Oracle Arena Ticket Pricing

This isn’t an arena review because I’ve never actually been to Oracle, but I do have some insight about how their ticket pricing works.

If your goal is to maximize profits from brokering, I would seriously avoid any event at Oracle Arena. I know you may be thinking, the Golden State Warriors are the best team in the NBA and are breaking records all around, why wouldn’t I want a piece of that?

I’ll tell you why. Oracle Arena and the Golden State Warriors are well aware that their on-court success is attracting more and more brokers and scalpers. There was recent news that the Warriors are strategically charging brokers twice as much for their tickets as everyone else. This is an issue because then those brokers will have to sell more tickets at higher prices to finance their original purchase.

When they have special “presales,” this is usually their way of getting rid of the crappy seats first at a very high price, knowing that people will buy them up without even thinking. For the first home game of the Western Conference Semifinals, the cheapest tickets were $230 during the presale. Then the day of the game, they lowered their prices to $170 for the same seats. I watched the regression of the resale ticket prices in the last three hours before the game, and they dropped 80% in that time.

This pricing strategy might eventually deter both brokers and fans because although the higher prices are justified for such a successful team, at what point to you price out everyone?

Another great example of this is the upcoming summer USA Men’s Basketball Showcase. This showcase features the best American basketball players (aka the best in the world) facing off in exhibition games against other countries. With the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics coming, this gives American fans a chance to see these players compete together. It is essentially an All-Star game. The showcase is happening in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, and Houston.

via usab.com

An event like this only happens once every four years or so, and it is great for those who don’t want to pay thousands to see these same players during All-Star Weekend. I purchased a set of tickets from two different venues, Staples Center (Los Angeles) and Oracle Arena (Oakland). Both of these games are happening in the same week in July, on a weekday, and against the same opponent (China). However, the prices for these events were very different. The cheapest tickets for this event at the Staples Center were $65 while at Oracle, the cheapest tickets were $95. 

How is this price justified? The same players are playing at both venues, so there is no difference in super-star value. The event is also not tied to the Warriors or the NBA because USA Basketball is its own national governing body. This all comes back to Oracle’s pricing model and attempt to deter brokers. In the future, I will avoid Oracle Arena event tickets, unless I actually plan on attending.

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