Apr 20 2014, 2:52am CDT | by Forbes
With their dramatic game-one road win against the Clippers, the Warriors have the upper-hand in the battle for California basketball. If they can advance, it will be the only the third time in the last twenty years that they’ve won a playoff series. The Clippers have had a similar track-record of futility, having only won only two series in the NBA playoffs themselves during that timeframe. For decades, both teams have looked up at the Lakers and watched as the purple and gold won five championships and consistently had the most expensive tickets in the NBA. After their game one win against the Clippers, Warriors tickets are up 32% for the next two games at Oracle Arena and they now have the second most expensive tickets of any team in round one of the NBA playoffs, behind only the Raptors. Based on TiqIQ’s data, the average secondary-market price for the next three games at Oracle Arena is $343, which compares to $401 for the next three games at Air Canada Center for the Raptors. If you exclude a potential game seven at Air Canada Center, however, the average price for Raptors playoff tickets drops $342, making Warriors playoff tickets the most expensive in the NBA.
While the Staples Center has historically been the center of gravity for California basketball, with the emergence of the Warriors, California basketball may have found a new home to the north. With the Lakers recent demise and uncertain future, many assumed that the Clippers were next in line for the throne of California basketball. However, even at a three seed compared to the Warriors’ sixth seed, it seems that fans in Los Angeles are not as excited as those in San Francisco about the possibilities for future success on the hardwood. Warriors fans have always been know for the loyalty to the team, and the high prices for their round one games against the Clippers are quantifiable evidence. If you’re looking for further evidence, over the last 10 years, despite the same lack of success, the Warriors have outdrawn the Clippers in every year but three. They have also consistently drawn above 750,000 fans each season, which is something that the Clippers have done only three times in the last ten years. Only one of those came prior to the Griffin-Paul era.
Of course, the Clippers were always second-fiddle in LA as the Lakers went to seven NBA finals while the Clippers could muster only two series wins in the playoffs. Even over the last two years, as the Lakers have faltered, the Clippers have still had the lower average price for tickets at the Staples Center. While the Clippers are favored to beat the Warriors, they now face an uphill battle, and many think that the Warriors are capable of beating one or several teams seeded higher than they are. If they find a way to win the battle of California, they’re likely to face OKC next. They would surely come in as underdogs in that series as well, but as the fans at Oracle have consistently shown, they’re not afraid of being the underdog. That reality could make for a very expensive May and June in San Francisco.
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