May 10, 2010

Should I Buy Season Tickets?

My wife and I are fans of our local NBA team.   We like to watch all the games on TV and go to several games a year.    The past couple years we have gone to about 10 games.  This season and the tickets were around $25 each.   Next season the tickets are going up about 20% to about $30 each.   But the season ticket price will be $25.   One of my coworkers has season tickets and I envy how he gets to go to any game he wants while we're stuck going to whatever game we can find tickets for.   I'm tempted to get season tickets but they are pretty expensive.

I don't want to go to all the home games since thats 44 games a year and both a high cost and significant hassle traveling across town to games every few days.  I'd ideally like to go to around 10 or so games a year.   One option I've thought of is to buy season tickets and then resell the tickets we don't use.  (I'm not a fan of scalping but you can sell back tickets you don't use for face value.)

Single games - $60 per game or about $600 for 10 games
Pros - no large cash outlay, not committed to large # of games, more expensive per ticket
Cons - hard to get tickets for good games, harder to get tickets for weekend games

Season Tickets- $2000 for 44 games or $50 per game
Pros - cheaper per ticket, go to any / all games we want, first rights to post season tickets
Cons - high initial total cost, have to deal with selling tickets for some games, might get stuck with tickets we don't want, if you want post season you have to commit to buy them all at higher prices per game

Split Season Tickets 50/50 with a friend - $1000 for 22 games or $50 per game
Pros - rights to up to 22 games, better access to good games and good days
Cons - potential argument with friend over who gets which games, some risk of being stuck with tickets we don't want and can't resell

I'd like to be able to pick the games we want to go to and not have to fight to find tickets.   But I don't want to fork over $2000 up front with no guarantee that I can't sell the tickets we don't use.  

I think buying a full season for my wife and myself is too much of a commitment and risk so we won't do that.  The ideal option would be to split a season ticket 50/50 with a friend, but I don't have any close friends who are big fans so thats not an easy option for us to do.

Bottom line: As things are we'll continue to buy single game tickets and take our chances getting some of the games we want and settle for some less preferable games.


  1. My father and I have done this frequently but the key is also measuring demand for the tickets. Is this a good team? Are the tickets in pretty high demand or is this going to be a lousy year for them and the building might be only half-full?

    Also, you want to make sure you know exactly which games you're going to be able to go to and which you won't. If you have a busier, more spontaneous schedule, you might want to just stick to buying singles are getting a small plan.

    My worst sport ticket story is from a few years ago. I'm a huge hockey fan and bought a few playoff tickets years ago thinking I could sell the others to pay for the cost of my ticket. Didn't happen and I got stuck eating them.

    Nothing worse than being stuck with sports tickets you either can't use or don't WANT to use. Like anything else, you just have to do your homework to ensure that that doesn't happen.

  2. what if you look for someone to split the tickets with on craiglist or something and then you get every other home game and the other person gets all the rest?


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