Kobe Bryant's final game is the hottest ticket in sports, as even the world champion Golden State Warriors playing at home to likely cap off a season with an unprecedented 73rd victory is a cheaper ticket than Bryant's finale against the Utah Jazz.
As of Monday morning on StubHub, the cheapest ticket to get into Staples Center on Wednesday cost $698, and the most expensive ticket ran for $25,000.
Kobe Bryant on ESPN moving his final game to ESPN2 for the Warriors - "The hell do I care? ...it hurt my feelings" pic.twitter.com/dTVdwuhIcd — Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) April 10, 2016
In truth, a special commemorative hat is going for nearly $40,000, so a $25,000 ticket may be a bargain.
On Monday, though, the Los Angeles Lakers issued a fraud alert to warn fans of purchasing tickets from third-party sources, including StubHub. Instead, the team asked fans to avoid any confusion and possible problems by simply going to the team's official website and purchasing tickets on the team's ticket exchange, where season ticket holders and fans put individual game tickets up for re-sale.
"Lakers Ticket Exchange at Lakers.com is the only secondary site where purchases are authenticated and verified by Ticketmaster, and fans will be assured entrance into STAPLES Center on game nights," Lakers president of business operations and COO Tim Harris said in a statement released by the team. "Lakers fans can save themselves the aggravation and frustration of being denied access to a game by buying tickets directly from us or at Lakers Ticket Exchange at Lakers.com."
In truth, the team's official website offers tickets in section 314 for $650 each, which is a better rate than StubHub offers. Tickets in the same section start at $891 on StubHub, so the difference in security and in price would suggest that the Lakers are helping fans by issuing this alert. Unfortunately, the Lakers do not list any tickets for the courtside section, so if one wants to spend $25,000 for a ticket, the option is unavailable on the team's official ticket exchange. However, fans begging to part with that sum of cash can always run to the TEAM LA Store at Staples Center and purchase the special piece of head wear that costs roughly the same amount.
The fanfare over Bryant's final game has only grown as the season has slowly expired. The 37-year-old appears healthy enough to play in the long-awaited finale. With his final road game coming in Oklahoma City on Monday evening, Bryant is only two days from walking off the court in what is setting up to be a memorable and emotional farewell.
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Adding to the excitement, the five-time champion scored 35 points in 27 minutes on Sunday in Houston, so the final game could offer a fantastic farewell—maybe even a final 40-point game—from one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.