LeBron James is someone who knows how to drive up prices.
On the heels of his 2013 NBA championship jersey hammering down for $3.7 million, the four-time league MVP is commanding thousands of dollars as he nears the all-time NBA points record. Because people are hoping to witness history, tickets for upcoming Lakers games are averaging close to $2,000, according to Sports Illustrated, with courtside tickets going for more than ones to NBA Finals games.
James only 63 points away from breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387 points. Given that the 38-year-old averages 30 points per game this season, fans think he might pass Abdul-Jabbar at the Lakers’ upcoming Tuesday match-up against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The average ticket price for that game was $1,757.81 as of Thursday, with even the nosebleed seats going for $424, about a 600 percent mark-up.
But a glimpse at Ticketmaster’s certified resale offerings shows that a pair of courtside seats between the Laker bench and scorer’s table is currently listed for $100,000 each (these same seats are on offer for a game next month for $12,500). If those tickets sell, they’d break what is believed to be the record for an NBA seat, when a fan paid $133,000 for a pair of courtside seats to the NBA Finals. Those looking for a discount can buy the seats on the other side of the court going for $45,000 a piece.
If James doesn’t set a new record that evening, the next potential opportunity would be the Lakers’ February 9 matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks. Some seem to think that game is a more likely bet, with the average ticket price sitting at $1,931.32. And if James takes his sweet, sweet time and doesn’t make history until the next game, a February 11 meeting with the Golden State Warriors, you may be shelling out the average $1,131.23 to see him take on Steph Curry and his crew.
“I’ve been carrying the torch as record holder for 38 years,” Abdul-Jabbar said in an interview earlier this week. “I’m excited and relieved to pass it along to the next worthy recipient. LeBron earned it and I hope he carries it even longer than I did.”
If you are hoping to see James as he makes history, all three of those games are happening in California (the first two are home games for the Lakers, before they go to San Francisco to play the Warriors). So unless you’re based in the Golden State, factor in those flights and hotel rooms on top of the soaring ticket prices.