The narratives haven’t lasted long in this year’s NBA Finals series between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. After LeBron James received criticism for missing a possible game-winning shot in Game 1, he responded with a road win in Game 2 to tie the series. After Stephen Curry and co. fell in Game 3, they won by 21 points in Game 4 to even things back up, essentially turning the series into a best-of-three.
Back and forth, just how the fans want it to be. The teams are also going back and forth travel-wise for the final three games, as the series alternates home cities in each game from here on out. But as the drama builds, so do NBA Finals ticket prices on the secondary market. According to TiqIQ.com, Game 5 at Oracle Arena has an average ticket price of $1,188.48, with a get-in price of $561. Game 6 at Quicken Loans Arena is even higher, with an average ticket price of $1,624.81.
If the series goes to Game 7, Oracle Arena currently has an insane average ticket price of $2,450.25, and a get-in price of $1,187.
As both of these franchises know, title appearances are not something that can be guaranteed, and winning championships is even less so — the Warriors haven’t won it all in 40 years, while the Cavs have never secured a title. Fans have to take advantage of these opportunities, even if it means forking up major dollars to do so given the rarity of each club advancing this far in the NBA Playoffs. Interestingly for Cleveland fans looking to travel, tickets are cheaper in Oakland for Game 5 when compared to Game 6 tickets at Quickens Loans Arena. Conversely for Golden State fans, tickets to Game 6 in Cleveland are cheaper than if the series reaches Game 7.
So is it worth it to travel to the opposing team’s arena to catch an NBA Finals game? According to travel pricing on Hipmunk.com, it could be. Game 5 at Oracle Arena has a current get-in price of $561. The cheapest round-trip Oakland flight from Cleveland is $1,044.20, with the cheapest AirBnB Bay Area option costing $55 for a one-night stay that places a fan within 20 minutes of Oakland. That get-in ticket price plus travel and boarding costs a grand total of $1,660.20. Comparatively,the average ticket price for Game 6 at Quicken Loans Arena is $1,624.81.
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James shoots as Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry defends during Game 4 of the 2015 NBA Finals on June 11, 2015 at the at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
If the Warriors have a chance to clinch an NBA Championship during Game 6 in Cleveland, fans can also save by traveling to Cleveland. The get-in price for Game 6 at Quicken Loans Arena is $621. The cheapest round-trip Cleveland flight is $563.20, along with the cheapest AirBnB option being $39. That travel total added to the get-in price equals $1,196.20. The average ticket price is $2,453 for Game 7, if it gets there, so fans have an interesting decision on their hands.
For those more worried about the accommodations than the price tag, Hipmunk has three four-star Cleveland hotels listed ranging from $114 to $179 per night. Meanwhile, three-star options range from $79 to $139 per night. For Oakland area hotels, Hipmunk has a plethora of three-star options ranging from $89 to $149 per night.
The memory of being in the building when either the Cavaliers or Warriors win a championship will last a lifetime, and thinking about travel options for both sides makes any fan one step closer to making this trip a reality.