By the numbers: Hornets have cheapest seats in the NBA

Charlotte Hornets pre-game at Spectrum Center, Charlotte

May 12. The Charlotte Hornets’ season was disappointing, LaMelo Ball notwithstanding. They had a 43-39 season.

One bright spot for fans: Hornets ticket prices are cheap.

Charlotte has the lowest average ticket price for an NBA game, $63.11, which is 3.2 times less expensive than in San Francisco, the city with the highest average ticket price at $203.30, according to new research done by WalletHub. To read their survey of 2022’s Best & Worst Cities for Basketball Fans, click here.

Can you enjoy the sport without breaking the bank?

Ricard Jensen

Ricard W. Jensen Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Practice, Department of Marketing at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Here’s what he says:

Unfortunately, it’s very hard for a family with an average income to attend NBA games in-person. In 2020, the Fan Cost Index reported it costs an average of $430 to take a family of four to an NBA regular-season game (the price includes four regular-priced tickets, parking, four hot dogs and soft drinks, and 2 caps with the team logo).

You would expect tickets for the NBA playoffs to be even higher priced, but a check I did today showed that you can buy a ticket for the Golden State Warriors at Memphis on Tuesday night for less than $100 and a ticket for the Warriors hosting Memphis later this week for $225, so there are still some bargains to be had. I suggest that fans who want to go to NBA games should check the secondary ticket market and see if they can purchase low-cost tickets in the cheaper sections of the arena.

Games on weekdays, matchups versus lesser-known opponents or teams with losing records and looking out for promotions with corporate sponsors may also lower the cost. It’s also become very expensive to watch games on TV (you see very few games for free on over-the-air TV so you have to purchase cable TV (ESPN, TNT, the NBA Channel, etc.) just to watch them.

Fun fact: The NBA is projected to have $10 billion in revenue this season, which is higher than pre-pandemic revenue, according to WalletHub


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