The 2015 NBA playoffs are practically a season itself. To help die-hard fans, NerdWallet took a look at how much they’ll have to pay on the ticket resale market to see a playoff game in person.
We also analyzed ticket prices from the past few playoffs to project how much more fans can expect to pay in each playoff round.
Last, we recapped regular season prices by looking at how the average price for each of the NBA’s 30 teams changed over the course of the 2014-15 season.
Update: 2015 conference finals
The chart below shows the average ticket price for the four teams that made it to the conference finals. Use the selector to change the data to view each team’s average regular season ticket price to compare with the playoffs.
The average conference finals ticket is about $717, compared with an average of about $177 for the same teams during the regular season.
Update: 2015 second-round playoff prices
The chart below shows the average second-round ticket price for the eight teams that made it to the conference semifinals. Use the selector to change the data to view each team’s average regular season ticket price to compare with the playoffs.
The average second-round ticket is about $287, compared with an average of about $134 for the same teams during the regular season.
The chart below shows the average first-round ticket price for each of this year’s playoff teams. The average first-round ticket to this year’s playoffs (across all 16 teams) was about $278, compared with an average of about $134 for the regular season.
Highest price. The Golden State Warriors, who posted the NBA’s best record of 67-15 in the regular season, owned the highest average first-round playoff ticket price of about $461. That’s quite an expensive home court advantage for a team that lost only two games at Oracle Arena during the regular season, then went on to sweep the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round.
Rising prices. The Atlanta Hawks’ secondary market ticket prices increased nearly 71% since the start of the season. Despite their success, an average first-round Hawks ticket, priced at about $187, was the fifth cheapest.
Postseason premium. The Boston Celtics saw the highest jump of all teams in ticket price from regular season to playoffs. An average regular season Celtics ticket cost about $79 on the resale market, but a playoff home game was $248, a 215% markup, for the team that was swept in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
How much do tickets increase in the playoffs?
The graph below shows how ticket prices on average have changed through each round of the playoffs since 2011, as well as how this year’s playoff prices are projected to increase.
Regular season recap
The chart below shows the change in average regular season ticket prices from the start of the season in October 2014 to the end in April.
Atlanta was one of the NBA’s biggest surprises this season, and that was reflected in the 71% increase in average ticket price over the course of the season. Meanwhile, the 37% drop in the Cavaliers’ ticket price suggests that the team didn’t live up to the preseason hype after LeBron James returned to Cleveland.
Ticket prices are from TiqIQ and are accurate as of April 16, 2015.
This post was updated on May 4.
Basketball fans image via iStock.