Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- New York Knicks ticket prices on the secondary market tripled for tomorrow night’s potential debut of Carmelo Anthony at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony, a four-time All-Star and the National Basketball Association’s sixth-leading scorer this season, joined the Knicks in a trade with the Denver Nuggets today. His first game with New York might be tomorrow against the Milwaukee Bucks providing all players traded pass physicals with their new teams.
Up until yesterday, fans were paying $91 on average for tickets to the game against the Bucks on ticket reseller StubHub.com.
“That average price tripled yesterday and the low end listing price starts at $250,” Glenn Lehrman, a spokesman for EBay Inc.’s StubHub, said in an e-mail. “‘Knicks tickets’ have been the top-searched keyword over the last 12 hours.”
The Knicks last night acquired 26-year-old Anthony, 34-year-old guard Chauncey Billups, as well as Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman from the Nuggets. In exchange, Denver will get Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 first-round draft picket, the Golden State Warriors’ 2012 and 2013 second-round draft picks and $3 million in cash, Nuggets spokesman Aaron Lopez confirmed in an e-mail.
During the offseason, the Knicks were among the teams trying to land LeBron James, the NBA’s two-time reigning most valuable player. James went to the Miami Heat, leaving the Knicks with enough salary-cap room to add a second high-priced player to go along with Amar’e Stoudemire.
“The bottom line is, he’s coming,” said Rob Stolker, an independent venture capitalist who with two partners invested $28,512 last summer in hopes of a big payday when James or other headline players joined a Knicks’ team flush with salary-cap space. “It’s unbelievable. This is why we did it. All of a sudden, it’s starting to make some sense.”
Stolker today said he is kicking himself for already selling his eight season-tickets for the Bucks’ visit.
“We sold tomorrow night’s game last Friday for a little more than face,” Stolker, said in a telephone interview. “It was clearly not a good decision in hindsight.”
Stolker, a former day trader, had his iPad in hand last night when he saw news of Anthony’s trade scroll along the television screen. He was on StubHub seconds later and watched ticket prices more than double in a matter of minutes, some climbing from $140 to $340, he said.
“In my trading days, the second I pulled that up I would have just cleared everything up to $250 and then dealt with it later,” Stolker said.
Instead he said he’s content that the plan hatched last year to invest in Knicks’ tickets with the hopes of a James signing has turned out as well as it did. James, who plays with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, has helped the Heat to a 41-15 record this season, leading the Southeast Division, while the Knicks are 28-26 and in second place in the Atlantic.
“Veteran players will now come and say, ‘I think there’s enough there that we can have fun, beat the hated Miami and take a championship back to Broadway,” Stolker said.
StubHub prices for Nuggets’ games have so far remained unchanged, though a few more tickets are available than before the trade, Lehrman said.
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