While the NBA Finals begin between two small market teams that have made few trips this far into the playoffs, court tickets in the secondary market are comparable to the price of a new car.
The most expensive ticket for Game 3 at Forum Fiserv, as of Tuesday afternoon, was $ 29,000 for the front row of Section 4, according to TicketIQ, one of the many online marketplaces for the sale of third-party tickets.
“It’s a famous person’s seat,” said Jesse Lawrence, founder of TicketIQ.
This ticket has since disappeared, but another announcement on Gametime for a first row seat is listed at $ 21,577 Wednesday afternoon.
On average, ticket listings in Phoenix have been higher than in Milwaukee, although prices are constantly changing.
A pair of Game 7 seats (if it’s a penultimate tie-break) is listed for $ 51,704 at the Phoenix Suns Arena – and it’s not even number one.
“In Phoenix there are a lot of spots over $ 5,000,” Lawrence said. “All these tickets raise the average.”
In Milwaukee, fewer listings have passed the $ 5,000 mark so far.
Several factors influence prices, from scarcity (more people who buy tickets actually want to keep them rather than resell them), to timing (people are eager to revel in a more open world as the pandemic is abating).
And then there’s the fact that the fans don’t know when they’ll be able to see these teams play in the final again.
“The longer the team has been out of the final, generally speaking, the more expensive these tickets will be,” said Lawrence.
The last time the Milwaukee Bucks entered the NBA Finals was in 1974; for the Phoenix Suns, it was 1993.
The Suns have yet to win a championship.
Tickets sold directly through the NBA on Ticketmaster were picked up almost immediately after the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Championships.
Now, third-party sellers control the market.
The average final ticket price for both teams now ranks among the top ten costs for final tickets over the past 10 years on TicketIQ. 2011 was the first year that TicketIQ started tracking ticket price data.
Some sites, like StubHub, charge a fee in addition to the listed price. When that price runs into the thousands, that fee can be a big chunk of change – sometimes up to $ 100 or more, even the cheapest seats selling in the $ 500 range.
TicketIQ operates on a “no charge” model in order to offer customers the best price.
“We tried to simplify it and just take the fees out of the equation,” Lawrence said.
Contact Isabel Koyama at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @ox_fur_comma.