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Do NBA players get free tickets?

The specifics of players getting game tickets may vary depending on the organization, NBA league rules, and collective bargaining agreements.

Jimmy Butler #23
Ronald CortesAFP

NBA players do not receive completely free tickets for games, but they do have access to a limited number of complimentary tickets for their personal use, family, and friends. The number of tickets and specific policies vary from team to team and may depend on a player’s seniority, contract, and relationship with the organization. Each player has a particular allocation of tickets for every game, which they can distribute to their loved ones, friends, or charities. These complimentary tickets are considered part of the player’s overall compensation package and are a valuable benefit for the players and their families.

These tickets are not considered part of the players’ salaries, and they do not receive any additional payment. Furthermore, the use and distribution of these tickets are subject to NBA and team regulations.

According to the league’s collective bargaining agreement, teams can provide their players up to four tickets for every home game and two tickets for every away game, with coaches and support staff also receiving tickets. Arena ticket sellers must allocate a block of 100 or more tickets to accommodate this policy. Most teams attempt to place the home team’s comped tickets near the home bench and the away team’s tickets close to the away court. The most senior players, ranked by years of NBA service, are given the best seats. While the tickets must be in the lower bowl, they cannot be on the floor or in a luxury suite.

Filling home seats is relatively easy, as most players have family or friends in town to give the seats to. However, it can be a challenge to fill away tickets. Players are prohibited from selling the tickets, and if caught, they won’t receive any more. The players are taxed on the ticket they receive as a fringe benefit. They also cannot give them to players on other teams, nor can teams provide free tickets to players on other teams.