Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Tickets for tonight’s game between the first-place New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden are the most expensive of the National Basketball Association season on the resale market.
The average listing for the game, the first between the two teams at the Knicks’ home court in Manhattan, is $630.51, according to ticket-aggregator TiqIQ.
That eclipses the previous high of the NBA season, the $529.39 average listing for a Nov. 26 game between the same teams at Barclays Center, postponed from Nov. 1 by Hurricane Sandy. Tickets were listed at $448.10 for their second meeting in Brooklyn on Dec. 11.
“Any time bragging rights are on the line between intercity rivals, whether it be in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, fan excitement rises and so do the prices they’re willing to pay,” TiqIQ spokesman Chris Matcovich said yesterday in an e-mail.
The Knicks (18-6) lead the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of LeBron James and the defending-champion Miami Heat. New York forward Carmelo Anthony, who has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle, is scoring 27.9 points per game -- second only to Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers -- and the team is averaging a league-low 10.8 turnovers per contest.
The Knicks have the highest average home ticket resale listings in the NBA at $337.14, according to TiqIQ. The Nets are third at $190.05, behind the Lakers at $279.21.
Brooklyn opened the season a franchise-best 11-4, then lost five straight with center Brook Lopez, its leading scorer and shot blocker, out with a foot injury. The Nets lost 92-90 at home to the Utah Jazz last night to fall to 13-11.
The Knicks have sold out 77 straight games at the Garden, which is two-thirds through a $1 billion, privately funded renovation, according to MSG spokeswoman Stacey Escudero, who said the team doesn’t announce each game’s sales until tip-off. Face value for Knicks tickets range from $10 to $3,600 for courtside seats that are part of season packages, she said.
The new crosstown rivalry and both teams’ success this season has boosted resale ticket prices dramatically. In the previous two seasons, tickets for Knicks-Nets games at the Garden were listed for an average of $205.99, while tickets to see the two teams at the Nets’ previous home, the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, were listed for $147.87.
“It is a rivalry and it’s great for New York,” Anthony said after the teams’ last meeting, a 100-97 Knicks victory in Brooklyn. “When we come here, it’s a battle, and when they come there, it’s going to be a battle.”
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