Thursday, March 12, 2015

A partial re-set for 2015-16 Brooklyn Nets season tickets: many prices down, though cheapest ($25) seats all gone

Brooklyn Nets season ticket prices for their upcoming fourth season, 2015-16, have gone down in several places, apparently a reaction to the team's mediocre performance and the aggressive price increases for this season.

Re-setting the prices in January, the Nets lowered the cost for the cheapest season tickets in several sections to $25 per game from $45. Remember, those seats were $15 in the first year and $25 in the second year before the aggressive boost to $45. Now the top price in the cheap sections is now $45, down from $70.

Surely they recognize the declining interest in the team (see the TV ratings), the periodic comps and flash discounts, and the brutal secondary market where tickets often fall below $20. I've seen Nets vans around Brooklyn offering tickets for $20, with no fee.

They've also lowered the cost in several other sections, sometimes in the cheaper seats, and sometimes in the more expensive sections, as described further below.

Then again, it's not clear how many of the cheapest tickets were made available. When I looked in mid-January, there were exactly two season tickets available at $25, and they're gone now. A  number of season tickets do remain at $35, in the Gray sections, which this season started at $50.

2015-16 Nets prices, click to enlarge
Also, some prices have apparently gone up. One fan wrote on NetsDaily 1/12/15, "No matter how much unlimited beer they offer, I’m not renewing my season tickets (which are priced 36% higher next year)."

Flexibility and opacity

So it's unclear how much the blended average price has changed. The team clearly wants to retain flexibility and opacity.

In no section--note that several courtside sections are not being put on sale--have the most expensive tickets become more costly, which suggests that any price increases are within the middle level of sections. The tally:
  • Dark Blue seats are now $125-$195, down from $135-$195.
  • Brown are now $110-$195, down from $125-$195.
  • Light green remain $99-$195
  • Tan are now $99-$125, down from $99-$135.
  • Red remain $89-$99.
  • Gold are $35-$99, down from $50-$99.
  • Aqua are $25-$60, down from $45-$89.
  • Orange are $25-$45, down from $45-$70.
  • Gray are $35-$60, down from $50-$80.
  • Mid-January, StubHub Nets tickets 
  • Light Blue are $25-$45, down from $45-$70.
Reasons for variability

The Nets retain numerous seats to sell as single-game tickets, which this year it has priced as low as $20.

The secondary market shows wide variability, as shown when I checked in mid-January. Tickets to the Washington Wizards started at $39.46 on StubHub when I checked, but dropped to $12.69 against the strong Portland Trail Blazers, dropped to $8.05 for a Charlotte Hornets game in March, and rose to $77.65 for a game against the surprisingly mediocre LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers.

Presumably the Nets want to make sure that, when they sell single-game tickets, they can compete with season ticket-holders selling on the secondary market.

Click to enlarge
Current discounts

Note that the Nets quietly but regularly put tickets on sale well below face value, and market them to organizations ranging from the American Automobile Association to the PBA.

For example, $80 tickets for a game in January were available for $35, as noted in graphic at left.

The current, 2014-15 season ticket prices

As I wrote in March 2014, a Nets press release claimed, "Season ticket prices remain the same from the 2013-14 season and start at $45 per seat."

That wasn't true. Tickets in the 2013-14 season started at $25 a seat, not $45.

That was another in a series of deceptions, such as the promise of $15 tickets--which lasted for just one year, and for a very limited number of seats.
2014-15 Nets prices
The 2013-14 season ticket prices
2013-14 Nets prices
The 2012-13 season ticket prices
2012-13 Nets prices

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