The Los Angeles Lakers have seen a huge increase in the demand for tickets on the secondary market after the announcement of LeBron James’ move to the team.
James is driving up the prices of tickets at home and in almost every city he plays in, according to CNBC.
At the Lakers’ home Staples Center, ticket prices have jumped up 427 per cent over last season, StubHub reports.
“When the Lakers come into different markets, we are seeing a massive pop,” said Scott Jablonski, StubHub’s general manager of the NHL, NFL and NBA, told CNBC. “It’s been one of the bigger things we’ve seen.”
The average ticket price for the most in-demand NBA game for the upcoming season, which is opening night when the Houston Rockets visit the Lakers, is $934.
The second most expensive game is Christmas Day, when the Lakers go to Oakland to take on defending champions Golden State Warriors. Tickets there average just over $700, a 120 per cent increase from last Christmas.
According to CNBC, the Lakers said the “LeBron effect” will be felt stronger a year from now because season tickets and sponsorships were mostly secured before his decision to go to LA. For now, the impact is mostly in the secondary market.
“LeBron, one of the top individual brands in the world, joining one of the top team brands in the world, that’s created incredible interest,” said Tim Harris, the Lakers’ COO. “The marriage of these two brands has created a power couple.”
Harris said that while the franchise expects to increase season ticket prices next season, it plans to use this season’s secondary market to help determine the true value of Lakers tickets.
Image: Keith Allison