Dwight Howard kicks ticket prices into overdrive. (Illustration by Robert…)
A long time awaits before the Lakers even begin playing basketball.
But if Laker fans don't already have their tickets by then, they may need to hand over a few bills to secure seats. That's always been the case for Laker games, but Dwight Howard's arrival just put ticket demand into overdrive.
Fansnap.com, a ticket search engine that compiles results from major ticket marketplaces and ticket agencies, said the average ticket price rests between $270 and $323 per seat since last week when the Lakers acquired Howard.
To think Laker tickets seemed relatively more affordable when they averaged $156 per seat. But that was before the Lakers loaded up on a star-studded roster, including point guard Steve Nash and Howard. Even after the Nash acquisition July 4, Fansnap.com General Manager Mike Janes said average ticket prices climbed up to a relatively modest $175. The price then increased to $250 by the end of July, with Janes suggesting the market anticipated the Lakers would make another blockbuster deal. It predicted correctly.
"This is clearly the marquee move that happened this off-season," Janes said about the Howard signing. "Sellers say you will have to pay me more for me to part with my ticket. It's going to be an entertaining team."
The most highly anticipated games involve the usual suspects. There's the defending champions in the Miami Heat ($575 per ticket on Jan. 17). The Christmas Day game against the New York Knicks will force fans to be more charitable ($450). The Oklahoma City Thunder, which beat the Lakers last season in the Western Conference semifinals, finish a close third ($442 on Jan. 11 ) and fifth ($429 on Jan. 27), respectively. There's also plenty of demand on both old rivals ($431 on Feb. 20 against Boston) and new ($362 on Feb. 14 against the Clippers).
Beyond Laker fans feeling the buzz over Howard's arrival and a possible NBA championship, Janes said there's two other factors contributing to the ticket-price increase.
"There's more sellers wanting higher asking prices to selling the tickets," he said. "The second thing is more will make the decision to go to more games. That will push supply down. In this supply-demand balance, there will be a lot of demand. If the supply isn't what's it's been in the past, buyers will have to compete more for tickets."
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