When it comes to cheering their teams on in the NBA finals, Oklahoma City fans are more likely to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for tickets, analysis by one popular secondary ticket seller found.
Thunder fans are more likely to hold onto their season tickets, regardless of the quick cash they could get for them for a spot in the arena during the finals, according to StubHub.com.
That means that ticket prices in Oklahoma City are skyrocketing to $315 for nosebleed seats on Thursday night and $583 for game six next Sunday. In Miami, fans can pay $177 for seats for Sunday’s Game three. On average, fans are paying $830 to see the game in Oklahoma City and around $600 in Miami. By comparison, in last year’s finals series, fans paid about $450-$500 to see the series in Miami and $600 in Dallas.
“People that have tickets to the game as less likely to sell their tickets,” StubHub spokeswoman Joellen Ferrer told BuzzFeed.
Many fans, she said, were weighing out the opportunity cost of going to the game and getting an instant cash infusion. She pointed to tickets on sale for $10,000 — sold by fans who are putting a price on giving up their seats at the game.
Tommy Davis, a Thunder season ticket holder who posted his tickets on Craigslist told BuzzFeed in an email that he put it at a price high enough to make it worth giving up but it’s rare, he said, that anyone actually bought them.
“We generally go to the game,” he said. “You find a number of deadbeats on Craigslist (lots of promises but rarely follow through) as opposed to StubHub.”
He said the energy on Tuesday night made it worth giving up the extra cash.
“All of the series have been great with the excitement and the noise level increasing drastically as we have gotten closer to the finals,” he wrote.
The highest selling ticket for Game One didn’t top $5,000 Ferrer said.
In Miami, however, fans are selling tickets by the thousands while in Oklahoma there’s only a few hundred tickets available for each game.
Without the same nightlife or even other sports in Oklahoma City that are going on in Miami at any given time, fans have less to lure them away from the game. For example, a cursory look at Stubhub’s other events for South Florida over the next two weeks show a Rogers Water concert, Red Sox at Marlins game and LMFAO concert in addition to the hopping Miami club scene and nightlife. In Oklahoma, by comparison, there’s also an LMFAO concert in Tulsa and little else.
“They’re fans of the Heat, but they’re fans of other things going on in Miami right now,” Ferrer said.
During the regular season, tickets for the Heat at the Thunder ran about $205 while Heat fans paid an average of $177 when Durant and company came to town.
In posts on other online marketplaces like Craigslist.org, fans also seemed to be getting more creative – and desperate for tickets in Oklahoma City.
“I own some pawn shops in OKC and Tulsa,” one poster wrote on Craigslist. “Looking to trade some thunder tickets for game 1 or 2. 2-4 tickets needed. As you can imagine my list of items I have to trade with is endless …”
On the Miami craigslist site, the posts were only sales.
Ferrer said as the series continues to shake out, the prices could change — but most likely will keep going up in OKC after Tuesday night’s big win.
“Oklahoma City is a one pro sports town,” Ferrer said. “Everyone in Oklahoma City will be watching the game.”