NBA All-Star Game Nearly Closed to Ticket-Buying Public

Russell Westbrook All Star Game AP

For the fifth year in a row few tickets for the NBA’s big All-Star game events are available to the public, reports note.

Even as the National Basketball League’s new TV contract will bring in an astounding $2.66 billion over the next year, the league has closed off most of the tickets to the events surrounding the All-Star Game to the public. There are also relatively few tickets for the main game itself available for fans to purchase.

The five-day long series of events connected to the big game are mostly private or severely restricted. In fact, The New York Times reports that on the secondary market All-Star game tickets can cost as much as a sky-high $2,000 a seat.

According to StubHub’s site, ticket prices for the Saturday night Dunk and 3-Point Contests will start at $550. As for the game itself, tickets for start at $1,049 and go up from there.

“In effect,” The Times wrote on Thursday, “the N.B.A. has created something of a closed-access party. Two-thirds of the available seating (or more than 10,000 tickets) for the events Saturday night and Sunday were claimed by the league to distribute to its long list of broadcast and marketing partners, other affiliates, players, the players’ association and N.B.A. alumni. Those commitments encompassed a vast portion of the lower sections of both arenas.”

On top of that a large number of tickets are reserved to the various NBA teams to distribute to whomever they wish–but few fans seem to be on those lists.

Apparently, of all the major professional sports leagues, the NBA is the least responsive to fans with its big event. But not everyone thinks this is necessarily a bad thing. A former adviser to the Knicks defended the velvet rope around All-Star Weekend. “It is a necessary evil,” Joe Favorito said of so many seats going to business interests. “It’s hard to justify making more tickets available to every fan when you’ve got corporations looking to spend a lot of money with you and grow the game.”

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