Despite Struggles, Tickets For Lakers - Celtics Rivalry Still Come At A Premium

December 3, 2014


When thinking of the greatest rivalries in sports, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are one of the first to come to mind. In terms of NBA rivalries, it's easily the best. There aren't many rivalries that can claim part in 12 championship series, many of which went six or seven games and became classics.Between the two franchises, they've combined for 33 of the 68 championships in NBA history. The Celtics have the upper hand in head to head wins, head to head playoff wins, head to head championships and they have one more all-time NBA championships.

Despite the Celtics leading in those categories, it's still closer than you would think. The all-time series is 197-157 and the playoff all-time series is 43-31. Boston dominated the rivalry early on and Los Angeles has recently made a comeback. One might not even claim it was a true rivalry until Larry Bird and Magic Johnson joined the fray back in the late 70’s.

The Bird-Magic rivalry goes back to their college days and then turned into one of the most exciting NBA player-player rivalries. Indiana State, led by Larry Bird, met Michigan State, led by Magic Johnson in the 1979 NCAA national championship game and at the time, it received the highest rating ever for a college basketball game. Magic and Bird would meet in the NBA Finals three times: 1984, 1985 and 1987. Bird would win the first matchup in seven games while Magic got the last laugh, winning both the 1985 and 1987 NBA Championships in six games.
After the 1987 Championship, the two teams didn't meet again until 2008 wih the Celtics winning the series, 4-2. They would again meet in 2010 and the Lakers closed it out in seven games.

It's no surprise that Celtics and Lakers fans have huge demand for tickets in this exciting series. The secondary ticket market for this rivalry has its ups and downs but certainly is one of the more sought out tickets. Take into consideration that Boston and Los Angeles home games cost a hefty amount for regular season games and add in a rivalry and ticket prices will rise.

The Lakers will travel to TD Garden for a game on December 5th. Currently, the average ticket price on the secondary ticket market is $108.41 while the get-in price is $47. The two squads will meet up at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 22nd and the average ticket price for the matchup is currently $254.73, which is over 140 percent higher than the matchup in Boston. However, the get-in price is just $31.

These ticket prices are consistent with prices over the last four seasons. Typically, the more expensive ticket is for the game in Los Angeles and is usually more than double the cost of the ticket for the game in Boston.

Date Location Avg Price Get-In Pirce
1/30/2011 @ LAL $607.50 $146.00
2/10/2011 @ BOS $287.79 $140.00
2/9/2012 @ BOS $171.46 $55.00
3/11/2012 @ LAL $372.73 $99.00
2/7/2013 @ BOS $185.78 $59.00
2/20/2013 @ LAL $409.77 $97.00
1/17/2014 @ BOS $110.46 $44.00
2/21/2014 @ LAL $216.03 $40.00
12/5/2014 @ BOS $108.41 $47.00
2/22/2015 @ LAL $254.73 $31.00


Hype for the 2011 matchups between the Celtics and Lakers were extremely high because it was a rematch of the previous year's NBA Finals. The game in Los Angeles had an average ticket price of $607.50 on the secondary ticket market while the get-in price was $146. The two teams would square off less than two weeks later in Boston and tickets cost $287.79 on the secondary ticket market while the get-in price was $140.00.

Ticket prices remained high in Los Angeles for the series in 2012, 2013 and 2014 as prices were $372.73, $409.77 and $216.03 on average, respectively, on the secondary ticket market. In comparison, the series in Boston cost $171.46, $185.78 and $110.46 on average, respectively, on the secondary ticket market. Get in prices for those matchups were $99, $97 and $40 for Los Angeles and $55, $59 and $44 for Boston.

Despite Boston and Los Angeles' poor records in 2014, the rivalry remains heated and one of the best in the NBA.