Los Angeles Clippers' Caron Butler, right, attempts to knock the ball away from Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles.
The Clippers soundly defeated the Lakers when they met early in the season and tonight is the highly anticipated rematch.
“The Clippers versus Lakers is by the far the biggest Clippers game we’ve ever sold, bigger than the playoffs last year, but it’s partially because they’re playing the Lakers,” said broker Barry Rudin of Barry’s Ticket Service.
And that tells the story: Clippers tickets are more popular than ever, but they’re still about half the cost of Lakers tickets.
“The demand for the Lakers is still substantially more. The market says everything, and according to the market Lakers prices are much higher,” said Brad Schy of Musical Chairs Tickets.
How much higher?
If you wanted good seats to see the Clippers play the defending champion Miami Heat in November, you would have had to fork over a couple hundred dollars.
If you want to see the Lakers play the Heat in two weeks Schy says the cheapest price would be $1100 for lower level seats between the baskets.
The Clippers recently won 17 games in a row, the NBA’s longest streak in four years.
As you may have heard, the Lakers have underwhelmed this season; they’re a distant third in the Pacific Division.
But Schy says the Lakers’ woes haven’t hurt demand. On the contrary, all the drama has increased interest – and ticket prices.
“The Lakers tickets this year have been amazing, fabulous,” he said.
The Lakers benefit from having a much bigger, loyal fan base, most of whom could care less what the Clippers are doing.
“The Lakers are a brand that’s been built up for 50 years,” Schy said. “I’m a perfect example. I’m not just going to become a Clippers fan. It’s just like any other brand. If you shop Ralph Lauren or Polo you’re not just going to start buying (a generic brand).”
But it may not be that way forever. Schy remembers it used to be that demand for Angels tickets didn’t come close to the Dodgers.
Now they are on equal footing.