Sixers Inform Customers of Season and Playoff Ticket Prices, And Yes, There’s The Expected Increase

Photo credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers are notifying season ticket holders of 2020-2021 season ticket renewal prices and 2020 playoff tickets today. As one might expect, both will see modest increases.

There will be an average season ticket increase in the second level of $7 per ticket. And while prices have stepped up slowly over the last few seasons, this will be the first time the upper bowl receives a double-digit percentage increase.

I spoke with Sixers President Chris Heck and Vice President of Communications Dave Sholler about the pricing changes– both, aware that fans are sensitive to any price increase, wanted to provide some context.

Despite the increase in second-level, or upper bowl seats, the bulk of the increase will again come in the premium lower bowl and courtside seats. Those tickets are in high-demand, with courtside seats approaching actual 100% renewal rates. So, as Bernie Sanders would probably approve of, the burden will be largely felt by the millionaires and billionaires jockeying for face-time on ESPN.

The Sixers want to be careful not to price-out average fans or Process folks, and seem content to pass most of the added costs along to the folks who can afford it.

 

Sixers Tickets Remain Reasonably Priced


It can be tempting for an organization whose fortunes have changed so rapidly over the course of three years or so – from bottom dweller to contender – to drastically and forcefully raise rates and price-out common fans. The Sixers have largely avoided doing that.

The Sixers’ partnership with StubHub, which was announced several years ago and sees them sell their individual game inventory in conjunction with secondary market tickets through the ticketing platform, was initially met with some skepticism (including from me), because, at least in theory, it enables the Sixers to obfuscate (read: raise) single-game ticket prices without transparency. [The partnership allows for combining original and secondary inventory in the same transaction with one average price spread across multiple seats.] But anecdotal checks over the years have failed to yield any sort of red flags, and in some cases have produced genuine value on the secondary market site.

In short, there’s no evidence – from my view – that the Sixers’ partnership with StubHub has negatively impacted fans beyond regular increases expected for hard-to-get tickets.

And that sentiment extends to their season ticket prices.

Three years ago, according to Heck and Sholler, the Sixers had the 23rd most expensive season ticket prices in the league. The change for 2020-2021 will bring them somewhere around 10th-12th in the league, with the highest courtside ticket price of $3,200 and lowest get-in of $20. This averages out to around $92 per ticket, which is lower than the obvious teams like the Warriors, Knicks, and Lakers, and also the Raptors, Rockets, Nets, and even Hawks.

It’s also in-line with other Philly teams.

 

Other Philly Teams

The Eagles are roughly top-10 in the NFL in prices. The Phillies and Flyers both hover in the 10-15 range in their respective leagues.

This year, the average price of a Flyers ticket is $88. The Sixers will be $92 next season. Quite fair, given the superior product the Sixers offer over the perpetually middling Flyers (though they appear to be a top 10 team in the league this season).

The Sixers offer the average tenured season ticket holder a 20%-25% discount when renewing, and the new customer rate seems to be about 10% cheaper than the Flyers’ new customer rate.

 

Season Ticket Demand

I wanted to know what the overall season-ticket picture looks like.

Heck said the Sixers cap season tickets at just over 14,000 seats. The remaining 6,000-7,000 are split across suites and premium sales, group sales, and individual tickets.

The waitlist is over 17,000 names long, and there is an over 90% renewal rate . The wait time varies depending on location. It’s likely longer for the more affordable upper bowl seats than the more expensive lower seats.

About 2,000 individual seats are made available by the Sixers each game, with another roughly 2,000 tickets going up on the secondary market from resellers.

The overall mix appears to be working– the Sixers claim 120-straight sellouts.

 

Playoff Tickets

Reps are also contacting season ticket holders about playoff pricing. The year over year increase on playoff tickets from 2019 will be less, percentage-wise, than the season ticket increase for 2020– though I haven’t seen exact prices yet.

With one caveat.

If the Sixers make the NBA Finals, customers can expect to see a higher YoY increase. But at that point, I mentioned to Heck, most of us would probably be willing to take out a mortgage to get into the building. There was a knowing laugh.

[UPDATE: Slight clarification here. Correcting the playoff ticket prices. The increase in playoff ticket prices compared to regular season prices will be lower than it was last season. If the Sixers make the Finals, the increase will be exactly the same as it was last season.]

 

Sixers Are Still a Value

Overall, no one likes to see a ticket price increase. If the team is bad, it’s met with scorn and derision. If a team is good, it’s met with calls of greed.

But the Sixers are turning out an elite level product – despite any nitpicks about recent woes – and are one of the most popular teams in the hottest league on the planet. Philly is a top 5 market, and yet prices for the Sixers – and Eagles, Phillies, and Flyers – remain somewhere just outside the top 10.

In short, these increases are fair… unless you sit courtside, in which case you may have to forego an extra Lambo this year.

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18 Responses

  1. What happened to the Boyertown , West Virginia Grad? I guess he got tired of Kylie writing bad checks.

  2. That is why I’m switching over to the 76ers. The Flyers have the worst customer service I have ever dealt with in my life. They doubled my cost of tickets last year and I only found out by reading my invoice a few days before the deadline. I have not heard from a rep all year except to tell me they were taking over for Cameron last summer. Cameron would call me on my birthday, stop by seats, and drop off gifts for my kids. I can’t wait until I receive a call from whoever my rep is to ask why I’m not renewing. A bunch of morons running the organization.

  3. I mean how else do you explain such an elite level boot licking .

  4. What does a single court side ticket cost next to the Sixth Man if it were available. As a season ticket holder forever he pays a lot less for those court side seats than someone who bought them while they were tanking.

  5. I started my season tickets in 2016. Lower level corner at $43 per seat per game. The invoice today has the same seats at $81 per seat, an 18% increase each of the last two years alone. I’m done

    1. Totally agree David – CB is a great website that gives its users good insight so this article strikes me as odd. The truth is that ticket prices have almost doubled over the last 2 years the resale price on the secondary market has remained flat. This is primarily due to $25 tickets at the assembly room, performance of the team, additional seats they added to every row during the last renovation. I have been a sixers season ticket holder for 4 years. I will not renew because it is now actually cheaper to just buy individual game tickets then the price they give season ticket holders. Just a warning to the CB community

  6. They should charge Brett Brown for sitting courtside. Qantas called they have a first class seat with your name on it .

    1. Rubin is putting aside money for Meek Mill’s future legal fees….it won’t take long before Meek is in trouble again with the law.

  7. My clam was so hirsute I accidentally sewed a couple of my not so short and curlies into the first American flag. My apologies.

  8. He hasn’t made a decent movie since the Sixth Sense. Also where do all those 5-10 year olds get the money to sit courtside. Are they buying the tickets with their allowance.It looks like a daycare center most nights. Soon enough they will be changing diapers while the game is going on.

  9. Sixers are 6th in the East (3 spots worse than last year), national media is saying that Sixers need to trade one of their two best players, head coach will be fired in the offseason and… ticket prices are going UP about 25-30%?!?!

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