How Much Do Basketball Tickets Cost?

Morgan Wolf

How Much Do Basketball Tickets Cost

Basketball is a beloved sport that captivates millions of fans around the world. The thrill of watching the game unfold live in a packed arena is an experience like no other. 

However, one common question that arises among basketball enthusiasts is, “How much do basketball tickets cost?” 

In this article, we will explore the average costs of NBA tickets, the most expensive basketball ticket in history, and the average cost of NCAA tickets.

Also, we will see how the prices of basketball tickets are determined. So, let’s get started. 

How Much Do Basketball Tickets Cost?

Basketball ticket prices can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the league, the popularity of the team, the venue, and the importance of the game. 

On average, NBA tickets typically fall within the range of $30 to $300, but prices can be higher for highly sought-after teams and special events. 

In some extraordinary cases, like the 2016 NBA Finals, courtside seats were even sold for over $100,000. 

For NCAA tournaments, tickets usually start around $50 and gradually increase as the competition progresses.

The cost of basketball tickets is influenced by various elements, such as the success of the team, the seating location within the arena, the strength of the opponent, and the dynamics of the secondary ticket market. 

These factors all contribute to the fluctuating prices fans encounter when purchasing tickets. It’s important to keep in mind that attending a basketball game can provide a range of experiences, from more affordable options to indulging in premium seating and amenities.

What Are the Average Costs of NBA Tickets?

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the premier professional basketball league in the world, captivating fans from all walks of life with its electrifying games and superstar players. 

When it comes to the cost of NBA tickets, several factors come into play, ultimately determining the price range. Let’s delve into these factors and explore the average costs of NBA tickets.

Team Popularity and Success

One of the primary factors influencing NBA ticket prices is the popularity and success of the team. Teams with a large and dedicated fan base, often referred to as “big-market” teams, tend to have higher ticket prices due to high demand. 

These teams often boast a rich history, a legacy of championships, and a roster filled with star players. Examples of such teams include the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls.

For instance, the Los Angeles Lakers, with their storied history and a roster that has featured basketball icons like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kobe Bryant, consistently have some of the most expensive tickets in the league. 

The allure of watching the Lakers play, combined with the star power on the court, drives up the demand and subsequently the ticket prices.

Venue and Seating Location

The venue where the game is held also plays a role in ticket pricing. Larger and more prestigious arenas may have higher ticket prices due to their capacity and amenities. 

Furthermore, the seating location within the venue can greatly impact the cost of NBA tickets. Courtside seats, which offer an up-close and personal experience, come at a premium price, often reaching several hundred or even thousands of dollars per ticket.

Opponent and Game Importance

The opponent and the significance of the game also influence NBA ticket prices. High-profile matchups between rival teams or marquee players tend to attract more attention and demand, leading to higher ticket prices. 

For example, a game featuring a showdown between LeBron James and Kevin Durant is likely to command higher ticket prices due to the star power and anticipation surrounding the matchup.

Additionally, playoff games or games with playoff implications carry heightened importance and excitement, resulting in increased demand and subsequently higher ticket prices. 

Fans are eager to be a part of the intense atmosphere and witness history unfold, which drives up the cost of attending these games.

Market Factors and Secondary Market

Market Factors and Secondary Market

Apart from the factors related to the teams and games themselves, market dynamics and the existence of a secondary ticket market also influence NBA ticket prices. Supply and demand play a crucial role in determining the cost of tickets. 

If the demand for a particular game outweighs the available supply of tickets, prices are likely to increase. Conversely, if there is low demand or surplus supply, ticket prices may decrease.

The secondary ticket market, where individuals resell tickets they have purchased, can also impact prices. Prices on the secondary market are subject to fluctuations based on factors such as timing, seller motivations, and perceived value.

Buyers need to exercise caution when purchasing tickets from the secondary market to ensure they are acquiring legitimate and fairly priced tickets.

Average Costs and Variations

On average, NBA tickets can range from around $30 to $300 per ticket. However, it’s crucial to note that this is just an average, and prices can be higher or lower based on the factors mentioned above. 

Ticket prices for certain high-demand games, such as matchups involving the top teams or star players, can exceed the average range significantly. 

On the other hand, tickets for less popular teams or games with lower stakes may be available at more affordable prices.

It’s also worth mentioning that NBA teams often employ dynamic pricing strategies, where ticket prices can fluctuate based on various factors like team performance, opponent, and even external factors like holidays or special events.

This pricing strategy allows teams to adjust ticket prices in real-time to align with demand and maximize revenue.

What Are the Most Expensive Basketball Tickets in History?

While the average NBA ticket price may fall within a certain range, there have been instances where basketball tickets reached astronomical prices. One such example is the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. 

The demand for tickets to witness the historic showdown between LeBron James and Stephen Curry drove prices to unprecedented levels. 

Some courtside seats were reportedly sold for over $100,000, making it one of the most expensive basketball tickets in history.

Another notable event was the retirement game of basketball legend Kobe Bryant in 2016. As fans flocked to the Staples Center to witness Bryant’s final game, ticket prices skyrocketed. 

The cheapest tickets for that game were priced at around $700, while premium courtside seats were being listed for tens of thousands of dollars.

These instances highlight the impact of special events, star players, and historic moments on ticket prices. When something extraordinary is expected to occur during a game, fans are willing to pay a premium to be a part of it.

What Are the Average Costs of NCAA Tickets?

College basketball in the United States has a dedicated fan base and generates immense attention, particularly during tournaments like March Madness. 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) organizes these highly anticipated events, which attract fans from all corners of the country. 

