Skip to content

Average NBA ticket passes $50, up 3.5% from year before

Feb 14, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT

Grizzlies arena Getty Images

It’s expensive to go to an NBA game.

According to an annual report published at ESPN, the cost of the average NBA ticket is $50.99, up 3.5 percent from the year before. That is still less than the average NFL ticket ($78, and those stadiums are much larger) and the NHL ($61), but less than MLB.

But if you take your family and need four tickets, plus parking, plus hot dogs and a soda… it adds up fast.

Say it’s expensive to attend a game and the league office will tell you how every team is required to have some $10 seats set aside for every game — and they do. Teams league wide also do a good job of working with local youth groups to help get schools and Boy Scout troupes in at a reduced price.

They just balance that out with luxury boxes and expensive courtside seats. Make no mistake — that is what drives gate and arena revenue. The casual fan who pays to sit way up at the top of the arena is a shrinking part of the economic reality for teams. Not that teams ignore or don’t care about those fans, they do, but that’s not what drives the economic model anymore. And we all know teams follow the money.

Really, if you want to attend a game at an affordable price, the way to do it is the secondary ticket market (like Stubhub). You can literally get tickets to games for under $1 — not the big games, you’re not going to Heat vs. Thunder for that price, but if you just want in an NBA arena at an affordable price, the tickets are there.

Latest Posts
  1. Sixers sign another injured player, agree to deal with Pierre Jackson

    Jul 24, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Pierre Jackson AP

    Sixers continue their plan of seeking out delayed gratification.

  2. Agency that reps Ray Allen says reports he intends to play for Cavaliers are ‘unfounded,’ no decision has been made

    Jul 24, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT

    Miami Heat's Allen and James slap hands during the second half of Game 4 of their NBA first round playoff series in Milwaukee Reuters

    Despite reports that Allen was on the verge of signing with Cleveland, nothing has been decided just yet.

  3. Blake Griffin withdraws from USA Basketball this summer

    Jul 24, 2014, 8:44 PM EDT

    Blake Griffin Getty Images

    Blake Griffin joins Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge as players who are passing on Team USA this summer.

  4. Thursday And-1 links: All-Star logos, Pharrell Williams, Carmelo Anthony as anchor on Knicks

    Jul 24, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    2015 All-Star logo

    Plus there is an image of Dwyane Wade playing hoops with a dolphin.

  5. Report: John Wall added to roster for Team USA training camp in Las Vegas

    Jul 24, 2014, 7:18 PM EDT

    John Wall, LeBron James

    Team USA is bringing Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose and John Wall to camp. And that’s just at the point guard spot.

  6. Michael Jordan’s signed 1997-98 $33 million contract up for auction

    Jul 24, 2014, 5:02 PM EDT

    Michael Jordan AP

    It’s the largest single-year contract in NBA history.

  7. Cavaliers officially sign Andrew Wiggins, putting 30-day hold on him being traded

    Jul 24, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    It’s another 30 days Minnesota can try to leverage a better deal out of Chicago, Golden State and anyone else who wants Kevin Love.

  8. Is Paul George changing numbers?

    Jul 24, 2014, 3:33 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game 5 Getty Images

    His new nickname could be PG-13.

  9. Chandler Parsons: Rockets told me to pursue big contract, they’d match

    Jul 24, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

    Chandler Parsons Chandler Parsons

    Houston obviously didn’t match, allowing Parsons to sign with Mavericks

  10. Lakers deny rumor they are waiting around for Doc Rivers to be coach

    Jul 24, 2014, 12:19 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Boston Celtics Getty Images

    Do you think Jim Buss is going to give up his job, step aside for Rivers and put someone in over long-time trusted Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak? Really?

  11. Nuggets sign former ACC Player of the Year Erick Green

    Jul 24, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

    Nick Covington, Erick Green Nick Covington, Erick Green

    Green, drafted No. 46 in 2013, spent a year overseas

  12. Josh Huestis’ agent says D-League scheme arranged before NBA draft

    Jul 24, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

    Josh Huestis Josh Huestis

    Huestis would have accepted arrangement only with Thunder or Spurs, but will the NBA or players union allow it?

  13. Isaiah Thomas: ‘I felt very disrespected’ by Kings

    Jul 24, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

    Isaiah Thomas, Michael Malone Isaiah Thomas, Michael Malone

    Sacramento’s search for a starting-caliber point guard let the one already there leave for Suns

  14. Report: Manu Ginobili ‘optimistic’ about playing in World Cup despite Spurs’ wishes

    Jul 24, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

    Manu Ginobili Manu Ginobili

    San Antonio guard says he won’t represent Argentina if he still feels pain

Featured video

Stephenson goes elsewhere for his future
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Love (4790)
  2. L. James (3715)
  3. A. Wiggins (3666)
  4. R. Allen (3610)
  5. E. Bledsoe (3111)
  1. K. Bryant (3077)
  2. D. Rose (3018)
  3. C. Boozer (2494)
  4. L. Stephenson (2480)
  5. K. Marshall (2449)