As the Raptors ready themselves for Game 5 of the NBA Finals Monday against the Golden State Warriors, fans are preparing for what could be a historic victory for the franchise — and the city.
“To witness history, to witness history — that’s why we’re here!” said Raptors fan Onkar Gill who had arrived at 5:30 Friday morning in order to secure a spot in the tailgate area outside Scotiabank Arena known as Jurassic Park.
This is the first time the team has been in the NBA Finals, so every game in this series has been special. But a championship win would, indeed, be one for the history books.
But what about fans who want to actually witness history by being inside the arena if the Raptors take the series against the Golden State Warriors?
Basketball fans who are still looking to get tickets for Game 5 should be prepared to pay a hefty price.
Tickets range from $3,238 to $120K
A cursory search found a single ticket with an obstructed view going for $11,120.
These tickets are in the 300 level (upper-most tier), called the Fan Zone, which are typically the most affordable tickets during the regular season. In fact, one 300-level ticket to a Raptors versus Warriors regular season game on Nov. 29 last year cost $170.
The most expensive tickets are courtside seats being sold on Ticketmaster for $60,000 each. Those seats are only available as a pair, which means someone would have to lay down a cool $120,000 to sit at Drake level on Monday.
That’s double what the same seats cost for Game 1 of this series.
Laws of supply and demand
Vijay Stelur, a marketing instructor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, admits those prices are “insane” but only to people who don’t understand how supply and demand works.
“You have fans from not only this region, but from across Canada, and even around the world, who have never seen the Raptors make it this far, who are clamouring to try to get tickets,” Stelur said.
The question is, what are they willing to pay for them?
The ‘experiential economy’
Stelur pointed out that Toronto is one of the wealthiest cities in North America, which means more people are willing to spend big bucks “to say that they were there.”
For many fans, to say that is the whole point.
It’s called the “experiential economy,” Stelur said — it’s the idea that consumers would rather spend money on experiences rather than tangible, physical products.
“Being able to experience something that heightens their senses and stokes their emotions and passions — that for a lot of people is more important than just buying goods off a shelf,” he said.