Hot topics: Home opener and ticket prices

MIAMI - JULY 09: Fans cheer as Chris Bosh #1 Dwyane Wade #3 and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat are introduced during a welcome party at American Airlines Arena on July 9 2010 in Miami Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

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The anticipation has been growing for months now.  It's the ‘hottest' sports ticket in Miami in ages, and one of the most expensive NBA tickets you'll find anywhere.  Without a doubt, Downtown Miami will be packed with Heat fans anxious to get their first glimpse of the new-look Miami Heat...Dwyane Wade included.

The matchup in this game is a great way for Heat fans to welcome in the new season; a high-profile matchup of teams that should be powerhouses in the Eastern Conference, not to mention division rivals.  While there will likely be a lot of games that are put in the spotlight at the AAA, nothing beats a home opener.

Ticket prices for Heat games have been pretty crazy so far this year.  Essentially, it's like being able to see a mini all-star game every time they take the court.  It doesn't matter if you like them or hate them, any true basketball fan has to appreciate the level of talent on the floor.  I'm sure there are even people out there who will buy tickets just to have the chance to boo them.

Here is some interesting data collected by SeatGeek.com on the ridiculous prices that Heat tickets are going for so far this season. 

  • The 10/26 Celtics home opener vs. the Heat commanded ticket prices $135.94 higher than the next three Celtics home games combined
  • Last week, tickets for the Heat home opener were averaging at $550 on the secondary market.
  • Last year, the 2009 Home Opener vs. Knicks transacted at a surprisingly low average of $37
  • Last time the Heat played the Magic on 3/18/10 tickets transacted at an average of $56

The prices seem pretty steep...then you get to the part about what they were like last season.  People who bought season tickets with the sole intention of selling them are going to make a nice profit this season and probably for years to come.  I remember what it was like around the arena between 2005 and 2007, which should be nothing compared to what it will be like now.

I can only hope that tickets are the only things going up in price for Miami fans, but unfortunately this is the real world.  It's almost a certainty that there will be inflated parking costs at the lots in downtown, but hopefully the cost for food and drinks inside the arena aren't rising.  I guess we'll find out soon enough.

One question that pops in my head, one that I hope will get answered sooner rather then later, is if winning championships will make the increased prices worth it for fans.  I think its expected for the team to take a little while before they begin to really look good together, but if that translates into early playoff exits and disappointing seasons then I imagine the backlash could get ugly, even from locals. 

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