By TicketIQ and priceline.com
It’s been a season of high expectations and low competition for both the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers as they each steamrolled through the playoffs heading towards the rubber match that tips off tonight.
Critics, fans, and even other team’s personnel knew this matchup would be a given as far back as the off-season where the Warriors nabbed Kevin Durant in free agency and the Cavs were able to keep the core of their 2016 Championship squad intact. With the Cavs adding some extra firepower on the offensive end and grit to their defense throughout the season it’s surprising some teams even bothered to show up to the playoffs.
Because of these expectations, TicketIQ.com says both teams saw record low pricing for playoff tickets on the secondary market this post-season, as it’s believed a good chunk of fans were simply saving their money for the inevitable NBA Finals matchup between the two. Below is the playoff average ticket price (not including the NBA Finals) over the past 3 years.
2015: GSW $524, CLE $314
2016: GSW $632, CLE $265
2017: GSW $497, CLE $188
The NBA Finals ticket market is currently the most robust of the 3 meetings between the two. 2017’s Finals has over 20,000 tickets available on the resale market, while 2016 had 16,000 and 2015 had 12,000. Because of the supremely high inventory and two years for fans to learn about the market, prices are dropping quickly. Out in Golden State, it’s now possible to grab NBA Finals tickets for under $400, the first time this has happened in this three year stretch. With over 2,000 tickets still listed for Game 1 as of 7am PST, the cheapest seats in the house are now $345. That’s a drop of $206 in the past week is also $110 less than the cheapest day-of ticket for last year’s Game 1.
Things are a bit more status quo in Cleveland when looking at the previous 2 years, but a stellar (or poor) performance from the Cavs in Games 1 and 2 would certainly shift those ticket prices one way or another. Below is the current average asking price and cheapest ticket available for each of the past 3 NBA Finals.
2015: GSW $1,465 AVG, $594 Cheapest | CLE $1,559 AVG, $327 Cheapest
2016: GSW $2,080 AVG, $665 Cheapest | CLE $1,362 AVG, $339 Cheapest
2017: GSW $2,062 AVG, $345 Cheapest | CLE $1,409 AVG, $339 Cheapest
While the ticket market has certainly been deemed favorable to fans, some solid deals on travel have also been available. The hotel market has stayed fairly consistent, with Express Deals in Cleveland available as low as $52 and in the Bay Area as low as $70. There’s been some variation on flights but round trip airfare dip down as low as $134 on Priceline.com.
Overall, patience is key. Unlike the Stanley Cup Final, the market for the NBA Finals is massive and catching a solid deal on both tickets and travel expenses is all about watching the market and capitalizing at the right time.