Warriors playoff tickets prices same or less than last year

Courtesy of SF Gate:

The Golden State Warriors are keeping ticket prices for the playoffs that start next weekend the same or less than last year.

Season-ticket holders will pay the same as last year for the first three rounds of playoffs and about 14 percent less for the NBA Finals, if the team makes it that far.

Single-ticket sales for the first round, which went on sale this week, are also cheaper than last year. The cheapest ticket for round one will be $125 this year versus $175 last year, said Brandon Schneider, the team’s senior vice president for business development. Single tickets for subsequent rounds have not been priced yet.

Last year, a stratospheric increase in playoff ticket prices from the year before had fans fuming. One group of season-ticket holders paid $1,000 per seat for the Finals with Cleveland, up 150 percent from 2015, when they made the Finals for the first time in 40 years. This year, their Finals tickets cost $865, group member Steve Itelson said.

To afford playoff games last year, some fans tried to resell tickets to other games at higher prices, but so many people had the same idea that they did not get what they were hoping for.
Larry Schonbrun, a Warriors season-ticket holder for at least a decade, said his seats — which are two rows behind the Warriors’ bench — cost $2,600 each for the Finals this year, down from $3,000 last year.

Last year, he sold about half of his playoff tickets to help finance the other half, but had to drop his price because there were so many on the market. He still got more than he paid, and was disappointed “only in the context of what I had gotten the prior year,” he said.

In setting ticket prices, the Warriors analyze transactions on Warriors.com, the team’s resale marketplace powered by Ticketmaster.
For the 2015 playoffs, “they were trading 192 percent (on average) above what we charged season ticket holders, or almost triple,” Schneider said. “That contributed to raising prices for last year.”

For last year’s playoffs, resale prices were only 78 percent above what season-ticket holders paid.

The team also surveyed season-ticket holders over the past six months. What they heard is that “it was getting expensive,” Schneider said. “We received higher marks for the regular season than playoffs. We took that, and said we want to make tickets affordable for our fans.”

Season tickets, however, will be going up 5 to 25 percent next season, but that’s lower than the previous season’s increase, when they went up 14 to 28 percent, Schneider said.

Itelson’s seats will cost $175 apiece for each regular season game, up 21 percent from this season. Schonbrun’s seats will cost about $750 next season, up 15 percent.

Fans say their bigger concern is what tickets will cost when the Warriors move to San Francisco in 2019.

“I only assume because they won’t talk about prices at all that it’s going to be be something very unwelcome,” Schonbrun said.

Kathleen Pender is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: kpender@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @kathpender