Thursday, January 9, 2014

Price Inflation (NBA Edition)

I just bought two tickets for Friday night's NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics at Golden State. They are good seats (row 6 center court), but when I headed to StubHub to buy them, I thought I would be paying around $300 each. I ended up paying $500 per ticket.

The Warriors have been playing pretty well, eight straight wins, but the price really shocked me. It has to be the Bernanke money that he is pumping into Silicon Valley. Last year in Washington DC, I paid around $150 a ticket in a low row for a Washington Wizards game and I also attended a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden during the Jeremy Lin craze that cost me $250 per ticket (first row, second level), but I never thought that I would ever have to pay so much for Warriors tickets.

I did once pay $650 apiece for Chicago Bulls tickets, but that was in the heyday of the Michael Jordan era, when they were on a record breaking winning streak. This is just a regular game with the Warriors not having any player close to Michael Jordan and the Celtics rebuilding. I hope it is a good game. There is not a lot of consumer surplus in this purchase.


I just checked comparable tickets at Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks. Those tickets are "only" going for $380.00.


  1. Seriously.. "pro sports".... ROFL.

    You want to see a genuine game of basketball, then go to your local high school... while you're at it, give the boosters club a benjamin. Wake up and smell the cable.

  2. "I did once pay $650 a piece for Chicago Bulls tickets"
    WTF...but there is inflation.
    The 2014 Monster Truck Jam in Atlanta..........Ear Bleed section.............88.00 dollars.
    10 years ago...........7 dollars.
    No lie.

  3. In 1977, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Reform Act. This was the arrival of the "stable prices" mandate for the Fed. In recent days, there have been a few articles about the price of pot in Colorado, in both legal and underground venues. An eighth of an ounce now goes for something like $70 legally, and reportedly $30 on the black market. After some research, it looks like in 1977, you could get an ounce for $30, not an eighth of an ounce. Stable prices? But then you get into CPI measurement issues like quality adjustment, the treatment of taxes, etc.

  4. I don't know if I'd go around telling people I paid that much to watch a ball game.

  5. Estimating quality changes in marijuana over time could give a whole new twist to hedonic regression techniques