The Raptors lead the Golden State Warriors 3-1 in their best-of-seven series, and they can win the championship in front of their hometown fans with a victory on Monday night. It would be a monumental achievement for the 24-year-old franchise and a major boon for the city of Toronto, which hasn’t won anything bigger than a CFL Grey Cup or an MLS title since 1993.
Ticketmaster sold out for the entire series almost immediately last month, leaving fans with no choice but to peruse the secondary ticket market through sites like StubHub and SeatGeek. Those sites operate based on demand, and demand has never been higher.
The average price for a Game 5 ticket on the secondary market is US $6,000, making it the most expensive NBA Finals game on record, according to the price-aggregator site Ticketiq. The site says the average ticket price for Game 5 has shot up 41 per cent since the start of the series.
That works out to almost CAD $8,000, or enough to pay tuition for a year of post-secondary education, according to Statistics Canada. It’s also enough to pay rent for an average one-bedroom apartment in the city for six months.
If you are planning to shell out for a chance to witness a championship, remember this: StubHub might look cheaper than SeatGeek, but that’s only because it doesn’t show ticket fees by default when you’re browsing the site. Their prices are roughly the same, based on Global News’ analysis.
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The cheapest Game 5 seats at Scotiabank Arena were listed at US $2,500 (CAD $3,320) on StubHub and SeatGeek Saturday. That means you and a friend can squeeze into the game for approximately $6,600 Canadian — or you can take a nice trip to Europe for a week.
You could also fly down to Oakland for Game 6 if it happens, because the cheapest seats there are only US $741 on StubHub. The math is a little shaky — especially when you factor in the cost of a flight, hotel and rental car — but you might be able to pull it off for US $2,500.
The cost of Toronto’s cheap seats has more than doubled since Game 1, when they were just under US$700.
However, they’re nothing compared to the price of a courtside seat, which would be enough to buy a good car or put a down payment on a house.
You’ll need about US $15,000 just to get into the back row of the courtside seats, and much more than that if you want to actually sit at the front or near the players. Of course, you’d also need a friend who’s willing to pay that much, because most of the tickets are sold in pairs.
StubHub’s most expensive tickets are a pair in the front row on the south side of the court, opposite the players’ benches and directly on the centre line. Those tickets will cost you a cool US $186,304.50, or about CAD $248,000. That’s enough to put a 20 per cent down payment on a $1-million home, although StubHub’s system suggests those tickets are overpriced. The site has another pair of tickets in the same spot for US$39,000 each.
Likely the best seats in the house are in the VIP section between the players’ benches, where you can get seats starting at US $52,500. You might not be able to chat with Drake or rub Raptors coach Nick Nurse’s shoulders, but you’d be close enough to try.
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Prices appear to be even higher across the board for a potential Game 7 in Toronto, and they’re likely to shoot up even more if the Warriors can force that final showdown.
Game 6 is pencilled in for Thursday, June 13 in Oakland, followed by Game 7 in Toronto on Sunday, June 16.
Those games won’t be necessary if Toronto can win on Monday.