Secondary ticket market sees high demand for NBA Finals games in Milwaukee

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Last updated on July 12th, 2021 at 01:59 pm

If you’re thinking about going to Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, there are still tickets available, but you won’t find many for less than $400.

As of Friday afternoon, remaining inventory on, the Bucks ticket partner, ranged from $425 for standing room only tickets to $6,000 for the best lower level seats via fan resale. Of Ticketmaster’s standard tickets still available, a few upper level seats for $725 were the least expensive. Courtside seating had been sold out.

Looking at other ticket resellers, Seat Geek appeared to offer the best prices on both ends of the spectrum: $400 for standing room only to $5,045 for the best lower level seats. Upper level tickets started at $505. The platform had a few remaining courtside seats listed for $13,000 per ticket. On Stub Hub, courtside seats in that same row were priced at $13,769 per ticket.

As of Friday afternoon, Milwaukee-based Ticket King has reserved seats on the lower level available for $900 to $950 and on the upper level for $700 to $750. Those prices to get in the door are about average for the NBA Finals, said James Bryce Jr., partner at Ticket King.

With the Bucks trailing the Phoenix Suns 2-0 in the Bucks’ first NBA Finals appearance since 1974, the fate of the market for Game 4 rests on the outcome of Game 3.

“If Phoenix comes in here and gets one (Sunday) night, (Game 4) will still be sold out … but the market is going to go south. There’s no way of preventing that from happening,” said Bryce. “If the Bucks win (Game 3), I wouldn’t be surprised to see the market head north.”

And if the Bucks win Game 4, the market for Game 6 will “absolutely explode,” he said.

As it relates to local demand for both Games 3 and 4, the fact that the Bucks are down two games is adding fuel to the fire.

“These might be the only two games that Milwaukee might have for people to attend, so it’s possible that we see a situation on Sunday night that there are very few empty seats, if any at all,” said Matt Rados, senior operations manager at Gametime.

The mobile secondary ticket seller specializes in last-minute tickets for games, concerts and other events. Customers can make their purchase as late as 90 minutes after the event’s start time. Purchases that late don’t happen often, especially for NBA playoff games, which are shorter in length. Most sales on the platform are made day of, with the best deals popping up in the four to five hours prior to tip-off, said Rados.

Based on sales during Game 1 and 2 in Phoenix as well as the NHL’s recent Stanley Cup Finals, Gametime expects its lowest priced tickets for Game 3 to drop anywhere from 10% to 20% as tip-off approaches.

“The more expensive the area, you might see a bigger percentage drop, so you could anywhere from 30% to 40% for expensive tickets, just because brokers need to capture any kind of money there that they can,” he said.

With COVID-19 restrictions lifted and historic playoff runs for both Milwaukee and Phoenix, Rados said, the level of demand for finals tickets from both markets “rivals anything” the company would have seen prior to the pandemic.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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