The NBA season is now well under way, and some teams are much bigger revenue generators than others. These teams drive up TV ratings when they play, and tickets at their arenas are among the most expensive in the NBA. When they go to other cities, they boost ticket prices there as well.
Secondary market ticket resource TiqIQ provided 24/7 Wall St. with average ticket prices for each of the NBA’s 30 teams for the rest of the 2013-2014 season. The Miami Heat have the most expensive road tickets in the league by far. Fans in other cities wishing to see the team in action will have to shell out an average of $268 when the Heat comes to town. The average NBA ticket for the rest of the year is just $130. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the eight teams with average road game ticket prices of more than $150.
Many of the teams with the most expensive home games are from some of the biggest cities in the country. NBA teams from New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the three largest cities in the U.S., have among the highest average road prices. TiqIQ’s Jesse Lawrence explained that teams from larger cities tend to have more fans living in other parts of the country. And those fans often want to come and see their teams. There are two teams from the New York area among the eight teams with the highest road prices. This makes sense, explained Lawrence, because “there are New Yorkers everywhere.”
However, being from a large city isn’t everything. Some of these teams are also generating a great deal of excitement from local fans. Many of these teams have either been recently successful, or have a long history of winning. The Lakers and Bulls, which have the second- and third-most total NBA titles, are both in the top five for average road ticket price.
Some teams that draw large audiences are not necessarily storied franchises but are considered serious championship contenders. The Oklahoma City Thunder, which moved from Seattle in 2008, have made the playoffs in each of the last four years. The team even made it to the NBA finals two years ago.
By far, the team that attracts the most attention is the Miami Heat. Lawrence explained that the team has two major factors attracting fans from around the country to its games. The Heat not only features several of the biggest stars in the NBA, including the biggest — LeBron James — but it also won the Championship the last two years.
“There’s always a champion’s premium, where fans say ‘I want to see how we stack up against the best there is,’” explained Lawrence.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average road ticket price for each NBA team as of January 2 for the remainder of the 2013-2014 season. All ticket price data were provided by TiqIQ and represent the face value of tickets available on secondary market sites. Additional statistics, including win-loss records, attendance statistics, injuries and player performance, came from ESPN.com, NBA.com and pro-basketball-reference.com.
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