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Phoenix Suns: 5th Worst Ticket Value in the NBA

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The Phoenix Suns ranked 5th worst in ticket value. (Photo by Max Simbron)
The Phoenix Suns ranked 5th worst in ticket value. (Photo by Max Simbron)

This was kind of surprising at first until you dig in and consider what's really going on here...

According to a report by the independent and very cool Seat Geek, the Phoenix Suns, at an average face value of $91.70, are the 5th worth ticket value in the NBA. Their formula compares the face value versus resale value versus something they call the theoretical value to come up with their rankings.



Best Value

Worst Value


New Orleans Hornets

Los Angeles Lakers


San Antonio Spurs

Sacramento Kings


Milwaukee Bucks

Boston Celtics


Utah Jazz

Chicago Bulls


Indiana Pacers

Phoenix Suns


You can check out the full report here, along with an explanation of their methodology that includes big fancy words like "multivariate regression" and "price" to justify their findings. Most of you are far smarter than me when it comes to "math" so you can feel free to check it out and put your own stamp of approval or call bullshit as appropriate.

The basic premise makes sense, though. Teams whose tickets prices are higher compared to their availability on the secondary resale market are punished, while teams with lower overall face value do well in the rankings.

For several years, Suns seats were in high demand to the point that waiting lists existed to have the privilege of buying season tickets. Ticket prices naturally rose as demand increased. You can blame Sarver for that if you want, but if you do, you must be an anti-free market commie because we all know that prices increase as demand increases. Econ 101.

Since then, the team's championship window slammed shut when Timmy hit that three-pointer in 2008 and the struggling Arizona housing-driven economy has sharply reduced demand. The Suns first responded by freezing prices in place and this year even announced a decrease in some sections. Demand falls, so do prices. Econ 101.

When you factor in a team that spent two out of the first three months of the season with a losing record (14-18) and it is no wonder that the combination of high ticket face value and poor performance would result in this poor ranking.

It should be noted, of course, that this study was released on February 10th and probably doesn't take into account the impact of the current 9-2 run the team is on.

In related and slightly less interesting news, the Suns have a total attendance of 485,919 through 28 home games which is just a few busloads shy of the league average.

There's a few other interesting things in this Seat Geek report including a look at which stars/teams have the biggest road draw and a look at the top ten games for the remainder of the season based on anticipated ticket resale value.

Seat Geek has an interesting business model...

SeatGeek is a search and forecasting service for sports and concert tickets on the secondary ticket market. The company helps consumers determine the best time to buy and sell tickets based on their patent-pending algorithm that analyzes over 70 different data variables to determine price fluctuations in the ticket market

Based in New York City, my guess is a bunch of Wall Street types turned their analytical skills from stock and commodity markets to ticket resale. Next thing you know, they will be selling derivative futures options on next season's tickets. Buy now before the bubble bursts.

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