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How to Get Court Side Tickets?

A ball falls toward the hoop with a large crowd in the background. NBA

Looking down the sidelines of a National Basketball Association (NBA) game, you will see a who’s who of A-List celebrities and high-profile business people. Is it the action on the court that draws them to courtside seats or the exclusivity? It may be a mix, but either way, courtside seats are some of the hottest tickets in all of sports. 

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of courtside seats, how much they cost and how you can get them for yourself.

Growth of the NBA

The NBA was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America and included 11 teams. In 1949, it became the National Basketball Association after merging with the competing National Basketball League. In the early years of the NBA, the Boston Celtics were dominant, winning eight consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966 with Hall of Famers Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and Red Auerbach on the roster. 

The NBA faced competition again in the 1970s from the upstart American Basketball Association and later merged to add four more teams. Through expansion and relocation, the NBA now has 30 teams – 29 in the United States and one in Canada – that compete in the Eastern and Western Conferences. 

One major key to the success of the NBA was the 1992 Olympic Dream Team that featured Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton, Charles Barkley and more huge names from the league. That team routed opponents by an average of 44 points on their way to winning the Gold Medal. It was also the first year that all players were sourced from the NBA, following a change to International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rules that allowed professional athletes to compete on Olympic rosters. 

The NBA is now considered the world’s premier men’s professional basketball league featuring players from across the globe. It is also the third wealthiest professional sports league in North America behind the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB). 

Some of the league’s most prominent teams have included the Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and more recently, the Golden State Warriors

How Much Are Courtside Seats in the NBA?

The price of courtside seats will largely depend on the venue you choose to attend and which teams are playing. However, you can plan to spend several hundred to a few thousand dollars to secure a courtside seat at an NBA game. Some tickets will even cost five or six figures for games during the NBA Playoffs. If you’re wondering how much are courtside tickets, it is best to check costs for an individual game and compare available options.

The New York Knicks made headlines before the 2022-23 NBA season after announcing that ultra-premium courtside seats by the scorer’s table at Madison Square Garden would sell for $3,000 per ticket. In Dallas, prices soared to $8,000 to sit courtside and watch the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center

The previous year, NBA Finals tickets at the TD Garden in Boston reached $22,044 before fees for Game 3. The lowest price in a VIP section was $6,356 for the same game, according to NBC Sports. 

A court side view of a NBA court.

What Are Some of the Perks of Sitting Courtside?

Sitting courtside at an NBA game comes with a variety of perks. To start, most luxury packages at arenas, like the Smoothie King Center where the New Orleans Pelicans play, will include elevated parking options and access to exclusive parts of the arena like clubs with all-inclusive food and beverage service. 

For the sports enthusiast, there is no better view for an NBA game than courtside seats. They place you right in the middle of the action within feet of your favorite players. Depending on where your seats are located, you may even be able to hear the chatter in the team huddle or the players communicating on the court. 

Courtside seats in the NBA come with some social clout too because these tickets are expensive and difficult to acquire. They are also frequently shown on television given their proximity to the action.  

Tips for Buying Courtside Tickets

There are two main factors affecting the accessibility of courtside seats. The first is price. Sitting courtside at an NBA game is expensive, but the experience is one-of-a-kind. 

If you are looking to attend a single game for a special occasion or to see a specific matchup, it would be wise to start shopping as early as possible before that game sells out. The second factor is availability. The number of courtside seats at a given arena is naturally pretty limited and many of the seats are taken by season ticket holders.

If you are wondering how to get courtside NBA tickets, there are two approaches: primary and secondary. Single-game tickets may be available through the team’s ticket office, which would be the primary option. The ticket office should be able to discuss availability and run through the full calendar with you. Secondary ticketing sites like TicketSmarter also list courtside seats for NBA games and are still a safe option if the event is sold out. 

When is the Right Time to Purchase Courtside Tickets?

It is best to buy courtside seats as early as possible since there is a lot of competition for this high-profile seating option. Tickets go on sale shortly after the season schedule is announced and season ticket holders will likely receive priority seating as a reward for their loyalty. Throughout the season, there may be some fluctuation in price depending on the success of the team, but as the popularity rises, so does the demand. 

Once the schedule is released in mid-August, you should sit down and make a list of games you would like to see. Then, you can check availability and start making your plans. If those plans involve a trip to see your favorite team on the road, check HotelPlanner for exclusive travel deals throughout the United States. 

If you are a little more flexible with your schedule, you can check secondary sites for last-minute NBA tickets and sort them by seating section. You may just get lucky. 

Buy NBA Tickets

Whether you are watching an early-season tune-up or a late-season playoff push, you can get courtside NBA tickets from TicketSmarter to see your favorite team in action this season. On TicketSmarter, you can search by team or venue and then filter by price or select a specific section to view available tickets.