Which city truly deserves an NBA title?
This question came up recently at Economic Time Machine headquarters, as we noticed Oklahoma City fans were paying about 15 of 20 percent more for championship-game tickets than were Miami fans before the series began Saturday night.
Doesn’t that suggest stronger fan loyalty in Oklahoma than in Miami? Both arenas have roughly the same capacity: 18,203 in Oklahoma versus 19,600 in Miami.
The higher price adds to the case that championship fever burns hotter in the Heartland than in South Florida. Of course, this is Oklahoma’s first taste of a championship run, while South Florida has done this before. Another common theory we will touch on lightly: given the nightlife options of both cities, perhaps Oklahoma would be expected to show more enthusiasm for a hometown basketball team.
We asked Stubhub.com, the world’s largest ticket reselling website, to weigh in with some statistics. The number crunchers there offered an interesting measure: the proportion of tickets for each game being sold on the site. Which city during the regular season had the fewest number of fans willing to part with their tickets?
Oklahoma City is the clear winner there. The numbers might be misleading: weak demand for tickets in OKC could discourage resales on stubhub. We should note that the average Heat ticket sold for $25 more on stubhub.com during the regular season than did the average Thunder ticket.
Perhaps Thunder fans wouldn’t have been so eager to hold onto their tickets if they could make more selling them.
The Miami Herald’s Economic Time Machine tracks 60 local indicators in an effort to chart South Florida’s recovery from the Great Recession. By comparing current conditions to where they were before the downturn, the ETM attempts to measure how far back the recession set the economy. The answer so far: June 2003. Visit ETM headquarters at miamiherald.com/economic-time-machine for the latest updates.