Living up to its reputation as the league that doesn’t stop, the NBA had a busy offseason that yielded surprising trades and newly renovated teams. Looking ahead to the regular season that kicks off October 17, StubHub compiled a 2017/2018 NBA Season Preview examining ticket demand and trends. Top headlines include Lonzomania and the demand for Lakers tickets, Beantown Buzz and the surprising dominance of the Eastern Conference.
Read on for your first look into how these revamped rosters, expectations, and buzzworthy moments are affecting the ticket demand.
HEATED MATCH-UPS + JERSEY RETIREMENT MOMENTS
There is impressive demand for Kobe’s Jersey Retirement Ceremony
- It is the most in-demand game this season and has triple the amount of total ticket sales over the #2 game, Paul Pierce’s Jersey Retirement.
- Kobe’s jersey retirement has more ticket sales than the #2, #3, and #4 most in-demand games combined.
Having played each other in the Eastern Conference finals and traded superstars in the offseason, it comes as no surprise that the most popular rivalry this season is the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Boston Celtics – three of these matchups are in the top 10 most in-demand games.
- This is a new phenomenon since matchups between the two Eastern giants have not been featured in the top 10 most in-demand games in the last five seasons. The Cavs’ season opener against the Celtics is the #6 most in-demand game of the season and the most affordable based on average ticket price out of the three Cavs games that appear on the list.
EASTERN CONFERENCE IS STILL KING IN SALES, AND GROWING
- Despite the successes of Western Conference teams, the gap continues to grow – ticket sales for Eastern teams this year surpass those for Western teams by 59%, the highest difference in the last five seasons.
- Western Conference teams do command the higher average ticket price at $155, 12% higher than Eastern Conference teams on StubHub.
Los Angeles Lakers top the list of most in-demand teams on StubHub this season.
- Lonzomania is real and here to stay. The team, which boasts largely the same lineup as last year, commands a 54% lead in total sales on StubHub over #2 team, New York Knicks.
- They also boast this season’s best-selling NBA game on StubHub: Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant’s jersey retirement ceremony.
- Lakers have seen a 129% increase in total ticket sales on StubHub compared to the same time last season.
Boston Celtics are the #3 best-selling team this season, the highest the franchise ranks in over 5 years.
- Total ticket sales for the team have increased 48% on StubHub since this time last season, and 104% over the past 3 seasons.
- Kyrie Irving coming to Boston and Gordon Hayward appear to be drawing away game crowds. When the Celtics are on the road, the team shows an increase of 111% in total ticket sales on StubHub over the average game across all NBA teams.
Golden State Warriors are the #4 most in-demand team so far this season, having dropped from the last season’s #2 position.
- The team has seen total ticket sales increased 3% on StubHub from last season.
- The Warriors are the most popular opponent to see when on the road. When Steph Curry and Kevin Durant come to town, StubHub sees an increase of 425% in sales when the Warriors appear as visitors over the average sales of an NBA regular season game.
Philadelphia 76ers maintain their #5 spot of most in-demand teams from their 2016/2017 season position
- The Sixers boast the fourth largest growth with a 110% increase in total ticket sales on StubHub compared to the same time last year.
- The team is featured in three of the top 10 most in-demand games on StubHub for the upcoming season.
Cleveland Cavaliers are the #6 most in-demand team, a significant improvement on last year’s #11.
- The team is playing in four of the top 10 best-selling games of this regular season – all away games.
- The team boasts four of the five top games for the Eastern Conference.
- Cleveland Cavaliers are the second most in-demand team when it comes to away game sales this season, indicating draw for the star power of Lebron James and now Dwyane Wade.
- The average Cavs road game produces 252% more in total sales on StubHub compared to the average game across all NBA teams.