This year’s first round of the NBA playoffs has had its fair share of great moments from the hotly contested Bulls-Celtics series to Lebron and the Cavaliers’ dominating first round performance. Despite that, most fans are continuing to choose to watch the games from the comfort of their own home rather than buy tickets.
According to data provided by StubHub, eight of the sixteen teams that entered playoffs have seen a decrease in the average ticket selling price for their first round home games since the playoffs began. The first round kicked off on April 18, and even at that point, prices had seen a significant drop-off from 2008.
The Atlanta Hawks, which are up three-games-to-two in their series versus the Miami Heat, experienced the biggest drop-off over the past two weeks. The average price for their home games decreased by 25 percent, going from $68 to $51 and compared to last season’s average the price is down more than 43 percent. Game 6 is tonight, May 1, in Miami.
Other teams that suffered a drop in prices since the postseason began include the Orlando Magic, surprisingly Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. On StubHub, the Chicago Bulls average ticket price of $117 has not changed over the past couple weeks, but that doesn’t mean Chicago ticket brokers are still not suffering during this season’s playoffs.
“It wasn’t what people think,” Jerry Richardson of the Chicago-based Gold Coast Tickets, told TicketNews. “People are down on the Bulls.”
Richardson said that most of their tickets for the Bulls home games were selling for slightly more than $50, slightly above face value. He added that Chicago’s NHL team, the Blackhawks, were faring far better and that there were still tickets available at the box office just prior to Thursday night’s Game 6.
“We got beat up all year [on Bulls tickets],” he said adding that the reason tickets are even at the level they are now is because of their opponent, the Boston Celtics. “[Prices] will go down in the second round.”
Of course there are always exceptions, and the surprising Dallas Mavericks are the biggest. The average ticket price on StubHub for their first-round home games grew from $64 to $98, a more than 53 percent increase, due to the Mavericks getting hot and showing their mettle against the San Antonio Spurs. The Mavericks ended up knocking out the Spurs.
The Miami Heat and Houston Rockets also saw their prices increase over the last two weeks.