Reality check: Raptors ticket prices skyrocket — is it actually cheaper to fly to Oakland?
Ticket prices for Toronto Raptors home games are so high that some fans are claiming it would be cheaper to actually fly to Oakland for an NBA finals game there.
Unfortunately, flying down to Oakland and paying for tickets to the game and a hotel isn’t exactly a deal.
Here’s a look at how much tickets cost in Toronto, what the deal in Oakland would be — and why all options are so expensive.
A look at ticket prices in Toronto
Ticketmaster sold out of tickets to the finals soon after they went up on Monday, but plenty are available on secondary selling sites such as StubHub and SeatGeek.
Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors tips off in Toronto on Thursday, and both of the websites currently have tickets available for just under US$700.
But courtside tickets in the endzone are up for grabs for a whopping $21,586.76 on SeatGeek and on StubHub for $22,000.
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And that’s for Game 1 — by Game 7, the prices will be much, much higher.
If the series makes it to a Game 7, it will take place on June 16 in Toronto, and that is when things start to get pricey.
The lowest tickets available for that contest are $1,800 apiece on SeatGeek and $2,925 on StubHub. You can also sit courtside for $30,000 on SeatGeek, while one ambitious seller is offering seats in the 30th row for $48,000 a piece.
Oakland game and plane ticket prices
In comparison, games in Oakland are much cheaper. Tickets cost just under $500 for the Warriors’ first home game on June 5.
Tickets for the second game in Oakland — Game 4 — cost $740.
But as one would expect, costs add up when it comes to flying to Oakland. On Google Flights, a round trip from Toronto to Oakland between June 5 and 6 costs just over C$1,000.
Why are tickets so expensive?
Richard Powers, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, told Global News that the high prices are actually quite normal for NBA finals.
“It’s new for us because it’s the first time that NBA finals have been held outside of the United States,” he explained.
Powers also noted that tickets are expensive for two main reasons: supply and demand and dynamic pricing. There are also several contributing factors, including the size of an arena, for example.
“For things like StubHub, those are fans that already have tickets, and they’re selling them so that’s 100 per cent supply and demand,” Powers said.
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He noted that for actual ticket sales, most sports use dynamic pricing and charge more when there are higher-performing teams playing.
Powers also explained that the idea that Toronto teams, such as the Raptors and the Maple Leafs, have more devoted fans who are willing to pay more is too simplistic an explanation.
“I’m sure they have a very rabid fan base, but you know, other teams do as well so to suggest that Oakland isn’t as interested in their team as we are, I don’t think that is fair.”
—With files from Global News reporter Kevin Nielsen
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.