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Heat rank near bottom of league in affordability

According to a study, Miami metro residents need to work 13.1 hours to see the Heat play.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With the All Star Game in the rearview mirror, the Miami Heat will look to continue their strong play in hopes of making an improbable playoff berth after an 11-30 start to the season. But a study recently found that residents of the Miami metro area may have a hard time buying tickets to see the Heat play.

The personal finance Web site ValuePenguin published a report on the affordability of each NBA team’s games, using the respective metro area’s median household income. And the Heat ranked second from the bottom, only ahead of the New York Knicks. Miami metro residents need to work an average of 13.1 hours to visit the AmericanAirlines Arena and see the Heat play with their families.

The findings revealed that the Heat charged fans the sixth-highest average ticket price for the 2015-16 season, at $76.73 per game. And the median household income of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach was the third-lowest among NBA team metro areas — $48,745 per year. The ValuePenguin study included the costs of concessions and parking in its analysis.

Of course, the study did not have data from the 2016-17 season, after Miami lost franchise player Dwyane Wade and started the season poorly. But this data reveals an issue for the Heat to make their games more accessible for residents of the surrounding metro area. The Washington Wizards ranked as the most affordable team, partly because the median household income of D.C. stands as the highest in the country — $75,628.