Washington Wizards season ticket holders will see a price increase in most locations for the 2022-23 NBA season. You can see ticket prices for next season by clicking here. And so you know, I am also a season ticket holder.
I am not surprised that prices have increased, despite the fact that the Wizards have generally been a little worse than average for the last several seasons. There are two reasons why:
- Many season ticket holders only paid for one season’s worth of tickets in the last two seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic — The coronavirus pandemic started at the end of the 2019-20 NBA season. NBA arenas were limited in capacity for most of the 2020-21 NBA season, so season ticket holders couldn’t sit in their usual locations anyway. Meanwhile, many people continued to pay for their season tickets for the 2020-21 NBA season on time like me. So I only paid for one season’s worth of tickets in the last two years due to the pandemic.
- Inflation — Prices across all sectors are going up 5 or more percent across the board in the last two years, due to supply chain issues across all sectors of the economy — and it appears to be worsening. I don’t want to sound like a Monumental Sports shill, but at the same time, costs are going up for everyone, even MSE, so a price increase was likely. And as mentioned before, MSE also took a big revenue hit because most games were played without fans until the latter half of the 2020-21 season,
That said, there are reasons why ticket prices shouldn’t go up by 20-30 percent to partially offset the double whammy of inflation and a lost year of revenue due to the pandemic. Consider the following:
- The Wizards have the worst attendance rate in the NBA to this point — Only 73.5 percent of seats are about on average for Wizards games. This is well below the Detroit Pistons, who are second-worst at 75.4 percent of capacity. In raw numbers, the Wizards are 25th at 15,135 people attending per game. Either way, the Wizards are not doing well with attendance compared to the league at large.
- Mediocre-ish team — The Wizards have only made the playoffs (defined as the final 16 teams) twice in the last five NBA seasons (2017-18 and 2020-21).
- They are less star-powered today than five years ago — In the 2017-18 NBA season, the Wizards were coming off a Southeast Division championship. The backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal wasn’t as talented or accomplished as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. However, Wall and Beal were All-Stars. Today, Wall’s on the Houston Rockets where he’s paid NOT to play after an Achilles injury. Beal has become an All-NBA player, but he was never as big of a superstar as Wall was during the 2016-17 season.
Let us know your thoughts on these season ticket price changes in the comments below.