Where Do Prices for Durant's Return to OKC Rank Among Recent NBA Superstar Returns?
February 9, 2017
If Thunder fans are hoping to be on hand for Kevin Durant's return to Oklahoma City Saturday night, they'll be paying at a historic rate to do so.
The 28-year-old Warriors forward is the latest NBA superstar to make his return to his former stomping grounds, and his first trip back to Chesapeake Energy Arena is raising the bar on the resale ticket market. In fact, between the near-dozen notable return games since 2010, Saturday's matchup will be the most expensive.
On TicketIQ, the average resale price for Thunder vs. Warriors tickets for Durant's return game is now $405. That narrowly trumps LeBron's return game to Miami on Christmas Day 2014 after re-signing with the Cavaliers, which previously set the record at a $404 average two days before tip-off. The cheapest available tickets for Saturday's matchup are currently listed from $105 each.
Compare Durant and LeBron's returns to the other mentioned games in the graph above. No other game comes close to posting those numbers, with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah's return to Chicago earlier this season a distant third at an average price of $305. Dwyane Wade, LeBron's return to Cleveland and Kevin Love's trip back to Minnesota posted similar average prices while James Harden, Steve Nash, LeMarcus Aldridge and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett's returns round out the list.
Interestingly enough, the Warriors' second visit to OKC in March is actually generating even higher resale ticket demand than this Saturday's game. As it stands now the March 20 game owns a $431 average, making it the most expensive remaining game at Chesapeake Energy Center during the regular season. It will be the Thunder's second most expensive home game, sans playoffs, since 2010. The only other game with higher price points came the Warriors in February 2016, where tickets averaged $519 and the get-in price was $171.
Durant capped an eight-year run with the Thunder after signing with the Warriors last summer. He rose to superstardom during his tenure in Oklahoma City, leading the Thunder to six playoff berths and the 2012 NBA Finals. He was voted to seven All-Star Games, won Rookie of the Year honors in 2008 as a member of the SuperSonics, four NBA scoring titles and the 2014 MVP Award. He hasn't missed a beat in Oakland, serving as a pivotal factor in the Warriors' league-best 44-8 record.