Wizards Playoff Hopes, Ticket Prices Looking Up

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The Washington Wizards are up 2-0 against the Chicago Bulls in what could be their first playoff series win in 10 years. D.C. fans are banking on a win -- in more ways than one.

The Wizards sudden success has brought on a surge in ticket prices.

The team has seen the biggest increase in the NBA among playoff teams, from the regular season ticket price average to their playoff ticket price average, according to Forbes, the price has jumped nearly 340%.

The average first round playoff ticket at Washington's Verizon Center is $294.

"It's just, like, outrageous prices like 20 times the normal price," said Wizards fan, Kristina Michaud of Arlington.

Normal ticket prices for regular seasons Wizards games can range anywhere from $20 for upper level seats to a few hundred for premium seating.

Out of all the current playoff teams, Washington had the second lowest regular season ticket price average. But things are looking up.

"It's quite frustrating. The prices - they're up there. As the excitement has gone up, you can see it in the market," said Wes Huffmen, a Wizards fan in DuPont Circle.

In the secondary ticket market -- places like Craigslist and Stubhub.com where tickets are being resold -- ticket prices at the Verizon Center have increased 88% in the past week and 108% since the playoffs began, according to financial experts at Forbes.

Twenty-four hours before Friday night's game, tickets were as high as $2750 a seat on Stubhub.

Kristina Michaud has seen higher in the two weeks she has been searching for a deal.

"I saw some of the floor seats selling for $10,500," she said.

That's slightly out of Michaud's budget. She is looking for tickets in the "nosebleed" section of The Verizon Center, what are typically the "cheap seats".

"I'm seeing $215 to $230 - where they're typically $20. $20 for regular season," she said.

Wes Huffmen and his fiance were regulars at Wizards games this season.

"We were getting cheap, cheap courtside tickets for about $150 - that includes the food, drink all that sort of stuff. Those are running anywhere from $700 to a grand now," said Huffmen.

Steven Lee remembers the last Wizards playoff run in 2006-2007. He said, back then, tickets were a layup.

"You go on Craigslist, you get something $40 to $50, you get in the stadium. You can't get in the stadium for under $100 these days. That's the minimum. Oh yea, just to sit up against the wall," said Lee.

The other option is to sit at home, where the seats are free. But it looks like you just can't keep some fans away.

"I think my game plan is to show up at Verizon Center and see what happens," said Huffmen.


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