The 2021 NBA Season is finally here and the hottest ticket in New York might not be for the team that has three of the best players in the league.
The Brooklyn Nets, who have All-Stars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden on their roster, released single-game tickets to the public in a partnership with SeatGeek on Friday.
Given the star power on the team, many might expect tickets to Barclays Center to be expensive. But after New York City issued guidelines requiring guests 12 or older at all indoor events to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, the prices of Nets games might have been affected.
Securing a seat at any of the Nets' home opponents early in the season won’t cost much. As of Oct. 1, tickets to the Nets’ second home game against Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards on Oct. 25 are going for as low as $16. Want to catch the Nets against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 3? It will only cost $25.
Brooklyn’s first marquee matchup comes when they welcome Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors to Brooklyn on Nov. 16. The prices for that game start at just $79.
These prices are a stark contrast compared to what other arenas tickets are selling for.
The New York Knicks, who also must follow the city’s indoor event health and safety protocols at Madison Square Garden, currently have prices for games that are double the cost of a ticket in Brooklyn.
Tickets for the Knicks in their home opener against the Boston Celtics on Oct. 20 cost at least $116 per seat. When Giannis Antetokounmpo and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks come to the Garden on Nov. 10, the lowest ticket is $85.
Tickets for the Knicks’ second home game of the season against the Orlando Magic on Oct. 24 are selling for $40, but anything in the lower levels of Madison Square Garden is at least $400.
While the Knicks made a number of moves to acquire high-profile talent in the offseason, adding Kemba Walker and Eric Fournier to go along with R.J. Barrett and Julius Randle, the roster doesn’t really compare to the Nets’ trio of Durant, Irving and Harden.
However, ease of access to the arena, opponent and the day and time are all factored into the price of each game.
The NBA reportedly reached the 95 percent vaccination threshold of its players since the opening of training camps, but some of the league’s high-profile players have been open about their decisions to not receive the vaccine. Irving declined to comment on his vaccination status during Nets media day earlier in the week. Given the city-wide mandate, Irving's decision on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine might prevent him from playing in home games at the Barclays Center, and might have impacted ticket sales.
Other players around the league who have revealed they are unvaccinated, like Bradley Beal, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Isaac and Michael Porter Jr. might be forced to sit out games played in New York as well.
With most of the players healthy to start the 2021 season, now might be the best time to catch the Nets for a bargain, but whether or not Irving will play in those games remains to be seen.