Let’s explore the average costs of NCAA tickets, factors that influence pricing, and the excitement surrounding March Madness.

Ticket Pricing Factors

The cost of NCAA basketball tickets can vary based on several factors. Check them out below. 

Team Popularity

The popularity of a team plays a significant role in ticket prices. Successful programs with a large fan base tend to have a higher demand for tickets, driving up prices.

Stage of the Tournament

The stage of the NCAA tournament also impacts ticket prices. Early-round games typically have more affordable ticket options, ranging from around $50 to $150 per ticket. 

However, as the tournament progresses and reaches the Final Four or the championship game, prices can skyrocket.


The venue hosting the games can influence ticket prices. Larger arenas with more seating capacity generally offer a wider range of ticket options, accommodating different budgets. Smaller venues may have limited availability, potentially leading to higher prices due to increased demand.

March Madness Ticket Costs

March Madness, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, is an electrifying event that captures the attention of basketball fans across the nation. It features a single-elimination format with 68 teams competing for the championship.

During the early rounds of March Madness, ticket prices typically fall within the $50 to $150 range. These games are spread across multiple cities, providing fans with an opportunity to experience the tournament at a more affordable price point. 

Attending early-round matchups allows fans to witness the excitement and unpredictability of the tournament while supporting their favorite teams.

However, as the tournament progresses and reaches the Final Four and the championship game, ticket prices can increase significantly. The Final Four games, held in a single location, attract fans from all over the country. 

The high stakes and the opportunity to witness the best teams competing for a national title drive ticket prices up. 

Prices for Final Four tickets can range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on seating location and availability.

The excitement surrounding March Madness, the upsets, and the potential for Cinderella stories contribute to the higher demand for tickets. 

Fans are eager to be a part of the tournament’s atmosphere and witness history in the making, creating an environment that supports increased ticket prices.

Secondary Market Considerations

It’s important to note that ticket prices in the secondary market can vary significantly from face value. The secondary market consists of reselling platforms where individuals can buy and sell tickets. 

Prices on the secondary market are influenced by supply and demand dynamics, as well as factors such as timing and the specific matchup.

When purchasing NCAA tickets from the secondary market, it’s crucial to exercise caution and ensure that the tickets are legitimate. 

Stick to reputable platforms with buyer protections and read reviews from other buyers to minimize the risk of fraudulent transactions.

How Are the Costs of Basketball Tickets Determined?

The process of determining the costs of basketball tickets is influenced by several factors. These factors include:

Team Popularity and Success

As mentioned earlier, teams with a larger fan base and a history of success tend to have higher ticket prices. The demand for tickets to watch these teams play is typically higher, allowing teams to set higher prices.

Seating Location

The seating location within the arena also plays a significant role in ticket pricing. Premium seating areas such as courtside seats or luxury suites often come with a higher price tag due to their proximity to the action and enhanced amenities.

Opponent and Game Importance

The caliber of the opposing team and the significance of the game can impact ticket prices. High-profile matchups or playoff games tend to command higher prices as fans are eager to witness intense competition and potential historic moments.

Venue Capacity

The capacity of the arena also affects ticket prices. Smaller venues with limited seating options may have higher demand relative to supply, leading to higher prices. 

Larger arenas, on the other hand, can accommodate more fans, which can help keep ticket prices relatively lower.


Secondary Market and Resale

The presence of a secondary market, where individuals resell tickets they have purchased, can influence ticket prices. 

Factors such as supply and demand dynamics, timing, and seller motivations can impact the prices of the secondary market.


Can I get cheap NBA tickets?

Yes, it is possible to find cheaper NBA tickets. Look for less popular matchups, midweek games, or teams that are not performing well. 

Additionally, purchasing tickets during presales or waiting until closer to the game date can sometimes result in lower prices.

Are there any discounts available for NCAA basketball tickets?

Some NCAA teams offer discounts for students, seniors, or military personnel. It’s worth checking with the specific team or venue for any available discounts. 

Additionally, purchasing tickets as part of a package deal for multiple games or rounds of the tournament can sometimes result in discounted prices.

Are online ticket marketplaces reliable for purchasing basketball tickets?

Online ticket marketplaces can be a convenient way to purchase basketball tickets, but it’s important to exercise caution. 

Stick to reputable platforms with buyer protections, read reviews from other buyers, and ensure that the tickets are legitimate before making a purchase.

Do NBA teams offer season tickets?

Yes, most NBA teams offer season tickets that grant access to all home games throughout the regular season. 

Season ticket packages often come with additional perks such as priority access to playoff tickets, exclusive events, and discounts on merchandise.

Can ticket prices change after they are initially listed?

Yes, ticket prices can change after they are initially listed. In the primary market, teams may adjust prices based on factors like demand, availability, and promotions. 

In the secondary market, prices are subject to fluctuations based on supply and demand dynamics.

Bottom Line

Attending a basketball game can be an exhilarating experience for fans, but the cost of tickets is an important consideration. The average cost of basketball tickets varies depending on the league, team, venue, and game importance. 

The most expensive basketball tickets in history have reached staggering prices, often driven by special events or legendary players’ retirements. 

How ticket prices are determined can help fans make informed decisions and find the best options within their budget. 

Whether it’s the NBA or NCAA, the excitement of being part of a live basketball game is worth the price for many devoted fans. Thank you for your time.

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Morgan Wolf

Journalist with experience covering the intersection of sports with business. Demonstrated expertise in digital, video and social media content covering major sports including soccer, NBA, NFL, MLB, tennis and Olympic sports. But basketball is his passion. Specialties: expert for sports related content management LinkedIn