We know the fans aren’t turning out to see the stellar basketball.
Despite the Lakers’4-23 record, from the day that Kobe Bryant announced that he would be retiring, ticket demand for Lakers games — particularly on the road — skyrocketed. Everyone wants the chance to see Kobe Bryant one last time. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times laid it all out.
The Lakers are a weak 2-15 away from Staples Center but own the NBA’s best road attendance with an average of 19,223 fans. Cleveland is next at 18,979.
In the days after Bryant’s retirement announcement three weeks ago, ticket resales to see the Lakers spiked 85%, with an almost equal increase for home and away games, according to Ticketmaster. On top of it, the Lakers are screaming toward their worst-ever record and remain the second-most popular team in single-game sales on NBA League Pass, where viewers pay $6.99 to watch a live out-of-market game.
It’s the same on the secondary ticket market. If you want to see the Denver Nuggets face the Pelicans or Trail Blazers, tickets start at $28 and $20, respectively, on Stub Hub. Want to see the Nuggets host the Lakers and tickets start at $62 for the nose bleed areas, and a pair of courtside seats will set you back $3,920. In Charlotte tickets to see Kobe’s final stop start at $105, and down courtside range from $3,000 to $10,000 a pair.
Bryant has given fans a little bit of a show lately, averaging 18.6 points per game on a much-improved 48.6 percent shooting in his last five games. He’s shown flashes of his old self, even throwing down an impressive dunk. That’s all fans really will get, flashes of vintage Kobe.
But that brings with it a lot of memories. And people are willing to pay for those memories.