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How much do courtside seats cost at NBA arenas?

So the 2023-24 NBA season has begun and you’d like to get as close to the action as possible, but how much are courtside tickets? Let’s find out.

So the 2023-24 NBA season has begun and you’d like to get as close to the action as possible, but how much are courtside tickets? Let’s find out.
Vaughn RidleyAFP

With a new campaign now underway, basketball fans are eager to get a glimpse of their favorite teams and stars. Indeed, after an offseason full of movement, the 2023-24 NBA season promises to be something we haven’t seen in quite some time. Yet, the reality is, If you are looking to up your NBA experience this season, and you want to cop some courtside seats at your favorite stadium to see the league’s best players within an arm’s distance, you might want to start saving up now.

The courtside experience separates the NBA from other leagues

There is no other professional sport in the world where fans can get so close to the athletes that they can have a chat with them, give them some dap, get run over by them, or have some of their concession stand purchases swiped by one of the players on the court. It’s what makes the NBA special. The relationship between the fans and the players is one of the most attractive things about the league, and it has been for a long time. Generally, the fans and players get along amicably, and while there might be a bit of banter between opposing teams and the fans sitting courtside there have been some instances where tensions have boiled over. With emotions at a boiling point sometimes fans and players can cross the line.

We’ve seen Spike Lee yapping at opponents in Madison Square Garden for ages. Just this past season, we saw LeBron James requesting that a fan be removed from the arena for what he saw as excessive chatter. There was also Chris Paul who got involved in a verbal altercation with a young fan in Dallas who apparently was bothering the then Suns point guard’s family.

Expect to pay four figures for courtside seats

Most of the time the fans who pay that money to sit on the first row and watch their favorite players in the league on display before their eyes are well behaved, because court side tickets aren’t cheap. They can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to six figures depending on the game.

How much you pay for a seat right on the hardwood depends on who you are watching, where you are watching and how good the team is. The Dallas Mavericks, for example, used to have the cheapest court side seats in the league because they had been in a terrible spell of missing the playoffs season after season. That all changed when Luka Doncic came to town, and the ticket prices soared from $200 in 2018 all the way up to $8,000 for the most expensive seat at American Airlines Center last year according to TicketSmarter. The Atlanta Hawks are in the bottom half of the table when it comes to cheapest courtside tickets. They can go anywhere from two to three hundred dollars all the way up to $600 for a primetime match up against a big team.

LA and NY will always be top dogs with the ticket prices

No matter how good or bad the Lakers or the Knicks are, Madison Square Garden and the now Crypto.com Arena are home to the most expensive courtside tickets year in and year out. They are big market teams, in expensive cities that fetch a hefty price. If you were to shell out the dough to sit front row in one of these arenas, you would most likely be brushing shoulders with celebrities like Spike Lee, or Jack Nicholson. Courtside seats at the Garden or in LA are around three to five thousand dollars depending on the game.

What about NBA Finals tickets?

The NBA Finals are of course the pinnacle of the league’s year and understandably the most expensive games to watch in person. It should be said that prices are affected by how the series itself goes i.e. Game 7 costs a whole lot more than Game 1, but no matter how you cut it they’re expensive.

How much are we talking about? For perspective, Courtside seats for Game Four of last season’s finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets at the Heat’s Kaseya Center were priced between $27,795 and $46,326 per ticket, making them the most expensive in NBA history. This is all to say once again, start saving your pennies.