The modern NBA is driven by star power. And while super teams like the Golden State Warriors are the biggest and best in a the NBA star-power arms race, that wasn’t always the case. While teams have always tried to get the best players possible, the recent trend can be traced back to one club: the Miami Heat and their ‘Big Three’ of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
Of those big three, Dwayne Wade is the only one remaining on the roster, and he’ll be hanging it up after this season. For his final season in Miami, though, there’s excitement for the new-look Heat, anchored by Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic. In addition to Wade’s final season, the Heat are still projected to be a playoff team according to ESPN, and as result the average secondary market ticket price are $150, which makes the the Xth most expensive team on the secondary market this season.
As you might imagine, Heat ticket prices were at their peak during the Big Three era. In 2011-12, the average ticket price on the secondary market was $242, the second highest in the NBA; two years later, it had risen to a league-leading $276. After the big-three broke up, ticket prices fell on the secondary market, reaching their lowest (an average price of $107) in 2016-17.
Since then, prices have begun to rebound. Last season, the average price on a Heat ticket on the secondary market was $160, good for 14th in the league.
Even at that reasonable price point, games against marquee opponents won’t come cheap. The priciest Heat game on the secondary market this season is when LeBron James returns to American Airlines Arena with his Lakers; the average ticket price on the secondary market is currently $486. A visit from the Warriors is the second most expensive gamewith an average secondary market price of $320, while two games with the Boston Celtics and one match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder round out the top five.
But even those expensive games can still offer great value. For the Lakers’ visit, you can get into the building starting $132; the drop off is even greater for the other games. For the game against the Thunder, for example, you can get in the building for as little as $35. Not a bad deal for a game between two playoff teams.
Bargains can also be found on the primary market. For games against most opponents, there is availability in both the lower and upper bowls of the arena. Most seats are affordable too; looking at an average game for example—in this case a visit from the 76ers in November—prices on Ticketmaster are cheaper than on the secondary market. The same is true against marquee opponents. For the Lakers visit, the primary market doesn’t have many seats left, but their lowest price is $125 as compared to the secondary market price of $132. While that’s not a massive savings, it demonstrates that the primary market is always worth checking out while looking for Heat tickets.
On the whole, everything is looking up for the Heat. The team is trending in the right direction on the court, the secondary ticket market is rebounding while remaining affordable, and the primary ticket market has plenty of good deals to offer. It might not be the Big Three era, but everyone on South Beach has reason to be feeling positive.