Tuesday, May 28, 2024

As LeBron James nears NBA scoring record, ticket prices for potentially historic Laker games are skyrocketing

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is set to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA‘s all-time leading scorer some time in the next week, and being in the arena for such a historic night would be an unforgettable experience. The problem, of course, is that we can’t know for certain which game he will break the record.

James needs to score 89 more points to pass Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387. Given his current average of 30.2 points per game, James is likely to become the new standard-bearer either against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 7 or the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 9. Both are Lakers home games, and getting into Crypto.com Arena for the milestone night is going to cost you a pretty penny.

According to data from ticket marketplace Vivid Seats, the average ticket cost for the Lakers’ game against the Thunder on Tuesday has risen to $1,152, an incredible 390 percent increase since the first day of the 2022-23 season. The cheapest “get-in” price for that game is currently $326.

Thursday’s game against the Bucks, which also happens to be nationally televised, will cost even more. The average price is $1,302, a 175 percent jump from the beginning of the season, with a current “get-in” cost of $357. This game bears a little extra significance since the Bucks and Lakers are the only two franchises that Abdul-Jabbar played for in his 20-year career. Accordingly, it is the second-hottest ticket of the season behind the season-opener against the Clippers, per Vivid Seats.

Feb. 7 vs. Thunder





Feb. 9 vs. Bucks





If you were lucky enough to forecast that James would break the record on one of these dates and bought the tickets on the first day of the season, you could have saved upwards of $1,000. Also, if you weren’t necessarily committed to seeing the game in person and decided to sell the tickets, you could make a significant profit on the secondary market.

Interestingly, fans don’t seem to think that James’ pursuit will last until the Lakers’ game against the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 11, as average ticket prices for that game have actually decreased from $984 to $864. However, if James has an uncharacteristically low-scoring night in any of his next four games, or he sits out one of them due to injury or rest (he’s currently questionable for Thursday’s game against the Indiana Pacers), expect those prices to go through the roof.

Another tidbit that speaks to the power of LeBron James: Vivid Seats’ Fan Forecast is projecting that 54 percent of the spectators for Saturday’s game at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans will actually be Laker fans. Even if it’s unlikely that he breaks the record that night, people across the country clearly want to bear witness to James’ pursuit of history. As such, the NBA has decided to change the start time from 8 p.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET, and the game will now air on ESPN2.

Currently in his 20th NBA season, the 38-year-old James is putting up the third-highest scoring average of his career to go along with 8.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game as he attempts to navigate the Lakers into the postseason. He scored a season-high 48 points against the Houston Rockets in January, and his career high is a 61-point performance against the Charlotte Hornets in 2014.

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