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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

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Sports Business

Local ticket brokers cashing in on Warriors' run; Kobe next

December 8, 2015
KEYWORDS Sports Business

Demand for tickets to Golden State Warriors games league-wide has gone up in lockstep with the notches in the team’s win column.

The fact there are no notches in the Warriors' loss column during a record-breaking run has made tickets to their games that much more desirable.

The 22-0 Warriors visit the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday night, and ticket sellers on the secondary market are cashing in. The Pacers—which use a variable-ticket-pricing system that allows them to charge different amounts for different games based on demand—already have.

Tickets to the game have been sold out for more than a week, and most ticket brokers aren’t taking less than $90 for a ticket—even in the upper reaches of the 18,165-seat fieldhouse.

The Pacers through eight home games have average attendance of 16,089. The game will be played in front of a standing-room-only crowd.

Pacers sales chief Todd Taylor said demand for Warriors tickets has surpassed all other home games so far this year—including the game the Pacers played against the rival Chicago Bulls on Black Friday.

“Before the season started, we had Golden State slated as one of our three top-10 matchups at this point in the season along with Miami and Chicago,” Taylor said. “Demand for the Golden State game has definitely over-indexed, and that’s due to the undefeated streak.”

The fact that the Pacers are 12-7 and tied for second place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference certainly hasn’t hurt demand, either.

“The demand we’re seeing for a Tuesday game is really unprecedented,” said Renny Harrison, president of Carmel-based FanFare Tickets. “This is unlike any regular-season game we’ve seen in a very long time. It’s pretty amazing for a game this early in the season.”

The only other regular-season Pacers tickets in recent years that created such demand were for Chicago Bulls games or when a team led by LeBron James came to town, Harrison added.

There’s as much intrigue from local hoops fans this year about Golden State star Steph Curry as there has been for any player visiting in recent years, other than perhaps James, local ticket brokers said.

Ticket prices for upper-level seats are ranging from $90 to $200, while mid-level tickets are going for $280 to $400. Lower-level tickets are fetching $325 to $550, with tickets behind the basket selling for less than those on the sides.

The same tickets selling for $550 for the Warriors game are selling for the Pacers home game next week for about $100, Harrison said.

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, StubHub had 761 tickets available ranging in price from $70.75 to $1,400. There were a handful of tickets priced at $5,000 each, but Harrison said that’s pie in the sky.

“You can ask for whatever you want on those sites, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get that price,” he said.

Taylor expects the fieldhouse to be filled primarily with Pacers fans.

“Most of the hype around the game with ticket buyers here is revolving around: Will the Pacers stop the Warriors’ streak?” Taylor said. “We’ve got a high-flying, undefeated opponent who we match up with pretty well. So there’s a lot of intrigue.”

After the Pacers-Warriors game, local ticket brokers will shift their attention to the Pacers-Lakers game on Feb. 8. That game is on a Monday, which could hurt ticket prices on the secondary market. Tickets for Monday and Tuesday games are the hardest to sell.

That hasn’t hampered the Pacers' sales staff. Bankers Life Fieldhouse has the game listed as a sellout, though Taylor said there are still a few tickets available.

“We certainly expect that game to be a sellout. We saw a big bump in sales the night Kobe [Bryant] announced his retirement,” Taylor said.

Ticket brokers said prices on the secondary market—along with demand for those tickets—have doubled or triples from what they were commanding before Bryant announced his retirement Nov. 30.

Tickets prices on the secondary market for that game “are gaining momentum,” Harrison said. Most are selling for $55 to $175 on the secondary market, with some on the lower level between the baskets going for as much as $375 each.

“I don’t expect the demand for those tickets to be as high as the Warriors game, but you never know,” Harrison said. “First of all, we have to hope Kobe stays healthy. At this point, that’s not a given.”

As of late Tuesday morning, StubHub tickets for the Pacers-Lakers game ranged in price from $60 to $4,444.
 

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