For the second time this week British NBA fans have been left disappointed by the ticketing system for the game between the Knicks and Wizards in London this January.
On Wednesday morning, fans of the NBA woke up bright and early to enter the pre-sale queue for tickets to the London game just hour after the first games of the new season had concluded. Only there were no tickets available for most of us. The vast majority seemingly being bought by touts and listed on for extortionate prices on resale sites like StubHub.
Despite the obvious annoyance at the situation, we still had hopes of securing a ticket in Friday morning’s general sale.
Fast forward to then – waking up after a few precious hours of sleep after last night’s NBA games (including LeBron’s Lakers debut no less). In the ticket sale queue on the AXS website for 8:30am, the site unlocking and allowing us into the ‘waiting area’ at 9.
We waited en masse to be allowed on to the ticket purchase screen. Lots of us armed with laptops, phones and iPads for more than one shot at making it through and securing tickets for the annual event.
9:11am. The reality for most NBA fans was waking up mega tired to buy tickets to watch the game they love, only to be told they’ve sold out eleven minutes after becoming available.
“Oh, it’s great that the NBA is so popular over here now” might be your initial reaction. Wrong. Sure there is a demand for tickets and basketball and the NBA are growing in popularity in the UK year on year, but that’s not the real reason for this almost instant sell out.
Check StubHub and other reseller websites – the tickets are going to people looking to make a quick buck on the desperation of European basketball fans. Thousands of tickets are available on StubHub already. Touts are purchasing tickets before the normal punter has the chance and listing them on the likes of StubHub and Viagogo just minutes later at up to ten times their face value.
The prices these tickets are listed at makes it cheaper to fly to the East Coast to watch a game. You’ll get a true home court NBA atmosphere over the pond too!
Based on tweets and other social media posts, it seems the vast majority of fans in the market for tickets to the game missed out. If you were one of the lucky few, huge congratulations to you and enjoy the game! If you’re a member of the unfortunate majority, I implore you not to rush to buy tickets from StubHub or other resellers and instead wait it out for as long as you dare in a push to drive down prices. Come December, touts still holding tickets are likely to get desperate to sell and should drop their prices.
Finally, if you’re a reseller: you and your kind are what are ruining what should be a great occasion for us NBA fans in the UK. Sure everyone has to make a bit of money, but if you want to make yours selling tickets why not apply for a job at AXS or Ticketmaster and do it above board…