranging from an iPad to Bears-Packers tickets in exchange for Hawks tickets.

And then there’s the case of diehard Hawks fan Antonio Fierro, who, from his desk in the depths of the enemy’s lair — the basement of Boston City Hall — hatched a plan to see his team when they play in Bean Town next week.

“Basically, you can stay at my place and eat all my Ramen and drink whatever PBRs are in the fridge in exchange for a ticket — preferably two,” Fierro said Monday, paraphrasing an ad he placed on Craigslist.

The 26-year-old city worker has a Hawks tattoo on his leg and wears a Hawks hat in the office.

“I am getting a lot of dirty looks, especially on the train,” said Fierro, who grew up in Florida but fell in love with the Hawks after seeing a cute girl wearing a Blackhawks jersey as a kid.

Last week after the Hawks beat the Kings to advance to the finals, Fierro drove around Bean Town blasting the Chelsea Dagger tune that accompanies Hawks goals.

“I am hockey’s Paul Revere,” he joked.

Contributing: Nausheen Husain



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