WASHINGTON — Thousands of people are getting ready to spend Memorial Day weekend at the beach, part of the annual pilgrimage of people more than ready to kick off the unofficial start of summer. But this year a new option has opened up: kick off summer on the ice.
No offense to cities like Winnipeg, which sits more than 200 miles directly north of Fargo, North Dakota, and could still be in the grip of winter for all we know, but heading to Vegas for a few days is much more appealing.
It’s also affordable.
Even booking flights at the last minute isn’t prohibitively expensive. Online travel sites can get you from the D.C. area to Vegas and back for under $400 (for the purposes of this article, it was for a flight that leaves Sunday morning and returns on Thursday, after games 1 and 2 have been played).
One airline known for cheap fares even has a flight to Vegas for $102 Sunday morning. Ultimately, prices will vary pretty substantially based on which airport you leave from, which airline you take, and when you’re flying. But if you’re just now booking your trip, you have a little flexibility, right?
Once you arrive in Vegas, you’ll have to figure out a place to stay.
That’s probably the easiest part. Even limiting a hotel search to the Las Vegas Strip, rooms in four-star hotels can be had for under $100, before assorted taxes and fees are factored in.
But we can safely say that if you’re fine in a typical hotel room, you can crash for under $150 a night on the strip and be within walking distance of the arena.
Getting inside Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena is where things start to get expensive.
Tickets officially go on sale to the public Friday morning in Las Vegas, and the cheap seats start at $275 per ticket. It’s not really a bargain, but compared to what the secondary market costs it sure is.
We checked two online ticket brokers and found tickets in the upper level starting at more than $900 — per seat — and often listed at more than a thousand bucks. Some seats in the lower level weren’t too much more expensive.
Depending on how close to the ice and what section of the seating bowl you were in, they’re generally listed between $1,200 and $2,500 a seat.
But if you’re really a die-hard, and you can afford it, a pair of seats right along the glass behind the Capitals’ bench was $4,500 — each — on one site.