Brian Lewis and Josh Kosman of The Post report that the Nets gate revenue has risen more than any other NBA club — 109 percent over the last full, COVID-free season. That’s the good news. The bad news for fans is that the average ticket price has jumped by $144 and prices continue to rise.
Longtime Nets season ticket holder Dennis Lin — who just signed up for his 19th season, going back to the Continental Airlines Arena days — told the Post his seats have doubled in price. While he renewed, others he points out have not ... or reduced their commitment.
“I think it’s a little bit too high. It’s not like I’m pitchfork outraged,” Lin told The Post. “That being said, there are a lot of season ticket holders that I do know that are outraged. It took them a long time to either consider renewing, or they’re definitely moving down to half seasons or just not renewing.”
(Editor’s Note: Dennis and NI share seats.)
The Post reporters based their numbers on internal NBA data which show a definite division between winners and losers in the league.
In addition to the Nets leading the NBA in gate revenue increases since 2018-19, the team also is the leader in attendance rise going back to the last season not effected by COVID at 26 percent. Of course, Brooklyn added Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the now-departed James Harden since 2019. So a big rise was anticipated.
The Nets finished ninth in percentage of seasons sold at its home arena at 97.9 percent and 13th in raw numbers at 17,354, per ESPN.
While the Nets rise is a positive for the team’s bottom line, the franchise also lost the most money in the league, at between $50 and $100 million per the Post. Joe Tsai basically confirmed the number in an interview with NetsDaily saying that the team would be profitable without luxury tax payments. The Nets paid out around $75 million in taxes last season, a little less than $100 million this season. Tsai, who has repeatedly said he’s willing to keep paying the tax, including the dreaded repeater tax, as long as the Nets remain a championship contender. He added that he sees the luxury tax payments as an investment.
Overall, Lewis and Kosman contend “NBA owners are raking in more cash than before the pandemic by charging higher ticket prices.”
The average “gate” per team, or dollars from ticket sales, rose 10.2% compared to the last pre-pandemic season (2018-19) with fans now paying an average of $109 per ticket, according to data from this past season. That’s an 18.6% increase since 2018-19 and is roughly double the rate of inflation.
However, the number of paid fans at arenas plummeted 7.1% to 13,603 per game, the exclusive data also shows. The Post calculated average ticket prices by dividing gate receipts by paid attendance.
Not surprisingly the teams doing the best were either championship contenders and/or star-laden. All but two of top 10 teams in net gate receipts were playoff teams, the two Los Angeles teams being the exceptions. At the other end, per the Post data, only three of the bottom 10 made the post-season: the Pelicans, Grizzlies and Timberwolves.
The league like other entertainment is still effected by the lingering effects of COVID, particularly the Omicron variant’s rise.
“Overall attendance was down during the regular season because of the Omicron spike but since April we have had record attendance including 59 consecutive sell-outs to date during the playoffs,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass told the Post.
Mark Cuban also suggested the pandemic played a big role.
“I don’t think you can draw any conclusions in a season impacted by COVID,” Cuban told The Post. “We had customers … not come because of mandates. It was a different season that can’t be compared to anything.
“Hopefully we will have a normal playoffs, and next year,” Cuban said. “Then we will have a better feel for demand and pricing elasticity.”
- NBA teams hike ticket prices as attendance drops, internal data shows - Josh Kosman & Brian Lewis - New York Post