Twenty games into the 2015-2016 NBA season, the world champion Golden State Warriors have yet to lose a game. Their undefeated status already gives the team the best start in NBA history, and the Warriors build on the record with every victory.
The team’s phenomenal record is only part of the reason why it’s a huge draw among fans around the country. The Warriors rank #1 in the league in points per game and field goal percentage, and reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry is such a dynamic performer that, as the Wall Street Journal noted, fans turn up hours before tip-off simply to watch him do his pre-game warm-up.
After the Warriors won 15 games straight, secondary market ticket seller TiqIQ data reported on just how high the teams’ ticket prices had soared. The average price for what wound up being the team’s record-breaking 16th game, against the Lakers, was $718, the most expensive in NBA regular season history. At the time, the next priciest game this season was on Christmas Day, when the Warriors host LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Two weeks ago, the get-in price was $184; it’s now up to $230 on StubHub. For Warriors’ home games, it’s difficult to find any seats for under $100.
The Warriors Effect is most visibly on display, however, when the team is the visitor, playing in supposedly unfriendly arenas around the country. For example, on StubHub, home game tickets for the woeful 5-13 Brooklyn Nets are routinely available for a mere $15 or $20. When matched up against particularly unexciting opponents, like the Philadelphia 76ers on December 10, Nets home tickets on the secondary market start at only $11.
But on Sunday, December 6, when the Warriors take on the Nets in Brooklyn, the cheapest seat in the house is going for over $100. At StubHub, the get-in price as of Friday was $113, while over at Vivid Seats, the cheapest seat offered was $131.
Likewise, tickets for many Indiana Pacers games in the near future are available on the secondary for $7 or so. When the Warriors visit next Tuesday, though, fans should expect to pay at least $45 or $50. Same goes for the Boston Celtics: Tickets start at $16 or $17 when the Pacers or Pistons are in town in the coming weeks, but are over $100 when the Warriors swing by next Friday.
If there’s a “cheap” ticket out there to see the Warriors, it could be when the Milwaukee Bucks play host to the world champs on Saturday, Dec. 12. Tickets are posted on Vivid Seats for as little as $38. Then again, everything’s relative. For some other Bucks home games, tickets are going for a mere $5.