When the Miami Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, NBA fans knew they were guaranteed an NBA Finals with a little extra attitude. Both the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs had fallen to LeBron and Friends in the 2012 and 2013 NBA Finals, respectively, so a sense of vengeance between two already talented teams guaranteed more potential excitement for the festivities.

The Spurs survived a mid-series Thunder resurgence and overtime in game six, punching their ticket to the franchise’s sixth NBA Finals in the last 16 seasons. Arguably the league’s most well-coached squad and offensive machine will again try to be the foil to the attempted South Beach Dynasty came together because of The Decision.

Having the best player on the planet is a nice trump card for LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals.

Both teams have ridiculously flexible game plans on both ends of the floor, sharpshooting from three-point range and an arsenal of plays to get points in the paint. While Dwayne Wade is looking healthier than he has in the three previous seasons, Spurs point guard Tony Parker missed the last half in the Western Conference Finals with an ankle injury; his health will be a major story line all series long.

Fans hope to see yet another a cat and mouse game between teams with a combined six league MVP & seven Finals MVP trophies on the floor at any given moment (James and Duncan have the league awards, while those two as well as Parker and Wade have Finals hardware); it really is a perfect Finals matchup for the NBA, and while we have to wait to see if TV ratings are on the rise, we can already see a trend where fans are paying top dollar to see Chapter Two of this postseason rivalry.

The average ticket price for the two guaranteed games in Miami is $625, up 9% from a combined average ($575) of Games 1 and 2 in South Beach last year. The get-in price for Game 3 is $219 for standing room and $291 for an actual seat, while those prices are even higher for Game 4 ($242 and $335, respectively). One difference between last year and this year is that Miami’s first home games will be in Games 3 and 4, meaning that the Heat’s play in Games 1 and 2 in San Antonio could impact the Miami market before June 10 (while a 1-1 split may not have much effect, prices could shoot up if they were to win two on the road or dip if they lost both games).

We’ve seen about a 10% decrease in the average ticket price for Games 3 and 4 in the past 48 hours, which is in line with the typical downward trend we’ve seen for Finals games in the past. We’ve also seen a similar split in terms of the volume of upper-level vs. lower-level ticket resales in Miami this year compared to last year: it’s been 55% upper to 45% lower for Games 3 and 4 this year, and it was 53% upper to 47% lower for Games 1 and 2 in 2013. So, the pricing trends this year aren’t being inflated simply because more lower-bowl seats are trading hands.

Miami Heat Tickets

Ticket prices are decidedly higher in San Antonio compared to last season. The average prior to the start of the series for Games 3 through 5 of the 2013 Finals was $408 at the AT&T Center, but tickets for Games 1 and 2 on the Spurs’ home court this year are going for an average of 35% more ($550). So while tickets are still more expensive in Miami, the gap between prices in the two cities is much smaller this year. The get-in price for Game 1 is $264, and for Game 2 it’s $325.

Since the beginning of last season, the Heat hold a 3-1 regular season edge and the 4-3 postseason advantage from last season. San Antonio holds the home court advantage in the 2014 NBA Finals, however, and the Heat have been on the wrong end of a few blowouts at the AT&T Center. This year also marks a change in the travel schedule for the NBA Finals–the last three games, as necessary, will be played in San Antonio, Miami, and San Antonio, unlike last year’s Heat comeback which saw both Games 6 and 7 in Miami. Can the Spurs’ depth and improvements since last season help them capitalize on their extra game deep in the heart of Texas, or will a healthy Dwayne Wade and King James team up to lead Miami to a third straight title?

Date Winner City State Venue
3/6/2014 Spurs, 111-87 San Antonio TX AT&T Center
1/26/2014 Heat, 113-101 Miami FL American Airlines Arena
6/20/2013 Heat, 95-88 (Champs!) Miami FL American Airlines Arena
6/18/2013 Heat, 103-100 (OT) Miami FL American Airlines Arena
6/16/2013 Spurs, 114-104 San Antonio TX AT&T Center
6/13/2013 Heat, 109-93 San Antonio TX AT&T Center
6/11/2013 Spurs, 113-77 San Antonio TX AT&T Center
6/9/2013 Heat, 103-84 Miami FL American Airlines Arena
6/6/2013 Spurs, 92-88 Miami FL American Airlines Arena
3/31/2013 Heat, 88-86 San Antonio TX AT&T Center
11/29/2012 Heat, 105-100 Miami FL American Airlines Arena

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