Are you a die-hard Kobe Bryant fan wanting to score tickets to his last game before he hangs up No. 24? Are you willing to hand over some serious cash to see the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz showdown? If you want bragging rights to witnessing Kobe's last game as a professional basketball player, it will be pricey. Tickets to Wednesday's game at the Staples Center were averaging $2,110 as of Monday afternoon, according to CNBC, a 500 percent increase over an average Lakers' home game.
TiqiQ, a secondary ticket vendor, and market tracking site showed the list price for the game jumped 134 percent between Sunday night and Monday morning. During that time period, the cheapest seat cost $888 and the most expensive seat was courtside for $25,700.Glenn Lehrman, a StubHub spokesman, told ESPN that it isn't just the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz tickets that are spiking. The Golden State Warriors' stock went up the minute they beat the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night. The Warriors play the Memphis Grizzlies on Bryant's retirement night, and tickets for their game were averaging $1, 594 and is climbing steadily.
"It is virtually unprecedented to see the two highest-priced regular-season games of the year take place in the last game of the season at games with no playoff stakes involved."TiqIQ spokesman Chris Matcovich echoed Lehrman's thoughts.
"This is the most important date in regular-season history, not relating to playoffs since we opened in 2009."The Lakers issued a fraud alert on Monday morning, warning their fans to only purchase their tickets at the Lakers Ticket Exchange and cautioned against the dangers of purchasing on the secondary market.
The LA Lakers have really struggled this year, and unfortunately, Bryant will end his NBA career with a team that is advertising a dismal 16-65 record, a shame for anyone wanting to see the 20-year veteran go out on top. Fans were hoping for something closer to what Peyton Manning experienced in his last year with the Denver Broncos -- a league championship. The Jazz currently have a 40-41 record that the Lakers need to ignore if they are going to make Bryant's last game a winning game.
The team's lackluster performance doesn't justify the higher ticket prices this season, so it is clear that his retirement is driving up prices for tickets and merchandise. The Lakers online store is selling Kobe Bryant commemorative items that include a $38,000 hat with 18-carat gold trim and a $6,000 jacket.Fans may be sad to see Bryant go, but he is looking forward to his retirement. In an interview on the USA Today Sports series, "The Kobe Files" he says he is grateful for the experience, but he doesn't feel sad about calling it quits.
"I'm thankful. I'm not sad at all. I left no stone unturned, I gave everything to the game for 20 years in the NBA and more before that. So I feel very thankful to be able to play this game this long."Perhaps it hasn't hit him that his days as an NBA superstar are numbered. Basketball has been a major part of his life, and at 37-years-old, he has spent the last 20 years on the basketball court being idolized and hated.
Kobe Bryant will retire with five NBA titles and a career that had more highs than lows. In addition to being the third-highest ranked scorer in the league, he also holds the record for the most seasons with a team. He has played for the Los Angeles Lakers his entire 20-year career. Would you pay top dollar to see Kobe's last game?
[Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images]