In normal times, a regular season game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets probably wouldn’t generate much interest on the ticket resale market.
Sure, it’s a rematch of the 2019 Western Conference semifinals. And Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, who is definitely the best giant sloth to ever disguise itself as a man and sneak onto an NBA roster, is the presumptive MVP of the league. But still: It’s the Nuggets. Not even Denver cares about the Nuggets.
These, however, are not normal times. And as such, this Sunday’s final home game between these two divisional rivals is the hottest ticket in town, insofar as ticketed events exist right now.
How hot? Resale tickets on StubHub are currently starting at around $240—for nosebleeds.
That’s for seats in the upper corners of the 300 level, the worst sightline in Moda Center. Baseline views, meanwhile, are going for nearly double. Want to sit in the lower bowl? Be ready to shell out anywhere from $558 to $1,394.
The numbers are eye-popping, but not altogether surprising.
It’s a classic example of unusually low supply meeting fervent demand. For one thing, only four home games remained on the schedule when Gov. Kate Brown finally allowed fans back into the building. On top of that, the arena is restricted to 10% capacity, capping attendance at around 1,900, which led to fast sellouts.
Then there are the game’s potential ramifications: The suddenly streaking Blazers are currently sitting in the fifth seed in the Western Conference and hoping to lock down a playoff spot while avoiding the play-in tournament, and it’s possible that a win or loss on Sunday could determine where they ultimately end up.
Perhaps the price will drop. Brown announced Thursday evening that venues will be allowed to remove mask and social distancing requirements—if they mandate vaccinations for the people they allow inside. It’s not yet clear if that will mean more people inside Moda Center this Sunday or during the playoffs.
But for now, think of it this way: With less than 2,000 people there, you have a better chance than ever of getting your “Blaze the Nuggs” sign on TV. The ticket’ll pay for itself.