Even in down years in a slow market, there are certain teams that just sell out NBA buildings. When the Lakers come to your city, the building is full. Same with the Celtics.
The Heat are supposed to be one of those teams. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together? A guaranteed sell out, even when you jack up the ticket prices (got to love that variable pricing). A boon for the local ownership. They certainly were in Boston opening night.
Halfway through the second quarter, I walked into the box office. There were no lines, and several windows open. I asked to buy a ticket, and the guy behind the glass was happy to help.
He showed me a seat map, and said I could choose from any one of five lower bowl sections. Prices started at $140 in the corner, and went up from there. Lower bowl seats near the 50-yard line were available for less than $300 each. There were also seats in the halo for $50.
I said I needed two together, and he said no sweat, we could do that in any of those sections.
I don’t think this speaks to the popularity of the Heat. Last night’s Heat/Celtics matchup earned the highest television ratings of any regular season game ever shown on cable. From this blog to ESPN to the far corners of the Internet, the Miami Heat draw eyeballs and sell merchandise. You may not love them but you read about them and watch them.
Except in Philadelphia. Which likely says more about the economy in that city and the state of the Sixers than it does the Heat.