It's that time of the year again in the NBA when legends are born and dynasties are built. That's right folks, the smell of the NBA Finals is in the air. This year's spectacular matchup features two NBA powerhouses: the star-studded Miami Heat against the old-school San Antonio Spurs, in what promises to be an intriguing battle for bragging rights to be called the best in the basketball world.
Here at SeatGeek, ticketing data is our crown jewel and so, we thought we would share some interesting insights into one of the least-talked about aspects of the Finals: the ticket prices for each game. We are firm believers that trends in these prices can actually reflect consumer sentiment and demand towards the finals and based of their movement, we can make estimates as to what fans predict the outcome of the next game will be.
NBA Finals Ticket Prices
|Game||Average Ticket Price||Location|
*Data as of 20 June 2013
NBA Finals Ticket Price Notes
In observing the ticket prices for each game of the NBA Finals, some interesting trends emerge:
- In Miami, ticket prices for Game 7) is 91% higher than Game 1
- In San Antonio, ticket prices for Game 5 is only 36% higher than Game 3
- Isolating venue location, ticket prices rise linearly during each successive game, except for Game 6. This could have been a sign that fans in Miami were questioning the Heat's ability to bounce back after a horrible performance and force a decisive Game 7
Game 1 -7 Ticket Prices & Changes
To add an extra layer of insight, we wanted to observe any changes in ticket prices after the completion of each game in the series:
Note that the ticket prices for each game fluctuates considerably as the series progresses:
- Ticket prices to Game 4 displayed the biggest gains: Prior to Game 1, they were being purchased at an average price of $436.92 however, after the Spurs took a 2-1 lead in Game 3, the average price soared to $890.56, which is a difference of $453.56 or 103.82% (more than double the value prior to the commencement of the series!)
- Ticket prices for Game 6 had the reverse trend of dropping in value between Games 1 and after Game 5: on average, its value fell $231.82 or 33%
A closer look, and detailed breakdown, of the data, reveal some additional interesting insights on ticketing prices.
In general, a couple of trends can be identified:
- After Game 1, the ticket value for all successive games rose drastically across the boards, particularly with Game 4 at 65.20%
- After Game 2, the ticket prices for the ensuing games all fell to a small degree, with the exception of Game 5, which rose 6.77%
- After Game 3, ticket prices for Games 4 and 5 rose, especially the former at 27.12%, while prices for Games 6 and 7 dropped. This could have suggested that at that point, Spurs fans were feeling confident that their team would be losing out the series at home while Heat fans were getting a little restless as to bringing the series back to Miami
- For the rest of the series, after each team took turns putting on a dominating performance, ticket prices to the losing team's next game plummeted: after the Heat's exhilarating performance in Game 4, tickets to Game 5 in San Anotonio dropped 21.47% while after the Spurs bounced back in Game 5, tickets to Game 6 in Miami dropped 34.32%
Historical NBA Finals Ticket Prices
What about how this year's ticket prices compare to historical prices? Lets find out:
On average, ticket prices for the 2013 NBA Finals have been trailing those in 2012 across the board. Compared to the 2011 Finals, prices have been higher over Games 1 & 2 but dipped below for Games 3 to 5 Game 5 before leveling off a in Game 6.
Nevertheless, ticket prices to Game 7 in this year's finals are off the charts, easily blowing past historic prices over the past 2 years - looks like the world is in for an intense final showdown in Miami.
NBA Finals vs Stanley Cup Ticket Prices
Lastly, given the concurrent excitement about the Stanley Cup over on the ice, we thought it would be intriguing to contrast ticket prices for the finale of these two major sports.
No argument there: on average, the value of tickets to an NHL Stanley Cup game are substantially higher than those to an NBA Finals game. Who knows, perhaps NHL fans are indeed more passionate about their team than their NBA counterparts.
Fans, what do you think about these findings? We'd love to hear your opinions and sentiment on these trends and the NBA finals overall.