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Chicago Businesses Brace For Blackhawks Win, Stanley Cup Ticket Prices Soar For Game 6

By Jim Bochnowski in News on Jun 15, 2015 5:00PM

As excitement builds for the possibility of the Blackhawks clinching a Stanley Cup victory in their hometown tonight, fans and businesses alike are preparing themselves for the extraordinary cost of celebration.

The Blackhawks haven't won a championship on home ice in 77 years, so the possibility of seeing them win live at United Center is driving ticket prices through the ceiling. A quick check on ticket resale site StubHub shows the cheapest ticket available for tonight's game costs $780 for a standing room only seat. That means, for the right to stand in a sweaty mess of humanity on the top level of the United Center, you have to drop at least $780. Other tickets are going for as much as $1,200. And the truly outrageously, hilariously rich out there can buy a ticket for a front row seat right now for $25,000.

"It can't get much better than this," local ticket broker Steve Buzil told CBS. But he does predict that prices will eventually go down:

"Nobody's paying six, seven, eight thousand dollars to go sit in a seat. You got to be out of your mind, and I'm a broker telling you that. Three thousand, four thousand, 4,500, that's the meat and potatoes of where the 200 and 100 level are going to trade at."

There are plenty of other places you can watch the game among throngs of screaming Chicagoans if you've been priced out of the United Center. But the previous two recent times the Hawks won the Stanley Cup, things got more than a little out of hand, as this NBC video from 2013 reminds us. Hoards of fans swarmed the streets of Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park following the Hawks' win and smashed several storefront windows before the night's end.

That night 20 people were arrested, according to a Chicago Tribune report, and the city wants to be prepared this time. A spokesperson for 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney confirmed to the Tribune that there will be "increased police resources" in Wrigleyville and that the police are working with bars and other businesses to go over safety plans. And Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said that the department has been working on a safety plan for "months," per NBC.

As far as those plans go, the giant Wrigleyville sports bar Sluggers has a pretty simple solution. Owner Steven Strauss told NBC, "No glassware, use plastic cups and watch your occupancy."

But every bar in town is now tasked with trying to balance customer safety with the potential to make an enormous amount of money. As Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce Communications Director Padraic Swanson told the Tribune, "I think everybody's just trying to bring the Cup home first and foremost, and making some money while we're doing it."

So celebrate responsibly tonight, Chicago. Since winning Stanley Cups is kind of the Blackhawks' thing now, let's all act like we've been here before. (Since we have. Multiple times.)