Three of the four All-Star Games in the major American professional sports will be played over the next three weeks, but only one of the exhibitions has created a stir on the ticket resale market.
The NBA All-Star Game is annually a weekend filled with A-listers on and off the court and this year will certainly be no different with the game scheduled for Sunday, February 20 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, home to Hollywood stars and the three-time defending NBA champion Lakers alike. Superstars such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony were among the players voted to the starting lineups by fans.
Ace Ticket president Jim Holzman told TicketNews that he’s selling NBA All-Star Game tickets for $600 apiece. “I wish my name was Harris [Rosner] or Barry this week,” Holzman said with a laugh, referring to Los Angeles-based resellers VIP Tickets (where Rosner is the CEO) and Barry’s Tickets.
“We’re doing good with it,” Holzman said. “You have a lot of stars in the NBA right now, you really do. The fact it’s in L.A. this year, home of a basketball team, is [important].”
Demand is considerably less for the NHL All-Star Game and the NFL Pro Bowl, both of which will be played Sunday, January 30. The NHL All-Star Game, which will be held at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC, has garnered some attention this year for its unique selection process in which the players will pick the teams, a la a playground game, from a pool determined by fan balloting and the NHL.
“The NHL is doing this draft-type situation for the teams, which I think is actually a really fun approach,” said Holzman, who said the NHL All-Star Game tickets are available starting at $200.
The timing of the Pro Bowl, which can’t be played during the season because of the inherent risk of injury, as well as its location in Hawaii always makes it the least notable of the four all-star games. The NFL tried to generate some interest in it last year by moving it to Miami (site of Super Bowl XLIV) and playing it in between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, though that arrangement meant Super Bowl players could not participate. And while the scheduling and format stuck this year, the game was moved back to Hawaii, where Holzman said tickets are going for $150.
None of the winter all-star games can approach the popularity of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which, as the oldest of the four all-star games, has history on its side as well as the advantage of being played in optimal weather.
“I would say that the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is by far the most popular one — really, I would say it’s three times bigger than the other sports,” Holzman said. “Tickets for the NHL All-Star Game are running from $200 and up. You’ll never get a seat to the Major League Baseball All-Star game at $200.”