Within a month of LeBron James’ “Decision” to join the Miami Heat, Sports Illustrated dubbed the Heat one of the 25 most hated teams of all-time. Just imagine how high the Heat might climb on that list once fans in other NBA cities find out how tough and expensive it will be to watch their favorite team host the Heat.
A check of StubHub the morning of Friday, August 27 revealed some eye-popping prices for Heat road games. The top price for a ticket to the Heat’s season opener Tuesday, October 26 at defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics is a tidy $18,920.
Amazingly, that is neither the expensive nor second-most expensive high ticket price for Heat road games scheduled before December 31. The top price for a ticket to see the Heat visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day is $22,942. Yet, someone who spends top dollar for a Heat-Lakers game will have more left over for stocking stuffers than the fan in Dallas, where tickets to the Heat-Mavericks game Saturday, November 27 are currently going for a cool $26,318.
Of the 17 road games the Heat are scheduled to play through December 31, only four currently have a top ticket price of less than $1,000. The most expensive ticket to the Heat-Hornets game in New Orleans on Friday, November 5 is “just” $699. Games in Sacramento Saturday, December 11 ($834), Milwaukee ($900) Monday, December 6 and Utah ($920) Wednesday, December 8 also remain in triple digits—for now, anyway.
The top ticket prices are the ones that grab the most attention, but the cheap seats are pretty pricey for Heat road games as well. The lowest price to nine of the Heat’s first 17 road games is still more than $100, led by a $239 ticket for the game at the Lakers. The cheapest cheap seat thus far is $48 to see the New Jersey Nets host the Heat Sunday, October 31.
Fans hoping to buy tickets to a Heat road game the old-fashioned way may not find it any easier to do so. The Dallas Morning News reported earlier this month the Mavericks will not sell single-game tickets for the Heat’s lone visit to Dallas.
The Charlotte Bobcats, one of the Heat’s division rivals, might be following suit: According to the Charlotte Observer, Bobcats president Fred Whitfield spoke at a Charlotte Chamber meeting Monday, August 23 and said the Bobcats may not offer single-game ticket sales to the games against the Heat, scheduled for Monday, January 3 and Friday, February 4.
Another Southeast Division foe, the Atlanta Hawks, announced plans to implement Qcue’s “dynamic pricing” technology—in which the price of tickets changes as demand rises and falls—this season. If the summertime demand for the Heat nationwide is any indication, expect the dynamic pricing decision to pay dividends for the Hawks when the Heat visit Atlanta Friday, March 18 and Monday, April 11.