Los Angeles Clippers Ticket Prices Over the Years
The relationship between the Los Angeles Clippers, winning, and ticket prices has long been complicated. For many years, Los Angeles Clippers tickets were among the cheapest in the NBA, primarily because they were one of the worst teams in the NBA. The Clippers were also overshadowed by the Lakers, creating little demand for tickets.
However, just because that was true once, doesn’t mean it’s true now. Clippers’ ticket prices have changed dramatically over the past decade while the franchise has transitioned from an afterthought into a genuine contender. In preparation for the price of Clippers tickets in 2021 and the possibility that Clippers playoff tickets will once again be sold this spring, let’s take a look back at how ticket prices to see Clippers games have changed over the years.
The Old Days
The Clippers first moved to Los Angeles from San Diego in 1984. For fans of cheap Clippers tickets, those were truly the glory days. The franchise was completely overshadowed by the Lakers, who were in the middle of a dynasty, winning three NBA titles and making five Finals appearances between 1980 and 1985. When all was said and done, the Lakers would end up winning five championships and playing in the NBA Finals eight times during the 80s.
During that period, you couldn’t pay people to care about the Clippers, who were consistently one of the worst teams in the NBA. After the move to Los Angeles, it took the Clippers until the 2005-06 season to win their first playoff series. In fact, they made the playoffs just three times between their arrival in the City of Angels in 1984 and their First Round win over the Nuggets in 2006. The season after the Clippers finally won a playoff series, the average cost of a ticket to a Clippers game was $52.49 for the 2006-07 season. Of course, that price still paled in comparison to their intra-city rivals and most other NBA franchises.
Start of Something Special
Despite the Clippers winning a playoff series in 2006, the franchise soon returned to the basement of the Western Conference in the years to come. The Clippers failed to capitalize on their brief success and create more interest among fans. However, all of that losing finally paid off when the Clippers drafted Blake Griffin with the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Griffin was the star player the Clippers had needed to help turn the franchise around.
In true Clippers fashion, Griffin ended up sitting out his entire rookie season due to injury. However, he returned the following year and won Rookie of the Year honors for the 2010-11 season. That led to the Clippers reaching their capacity for season tickets for the first time in franchise history ahead of the 2011-12 season. During the 2011-12 season, the Clippers made another big move by trading for point guard Chris Paul. Together, Paul and Griffin helped the Clippers get back to the playoffs and win a First Round series over the Grizzlies.
With two superstars in the fold, Clippers tickets remained rather modest during the 2012-13 season, averaging $63.10 per game. Of course, the 2012-13 season ended with the Clippers winning their first division title in franchise history, a milestone more than 40 years in the making. Despite LA getting eliminated in the First Round of the Playoffs that year, expectations were sky-high the following season, as were ticket prices, which jumped to an average of $130 for the 2013-14 season.
Out of Control?
Naturally, more winning from the Clippers meant more demand for tickets, which ultimately led to higher ticket prices. In fact, in 2011, the Clippers began a streak of consecutive sell-outs that lasted 280 home games until the early part of the 2017-18 season. Fortunately for fans, the spike in ticket prices that occurred during the 2013-14 season came down slightly. By the 2016-17 season, the average cost of a ticket for a Clippers game had dropped to $92. However, there was some backlash from fans when the team raised the cost of season tickets, as most Clippers fans weren’t accustomed to paying top dollar to see their favorite team. Alas, winning comes with more expensive tickets.
In recent years, fans have grown more accustomed to Clippers tickets being more on par with the rest of the NBA. The average cost of a ticket shot up to $194 during the 2017-18 season, only to fall to $137 per ticket for the 2018-19 campaign with the Paul-Griffin partnership officially a thing of the past. But that decrease was short-lived. During the summer of 2019, the Clippers found a new duo in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, creating an unprecedented level of excitement around the franchise that didn’t even exist during the heyday of Paul and Griffin.
Before the 2019-20 NBA season was shutout down to the COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately moved to a bubble, the average cost of a Clippers ticket on the secondary market was $267. Based on the history of the franchise, that’s an astronomical amount. However, it’s still nearly $200 less than the average price of Lakers tickets. While they may never reach the level of their Los Angeles brethren, as the team’s profile and expectations continue to rise, it’s getting increasingly difficult to find cheap Clippers tickets.