By Brad Tuttle
May 30, 2017

For the third year in a row, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors will face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. The best-of-seven series starts this Thursday, June 1, and based on how ticket prices are trending, it looks like fans could be tiring of the matchup.

According to the secondary ticket sale and research site TicketIQ, the average “get-in” price—meaning the least expensive seat in the house—is for Golden State’s home games is $423. That may sound like a lot of cash (and it is!) but it’s much cheaper than the lowest-priced tickets during NBA Finals’ games in Oakland in 2016 ($665) and 2015 ($594).

Meanwhile, the average “get-in” price for the NBA Finals hosted in Cleveland hasn’t changed much over the past three years: It’s up slightly to $344 this year, compared to $339 in 2016 and $327 in 2015. But the overall average asking price for NBA Finals games held in Cleveland is down this year, though, to $1,248, compared to $1,362 in 2016 and $1,559 in 2015.

Why the decline? Perhaps fans are less keen on dropping big bucks on high-end seats this year, after LeBron & Co. brought home a championship in 2016.

In fact, the least expensive 2017 NBA Finals game, so far, appears to be Game 3 in Cleveland, the first home matchup for the Cavaliers. Tickets are being listed for as little as $318 at the resale site VividSeats.com, and $325 at StubHub. (Prices cited in this story don’t include all fees added to secondary market ticket sales.)

Unsurprisingly, the most expensive ticket for this year’s NBA Finals is for Game 7 in Oakland, assuming such a game needs to be played (as soon as one team wins four games, the series is over). The cheapest seats in the house for the series’ deciding game are currently starting at $878 to a little over $1,000 depending on which site you visit. (Don’t worry: If you buy a ticket and there’s no game, you’re not on the hook for it.)

That’s actually in the same ballpark as last year’s NBA Finals’ Game 7, when the get-in price for tickets ranged from about $850 to $1,000 just before the deciding game was to be played. As of Monday, the average list price for 2017’s Game 7 is about $2,800, also roughly the same as it was cusp of last year’s Game 7.

So all things considered, even if ticket prices for the 2017 NBA Finals are down a little compared to prior years, they’re still expensive.

If one thing’s clear, it’s that fans haven’t been game to pay top dollar for the Warriors’ and Cavaliers’ very un-dramatic playoff series this spring. The two teams collectively lost a total of one game between them over the last two months. During that time, the average Warriors’ home game ticket price was $497 (not including the Finals), compared to $632 and $524 for the 2016 and 2015 playoffs, respectively, according to TicketIQ. In the Western Conference Finals, when the Warriors faced the San Antonio Spurs for the right to play for the championship, tickets were selling for as little as $60.

 

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