The NBA’s reigning super teams – the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors – are household names for basketball fans across the country and around the world. Their hometown fans make their support known by packing the house for home games with faithful fans eager to see their team’s megastars in action.
That same draw exists when the Warriors and Cavaliers hit the road, yet there’s some debate over which team and their stars draw the bigger crowd. We took a look at the numbers to get to the bottom of it.
Let’s break it down.
Steph Curry vs. LeBron James: Who sells the most tickets
NBA fans bought 12 percent more tickets for Warriors road games than they bought to see the Cavs outside of Cleveland. That’s a reversal from 2015 when LeBron and the Cavs saw a whopping 21 percent more secondary sales for their road games than Golden State. In 2014 the difference in favor of Cleveland was even bigger, but that was LeBron’s first year back with the Cavaliers after his stint in Miami.
As a comparison, at home the Cavs dominate: fans bought 11 percent more tickets for the Cavs’ home games at Quicken Loans Arena compared to Warriors games at Oracle Arena.
Now that we’ve got ticket sales out of the way, let’s look at the cost for catching the NBA sports stars at away games. The average cost to see the Warriors on the road was 9 percent higher than tickets to see the Cavaliers outside of Quicken Loans Arena. So not only was Golden State a bigger draw on the road, fans are willing to pay more to see them play compared to Cleveland.
Top road arenas, in terms of ticket sales, for the Cavaliers included Miami’s American Airlines Arena (for obvious reasons) — that’s compared to the Warrior’s top performing away arena, LA’s Staples Center. When it comes to top arenas like Madison Square Garden, the Cavaliers attracted 52 percent more ticket sales than the Warriors.
So, who’s the real winner? Depends on how you look at it, but the Warriors and Cavs each have one title against each other. Perhaps they’re on track to settle the score in the NBA Finals this June…