LeBron Effect: Ticket demand on the rise for Lakers’ local preseason game

Courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun:

After NBA superstar LeBron James announced Sunday that he was joining the Los Angeles Lakers, fans swarmed virtual box offices in order to secure tickets for a first look at the new team.

The Lakers’ annual preseason game in Las Vegas was among the contests to see a price surge. Tickets for the Oct. 10 matchup between the Lakers and two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors at T-Mobile Arena rose to an average of $156, with prices ranging from $83 to $2,800, on StubHub.

Face value for last year’s exhibition between the Lakers and Kings, by comparison, fell between $22 and $145.

“Only a handful of athletes in the world can have an effect on ticket demand like LeBron James can,” StubHub General Manager Scott Jablonski said in a statement. “It’s still early but trends are already showing that this upcoming Lakers season with James is going to be one of the hottest sports tickets on StubHub.”

According to StubHub, 71 percent of the game’s ticket sales so far have occurred in the three days after James’ announcement. It’s made for a rush similar to the one currently occurring at sports books.

Future odds for the Lakers to win next season’s NBA title dropped with the addition of James. The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook already had the Lakers at a relatively low 8-to-1 with the expectation of James joining the team, but trimmed them to 7-to-2 on Sunday.

The number increased again, however, when the Warriors added NBA All-Star Demarcus Cousins on Monday. Golden State shifted from Even money to minus-175 (risking $1.75 to win $1), sending the Lakers up to 5-to-1.