Are the Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers a Bigger NBA Road Draw?

November 11, 2015

Throughout the 2014-15 NBA season there were two clear top teams, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. While teams like the Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets hung around in the regular season, the playoffs proved the Cavaliers and Warriors were well above the rest, which culminated NBA Finals matchup. The season may have changed, but that feeling of a clear top two hasn’t. The Warriors have opened their title defense with eight straight wins and the Cavaliers have lost just once over their first eight games entering Wednesday night’s action.


With both of the teams again sitting atop the NBA, they have become two of the biggest road draws for opposing fans this year. It’s not much of a surprise, one team is the reigning champion with the reigning league MVP, and the other has arguably the best player in basketball. The anticipation to see these two teams in action in opposing arenas is not just anecdotal, they have the two highest premiums on the secondary market above the home average. But while the teams are one and two, there’s quite a gap in that premium.


LeBron James and the Cavaliers are by far the biggest road draw in the league with an average premium of 114.26% above a team’s home average price on the secondary market. That means, on average, a game against the Cavaliers is more than double the average price for a typical home game for every team in the league. The average price to see a Cavaliers game on the road is $320, compared to an overall average price of $149.35 across all home games for Cleveland’s opponents.


The smallest premium for a Cavs game on the road will come in Milwaukee against the Bucks on November 14. The game, with an average price of $179.51 is only 69.69% more expensive than the average Bucks game at BMO Harris Bradley Center this season.


A January 10 game against the Philadelphia 76ers has the highest premium of any Cavaliers road game this season. With a $275.29 average price, Cleveland’s game against the 76ers is 195.57% more expensive than the average Philadelphia home game.


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Over the course of the season, Golden State’s road games have a 75.88% premium over the home average for opponents. Road Warriors games have an average price of $261.43 over a $148.64 overall average for home games of road opponents.


Golden State’s highest premium for a road game also comes against the 76ers, this game on January 30 at an average price of $251.25. The Warriors, however, do have one game that will be be below the home team’s regular season average, a March 21 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The $104.07 average is $6.8% below Minnesota’s average, though a November 12 game has an average of $147.29, 32.4% above the home Timberwolves average.


While the Cavaliers have the advantage on the road, there’s no teams that come close to the Warriors at home. The current average price for home Warriors games at Oracle Arena is $330.56, the top average in the NBA.


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