Which NBA team has the highest ticket service fees?

Which NBA team has the highest ticket service fees?

Imagine this: you’re about to score prime seats for your favorite NBA team, then bam! You’re hit with a curveball of random fees and now your $200 gameday ticket costs you $270 (or more) instead. Unfortunately, there’s no need to imagine as this is a reality for thousands of NBA fans. 

Ticketmaster is infamous for its high service fees, but they’re also the official ticketing partner for the NBA league. This left us wondering…how much are they charging fans in additional service fees, on top of the already expensive ticket prices? We scraped Ticketmaster to discover which NBA teams have the highest ticketing fees in the league. Here are the MVPs of additional fee costs! 

Key Findings:

The Milwaukee Bucks have the highest ticket fees, where fans expect to pay an additional 27.9% (roughly $70.55) on top of the ticket price

The Orlando Magic ranks second (27.5%), with the San Antonio Spurs in third (26.5%) in high ticket fees

The Dallas Mavericks have the cheapest ticket fees, where fans only pay an extra 3.5% (about $8.92) on top of the ticket price

(Slam) dunked in costs: Teams with the most expensive fees

While Ticketmaster is the NBA’s ticketing service provider, these additional fees are set by and shared between the teams, venues, and Ticketmaster. To find the average ticket service fees, we analyzed the fee costs associated with every NBA team’s average ticket price. To get a fair evaluation, we only looked at standard admission tickets, not resale tickets. 

Fear the deer and these ticket fees! It’s revealed that the Milwaukee Bucks have the highest service fees in the entire NBA league. With an average game day ticket priced at $252.00, Bucks fans are dunked with an additional 27.9% in fees – that converts to $70.55! To break down the play-by-play, fans will pay $37.50 in ‘Service Fee’, $6.95 in ‘Order Processing Fee’, $5.00 in ‘Facility Charge’, and $21.10 in taxes, according to Ticketmaster. Therefore, attending the game with a typical Bucks ticket would cost fans a whopping $322.55 for the ultimate game day experience!

Abracadabra, make these fees disappear! Orlando Magic holds the second-highest ticketing fees in the NBA (27.6%). While the average Magic ticket sits at $163.00, fans are hit with an additional $45.11 in fees, featuring a ‘Service Fee’ of $30.85, a ‘Facility Charge’ of $3.50, and $10.76 in taxes. However, not all magic is bad! Magic fans can catch a break with no order processing fees, bringing the total game day experience cost to $208.11. 

Ranking third overall are the San Antonio Spurs, in our lineup of ticketing fees. With the average ticket priced at $157.00, Spurs fans are slammed with an additional 26.5% in fees (about $41.67). This includes $31.00 in ‘Service Fee’, $8.10 in ‘Order Processing Fee’, and $2.57 in taxes. Therefore, cheering for the Spurs on game day will cost fans a cool $198.67!

Shoot! Score! NBA teams with the cheapest fees

Don’t stress too much, hoop enthusiasts, as the financial hurdles lessen in Dallas! Just north of the Spurs, are the Dallas Mavericks, claiming the title of the NBA team with the cheapest fees – a mere 3.5%. Although their average ticket cost ($249.00), Mavs fans only pay $8.92 extra, reaching a price of $257.92 in total. Their fees include: $5.00 in ‘Service Fee’, $3.50 for the ‘Order Processing Fee’, and a dash of $0.42 in taxes. Comparing the Bucks and Mavs, who share similar ticket prices, there’s a jaw-dropping 155.4% difference in ticketing fees! In the financial court, the Mavericks sure are the MVPs here! 

When the Toronto Raptors changed their battle cry from ‘We The North’ to ‘North Over Everything’, their commitment extended to fans’ wallets. The Raptors boast the NBA’s second-thriftiest ticket service fees in the league, at 7.1% (17.50 USD or 23.38 CAD). They’re pretty transparent as they’re just charged the simple ‘Service Fee’ and nothing more. Add that simple fee to the average ticket price (245.00 USD or 327.30 CAD), the total cost lands at 262.50 USD or 350.68 CAD. 

Riding the luck of the Irish are the Boston Celtics, securing the third cheapest ticket fees overall at 8.93%. Despite having the fourth-highest average ticket price in the league at $303.00, they play it cool for their loyal fans with an average fee of $27.06. This sum covers the ‘Service Fee’ of $21.10 and the ‘Order Processing Fee’ of $5.95. Hopefully, Celtics fans won’t be fouled out of an exciting game day experience with a final price tag of $330.06.

Methodology

In January 2024, we scraped Ticketmaster, the official ticketing partner for the NBA league, for the fee costs associated with each team’s average (standard admission) ticket cost. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, and Utah Jazz were not accounted for as they only had resale tickets available on Ticketmaster.

The ‘Total Fee’ includes:

Service Fee: to cover the costs of putting on live events

Order Processing Fee: a per order fee, shared between venues or teams and Ticketmaster

‘Other’ Fee: Facility Charges and additional city, state, or local taxes, if needed. Facility Charges cover the costs of hosting live events (staffing, insurance, suppliers), and Ticketmaster doesn’t claim these charges.

We then calculated the percentage of total fees relative to the average ticket price for each team.

Fair use

Feel free to use the data or visuals on this page for non-commercial purposes. Please be sure to include proper attribution linking back to this page to give credit to the authors. 

For any press questions, please contact rhiannon.odonohoe[at]casino.org

Author: Gerald Griffin