If you want to see the Suns, you’d better bring the funds.
Ahead of Kevin Durant’s first home game with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, fans are shelling out more than three times the usual cost of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to ticket experts.
The game is a throwback for Durant, who was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007 and moved with it to Oklahoma City in 2008, playing nine seasons with the franchise. Now, he’s got fans in Phoenix — who hope for the Suns’ second NBA Finals appearance since 2021 — paying more than triple the amount for a ticket to his home court debut.
Prior to the February 9 announcement of the blockbuster deal that brought Durant to the Suns, tickets for Wednesday's game sold for an average of $109 on the secondary market. Since March 1, tickets to the game have sold for an average of $355 per ticket, according to ticketing technology company Logitix. The prices don't include taxes or fees.
This marks “the biggest jump in ticket prices for any team since the trade deadline,” Logitix spokesperson Eric Nameth told Phoenix New Times.
Fans are willing to pay the price. The Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix, where the Suns play their home games, seats more than 18,000 people. A Suns box office representative told New Times that the game is sold out. Fewer than 800 tickets were on sale on the secondary market as of early Wednesday afternoon, according to online ticketing marketplace TicketSmarter.
While some fans are paying triple the bucks for a chance to see Durant in action, others are cashing in. On February 8, Phoenix resident Derrick Johnson purchased a pair of tickets to the Suns’ bout with the Orlando Magic on March 16.
“As soon as I heard the rumors, I bought tickets to the game against the Magic,” Johnson told New Times.
Johnson paid $164 for each lower-level ticket. Two days later, tickets in the same section, two rows further back, were listed for $375 each. Now, a pair of tickets five rows back costs $450 per ticket on the secondary market.
A lot has changed since the Suns recorded six losing seasons in a row starting with the 2014-15 season. Phoenix native Alex Suarez remembers that the team "used to give Phoenix Suns tickets for free just to fill in the stadium.”
Those days have been replaced with an era of hype and hope with a roster led by Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and now Durant, whose first home game was delayed as he recovered from a knee injury.
But the 34-year-old has been exceptional in his first three games with the Suns.
In a string of road victories against the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, and Dallas Mavericks, the Suns won by a combined 39 points behind Durant’s shooting. In his short Suns career, the 13-time All-Star has shot nearly 70 percent and better than 50 percent from three-point territory.
In the Suns’ game against Dallas on Sunday, Durant led the team in scoring.
Durant’s move to “the D35ert” — a term adopted by fans that signals the Suns’ home in the Sonoran Desert paired with Durant’s iconic jersey number — could be the push that leads the franchise to its first-ever NBA chip.
A win on Wednesday night in front of a sold-out crowd surely won’t hurt that dream.
But that curse just might.