Within the same day after NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant announced his retirement at the end of this current season, ticket prices zoomed all the way up to the ceiling on Sunday night.
Bryant’s announcement came in the form of a poem on The Players’ Tribune website.
Harris Rosner, owner of the Los Angeles-based VIP Tickets company said, “Within ten minutes of Kobe’s announcement, we had thousands of inquiries and sales.”
Patrick Ryan, co-owner of the Houston-based ticket brokerage, The Ticket Experience also shared, “This is definitely bigger than a guy like [Derek] Jeter and it’s bigger than [Michael] Jordan in the sense that Jordan was always so wishy-washy no one ever knew if it would really be the end.”
The cheapest ticket to the Philadelphia-Los Angeles game would have only been $20, but it ballooned to $60. The two teams competing are those at the bottom of the standings with no more than three wins in 34 tries.
Bryant was born in Philadelphia. He lived in Italy for several years before returning to Pennsylvania to play middle school basketball.
The Ticket Experience took the inventory it had been selling of all Lakers road games to wait for the market to settle. But the sudden rise for the demand of tickets was just out of hand for the ticket brokerage company.
“I had it priced as my second-highest game of the year after Golden State. But things were really slow,” said Mark Klang of Amazing Tickets in Cleveland.
After the sudden announcement of The Black Mamba, Klang started to receive thousands of calls and inquiries about the final game of Kobe with the Lakers, which will be against the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 10, 2016.
Klang said, he did not plan to raise ticket prices, with the Lakers being 2-13. He was actually about to lower them.
Ticket prices already started to move up a bit when Mrs. Bryant herself, Vanessa, came out to watch at the Madison Square Garden when the Lakers played the Knicks. Prices already rose 25-30 percent, and are expected to rise even higher to 50-100 percent due to the recent announcement.
“He put on a show in a lot of these cities, and his saying this is his last allows teams and fans to say goodbye,” Ryan said.
Within two hours after Kobe’s announcement, the most inexpensive ticket to what would be his final game on April 13 against the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center went from $125 to $400.