Jeremy Lin’s return to the Harvard University area as a sudden National Basketball Association standout has more than doubled ticket prices for the March 4 game between his New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics.
The game at TD Garden is the Celtics’ priciest this season, more than doubling the cost of seats from a month ago, when Lin, a Harvard economics graduate, mostly watched from the bench during a Knicks loss.
Boston (17-17) is hosting New York (18-18) for the first time since beating the Knicks 91-89 on Feb. 3, the night before Lin took Madison Square Garden in New York by storm with a 25-point, seven-assist performance as a substitute that kicked off his rise to international attention and the team’s rebound from an 8-15 start to the season.
The average ticket price for the game is $267, compared with the $105 average price for the previous matchup, according to TiqIQ, an aggregator of the online resale ticket market. The second-costliest ticket for a Celtics’ home game this season is $234 for Boston’s April 1 meeting with the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat (28-7) and All-Stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Harvard is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, across the Charles River from Boston and less than four miles from TD Garden.
Lin, a 23-year-old second-year point guard who twice was cut by other teams, played less than seven minutes in the Knicks’ loss in Boston on Feb. 3, scoring two points with one assist.
New York played its third game in as many days the following night because of the compacted schedule tied to the lockout-shortened NBA season, and Lin was given a career-high 36 minutes of play. He moved into the starting lineup two days later and has averaged 22.1 points and 9.2 assists in that role.
As the Knicks have surged under Lin’s on-court leadership, ticket resale prices for New York’s home and road games have jumped and television ratings have soared. Lin, the first Chinese- or Taiwanese American to play in the NBA and the first Harvard player to make a league roster since Ed Smith in 1953, was on the cover of Sports Illustrated for two straight weeks and captured the cover of the Asian edition of Time magazine.