This week on Twitter, we asked what ticket you would buy if you had enough money for just one NBA/NCAA game. Duke vs. North Carolina is always a popular selection, followed behind Cavs-Bulls playoffs, or my personal favorite, Golden State vs. the Clippers, in Oakland.
The assumption made was that all those tickets, for relatively good teams, in relatively big games, would be within the same price range. Playoff games would run much higher, along with courtside, a box, etc. In reality, the numbers for NBA games are nowhere near the same, with the difference between the highest average ticket price and the lowest being nearly $100.
Why are we (the world community) paying so much to see such poor basketball? Statista.com’s list of average ticket prices has two times with prices over $100: the Knicks and the Lakers. I understand, big city, big lights, whatever. Everything’s more expensive in the big cities. But that doesn’t help explain why the Clippers, playing better basketball, in the same building, can only get $78 per ticket, $25 less than their building-mates. Even in New York, a Nets ticket, just a short trip from Madison Square Garden, will cost you HALF the price. And no, the Nets aren’t good, but they’re not the dang Knicks.
If it were greed from the owners who are driving up prices despite not filling the stadium, ok. I’d give the world a pass. But the issue comes when the Knicks are 4th in attendance. A team with 17 wins, playing without their superstar for half the season, had a higher home turnout than the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and, painfully, the world champion Warriors. And while we’re all hurting a little inside, let’s get it all out there. It’s not that the capacity of Madison Square Garden is so much greater than that of Oracle. In terms of percentage of potential attendance, both the Knicks and Warriors finished at 100%, meaning they averaged a sellout.
THE KNICKS AVERAGED A SELLOUT.
AND THESE KNICKS:
Better yet, I’ll let Stephen A explain it:
In my hypothetical “buy one ticket” scenario, I failed to give a price, not thinking it would be necessary. But, let’s take a flat amount, $100, and see how far it gets us. By the end, I hope you start to understand how absurd NBA ticket prices have become, and how equally absurd the people are paying for these tickets.
As I said earlier, my go-to would be seeing Golden State-LAC in Oakland. Lucky for me, ticketsnow.com, one of the NBA’s official and verified has tickets for $64 each. They’re nosebleeds, probably behind the pole. But I’m in the building. And I’ve got enough money for the a few hot dogs and cab fare to and from my hotel. Plus it’s going to be California. And I’d do anything to be in California during the winter rather than the Midwest.
Juxtapose that with when the Clippers travel to New York on January 22nd. Average temperature for that time of year is around 30 degrees, but it’s obviously inside, so that’s a minor thing to get over. You’re in New York City, which is always bussin’. But this ticket will cost you 20$ more for your nosebleeds. Plus beer prices will be about 33% higher, along with food and parking (nerdwallet.com). At least you get to see good basketball Jack Nicholson?
That’s just one example. Nerdwallet.com does an excellent job showing in numbers the cost for a family to attend a game. The picture below represents that research, and the numbers are the final nail I’ve got to put in the coffin. Families are paying DOUBLE overall to watch the Knicks over the Warriors, and almost QUADRUPLE to watch the Knicks over the Cavs!
The list goes on and on of games that are $20, $30, even $40 more when the Knicks are playing, than when the world champion Warriors, with one of the 6-7 best players in the world and reigning MVP playing. Instead, people in the largest city in the U.S. are paying top dollar to watch their mockery of a franchise get blown out of the water, while the superstar they’ve poured their entire bank accounts into, their coach who probably couldn’t win a junior high championship, and GM who can’t hold a promise, sit back and act like everything is ok. Because everybody’s still buying tickets. Some call it loyalty, but I prefer “stupidity”. Stop paying money to watch your crap team, New York. Once that money stops flowing, maybe the ownership, GM, and coach will wake up.