NBA FAN COST INDEX (TM) 2012
Jon Greenberg, December 3, 2012
One year removed from a lockout, National Basketball Association ticket prices are on the upswing.
The average NBA ticket has increased by 3.5 percent to $50.99, according to Team Marketing Report's 2012-13 NBA Fan Cost IndexÃ¯Â¿Â½Ã‚Â¢. The average FCI, the cost to take a family of four to a game, is $315.66, a 4.4 percent increase from last season.
Last season, the average ticket rose just 1.7 percent in a season that began on Christmas and lost 16 games due to the lockout. The increases come after prices dropped by more than 5 percent over the previous two seasons.
Team Marketing Report uses "non-premium" season ticket pricing for its survey, which excludes suites, seats that come with added amenities (club access) and highly-expensive floor seats.
Fourteen teams raised prices, on average, this season, compared to 10 last season. Eight teams showed decreases, compared to 13 last season.
NBA teams are required to offer 500 tickets for $10 every game, though they don't have to be part of season ticket plans. The league reports there are 1 million tickets for $10 or less this season.
The biggest increase comes from the Nets organization, which of course, moved from a temporary home in Newark, N.J. to a shiny new arena in Brooklyn, the Barclays Center. The Brooklyn Nets have an average ticket price of $55.89, a 50.8 percent increase from last season at the Prudential Center.
The Nets now have the ninth-highest ticket price, but it is still less than half the average ticket to a New York Knicks game at the refurbished Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks lead the NBA in average ticket price ($123.22, a 4.9 percent increase) and Fan Cost IndexÃ¯Â¿Â½Ã‚Â¢ price ($643.78).
The Fan Cost Index (FCI) comprises the price of four (4) average-price tickets, two (2) small beers, four (4) small soft drinks, four (4) hot dogs, parking for one (1) car, two (2) game programs and two (2) least-expensive, adult-size hats.
The Los Angeles Lakers are second in ticket price ($100.25, a 1 percent increase) and FCI ($518) for the second consecutive year.
The champion Miami Heat raised prices by 8.2 percent to $72.50, and is third in FCI ($445) and fourth in ticket price. The Heat raised prices by 10.7 percent last season.
The Boston Celtics have the third-highest ticket price, up 6.4 percent to $72.96, and the fifth-highest FCI at $420.84.
The Chicago Bulls, coming off two straight seasons with the best winning percentage, raised prices by 5.2 percent to $71.90, with the fourth-highest FCI at $426.60.
The Nets' FCI at the $1 billion Barclays Center is $365.06, the seventh-highest total in the league, and that's not counting the extensive food options, which include 37 local vendors, from certified organic dairy ice cream to kosher pickles, or the price of a train ticket, which lets you off outside the arena.
The cheapest ticket price ($29.27) and FCI ($203.06) both belong to the Charlotte Bobcats, which kept prices stagnant after the worst season in NBA history. The Bobcats went 7-59 last season, with a historically low .106 winning percentage.
The Memphis Grizzlies, a real contender in the Western Conference, are likely the best value in the NBA with the second-lowest average ticket price of $29.49 (7.5 percent increase) and the third-lowest FCI of $213.96.