Apr 2 2014, 10:29pm CDT | by Forbes
At the beginning of March, the New York Knicks seemed like a lost cause. They were 17 games below .500, in the midst of what would be a seven game losing streak and closer to last place in the Eastern Conference than a playoff spot. Starting March 5, the Knicks won eight games in a row with a total record of 11-5 during the month. They currently sit one game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the No. 8 seed in the East for the final playoff spot. Atlanta has gone 6-8 in its games since March 5. As the Knicks started to show some life and the playoffs become a more realistic possibility, the price of Knicks tickets on the secondary market also started to rise.
Knicks tickets at Madison Square Garden have been the most expensive in the NBA all season, but nowhere near the current average for the final four home games. Since March 5 each home game on the secondary market has seen a price increase of at least 45%. The average price for the next four home games at the Garden is $417.94, 77% above the $235.98 full season average. Three of the four remaining home games come against playoff-bound teams in the East.
The first upcoming game will be Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets. Knicks vs Nets is the most expensive NBA game of the week and features a $394 average price and $122 get-in price. These teams have split the two games they played earlier in the season and have one game remaining in Brooklyn on April 15. The increased demand for the Knicks has spilled over to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center for Knicks vs Nets tickets, which has seen a 13% increase since the Knicks’ win streak, up to a $322 average price. April 13th’s game against the Chicago Bulls is the most expensive NBA game for the remainder of the regular season. Knicks vs Bulls tickets for the Sunday night game have an average price of $540, 66% above the price of this game on the secondary market a month ago and more than double the $226.26 average price of Chicago’s last visit to the Garden in December.
Unsurprisingly, the Knicks have gone on this run thanks to their second best scoring month of the season. They averaged 101.2 points per game in March behind only the 101.4 points per game scored in January when they went 10-6. January’s success helped swing ticket prices in February up to $330.23 average, though that was aided by an outlier $634 average price for a game against the Miami Heat. The Knicks will have to continue scoring at that high rate in order to make a push for the playoffs over the next seven games. If they can sneak into the final seed in the Eastern Conference, they can cash in on the already high demand for Knicks playoff tickets.
A first round series at Madison Square Garden could have an over $800 average price based on the limited amount of tickets already up on the secondary market. As a comparison the Nets, who have already clinched a playoff spot, have a $280 secondary market average price for first round home games.
Knicks fans could be more excited about a late season playoff push than they were from locking up the No. 2 seed in the conference last season. Between the six home games played in the first two rounds of last year’s playoffs, Knicks tickets had just a $503.76 average price. Prices could double for a first round series with a smaller probability of advancing to second round than in 2013. Madison Square Garden has hosted the most expensive NBA games all season and a Knicks appearance in the playoffs would be no different.
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