The Utah Jazz has introducing sweeping increases in ticket prices as the team moves away from a reputation of being the biggest bargain in the NBA basketball league.
Aided by its competitive ticket pricing, the Jazz has recorded 44 consecutive sellouts at its renovated Vivint Smart Home Arena, but has now sought to revamp its policy to better reflect market value for the 18,306 seats on offer.
The Deseret News newspaper said some season-ticket packages have increased by as much as 250%, with those sitting in the upper bowl being most affected, seeing their seats rising from $12 (£9.50/€10.50) and $18 per game to $30.
“We are always sensitive to price increases and having Jazz games remain affordable and accessible for our fans,” Jazz president Steve Starks said. “We’re fortunate to have great interest in the team right now.”
The Jazz have offered multiple reasons for the changes, stating it was no longer feasible to allow 190 accounts to only pay $6 per seat, the cheapest price in the NBA and part of a promotional deal that was introduced in 2014.
The team also said it is attempting to combat price gouging on the secondary market, stating that it often found that the $6 seats were being resold for an average of $16 for lower-tier games and as much as $54 for the most attractive events.
Chris Barney, senior vice-president of ticketing and premium seating, also said the NBA advised the team to streamline its pricing strategy, leading it to introduce four price points in the upper bowl instead of seven.
The Jazz also stressed that it has created different partial-season packages, priced at $10 per ticket, and will offer a fan pass that at minimum guarantees a standing-room-only view but could provide a lower-bowl seat depending on availability.
Barney said: “The affordability measured against other sports and entertainment options, there is an increase, yes, but… it’s still affordable.”
The Jazz will also continue with its policy of setting side around 2,100 upper-bowl seats per game to Junior Jazz members at discounted rates, the only deal of its kind in the NBA.