The Miami Heat have an opportunity to secure the second NBA championship in franchise history (and first since the Big Three teamed up in the summer of 2010) Thursday night, and the price to see the game live at the American Airlines Arena has skyrocketed on secondary markets.
According to ticket reseller TiqIQ.com, the average price for a Game 5 ticket was $1,312.07 as of Wednesday afternoon, up 47% since the start of Game 4 on Tuesday night. The quantity of Game 5 tickets available on secondary markets has fallen 40% over the same period.
The cheapest set of two tickets currently available costs $315, but those might not last very long. For the better-off Heat fans among us, one AAA Suite is available for $52,000. There is also a ticket in the second row of the Flagship South section of the arena available for over $12,000.
The demand for a potential series-clinching Finals ticket in Miami was also high last year, but that time it was visiting Dallas Mavericks fans who were scooping up seats to the deciding Game 6 on the secondary market. TV cameras showed a plethora of blue-clad Mavs fans in the lower bowl of the AAA when Dallas topped Miami to win its first title.
We're guessing this time around it is not the visiting fans who are driving up ticket prices. After winning the first game of the Finals, Oklahoma City has dropped three straight, unable to corral the Heat's offense late in games.
Not surprisingly, the average ticket price for Game 5 is the highest-priced NBA game all season. The previous high was $1,159.72 for a ticket to Game 1 of the Finals in Oklahoma City (on average). $1,300 seems like a lot to pay for a Finals ticket, but that price is less than 0.01% of the $16 million salaries the Heat have paid both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade this season.
For those of us who can't afford the pricey ticket to Game 5, the action will be televised on ABC, with tipoff shortly after 9pm.