Sixers Increasing Season Ticket Prices as Astronomical Demand Hits Secondary Market

Photo Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are contacting season ticket holders on Tuesday night, announcing a price increase for the 2022-2023 season.

Of course, the immediate reaction is to be annoyed with any kind of price increase in anything, but this is standard operating procedure for any sports franchise. The Sixers just completed a blockbuster trade, they are damn good, and market demand is astronomical, so it is what it is. There’s a business side to sport whether we like it or not.

Here are some bullet points on the increase:

  • Season ticket holders sitting in the Mezzanine will see prices increase about three dollars per game, on average.
  • Season ticket holders sitting upstairs in other spots will see an increase of about five dollars per game, also on average.
  • The STH seeing the biggest increase will be closer to the floor, and that’s 15% max for lower bowl, and then 20% max for VIP customers sitting near the court.
  • There are 14,000 Sixers season ticket holders total, and only about 1,000 are in that VIP/floor category, so the increase is skewed towards the well-off types who can already afford expensive tickets anyway. We’re talking Tom Kline and M Night Shyamalan. HBSE isn’t exactly pricing Butch from Manayunk out of the upper deck.
  • The Sixers actually have the largest season ticket base in the entire league. My understanding is that this number is going to decline, which opens up room for increased group and individual ticket sales. Look for a recalibration on this front sometime soon.
  • There will be no increase to playoff ticket pricing.
  • The James Harden trade has so far pushed ticket prices on the secondary market up by more than 50%.
  • This increase will see the Sixers move from 11th to 9th in average NBA season ticket price. That’s really not bad considering the fact that Philadelphia is a top-five NBA market and you’d expect prices to be congruent with that. It’s no surprise that the Lakers, Warriors, Knicks, Nets, etc are typically at the top of the STH price rankings.

Nobody should be surprised by this. For starters, secondary market demand is through the roof right now. For James Harden’s home debut, the cheapest tickets are $86, which is up more than 300% in a short amount of time. And the March 10th game that Ben Simmons is trying to dodge will be insane on the secondary market, which is what teams monitor when they price their season ticket packages.

Keep in mind, the Sixers and Flyers were both playing without fans for a good portion of last season, so the revenue loss for indoor sports during that first pandemic season was pretty significant. I know Josh Harris and David Blitzer have enough money to pay off your mortgage and my mortgage a thousand times over, and then book a seat on the Jeff Bezos space rocket, but there was no season ticket increase in 2021 while the COVID situation threw everything out of whack. The city put restrictions on indoor gatherings, and it really affected the sports teams significantly, though 2022 demand for a good Sixers team is higher than demand for a stinky Flyers team. The city has since removed the vaccination mandate, and things are slowly getting back to normal, but we’ll put the emphasis on “slowly,” because Philly always seems to drag ass when it comes to these kinds of things.

Anyway, the bottom line is that this is pretty typical stuff. The Sixers are the hottest team in town. They have a great squad with a shot at the Finals. It’s not crazy to think that season ticket prices for good teams are more expensive than season ticket prices for shit teams. The Sixers were the latter during the Process era, and now they’re the former, so we ride the market wave. Supply and demand. Economics, baby. Ring that bell brotha.