Jonathan Marcoulides was sitting in front of his computer Saturday morning, ready to go when NBA Finals single-game tickets went on sale.
By 9:45, 15 minutes before the sale began, the Tulsa man had the ticket site brought up and his credit-card information entered.
He wanted to take his 15-year-old daughter Paige, who lives in Blanchard, to Thursday's Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
“I hit ‘any seat available' and the computer clock hadn't even hit 10:01 and there were no seats left,” Marcoulides said. “I wanted to take her but wasn't going to pay $600 to do it. We'll have a nice dinner and appetizers and watch it on TV.”
The fact that the available tickets were gone in 60 seconds Saturday morning is just the latest measure of the passion sweeping across the state — and the insatiable ticket demand for the Oklahoma City Thunder's debut in the NBA Finals.
Game 1 against the Miami Heat, set for 8 p.m. Tuesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena, will mark the Thunder's 64th consecutive sellout. If you don't already have a ticket, you're going to need good fortune — or a small one.
Prices are soaring on the so-called secondary ticket market. At OklahomaTickets.com on Sunday afternoon, prices for Game 1 ranged from around $377 for a single seat high in Loud City to more than $5,000 for a front-row seat in the lower bowl — not on the floor — where multiple seats were available together.
“The demand is huge and the supply is very limited,” Scooter Proctor of OklahomaTickets.com said. “Normally during the regular season, people will sell off half their seats or partner up with someone and they'll get rid of 1/3 of them.
“Nobody's releasing anything for this series.”
StubHub.com, which connects ticket sellers with buyers, has seen a similar dynamic. As of Sunday afternoon, the site offered around 800 tickets for Games 1 and 2. For the games in Miami, there were more than 2,000 available.
The result has been higher prices for the games here.
StubHub.com's Joellen Ferrer said the average ticket price for Game 1 was more than $700, with a low price of $250. For Game 2, the average is $827.
StubHub's highest demand game in Oklahoma City during the regular season came March 25 when Miami visited. Tickets for that game averaged $202.
Average prices for Game 4 in Miami are “just” $472.
Absent that kind of cash, it will take good fortune to get inside the Peake. As it has since arriving in Oklahoma City, the Thunder will give away or sell the final 200 tickets in the Thunder Rewards Zone before each home game of the Finals.
Fans can register beginning four hours before tipoff. Ninety minutes before tipoff, the drawing begins. The first 25 winners will receive a free set of tickets with the next 75 having the chance to purchase a pair of tickets for $30 each