SIXERS FEVER has hit the secondary ticket market.
As the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Celtics switches to the Wells Fargo Center, fans appear eager to be in the house for one of the biggest - and most welcomed - surprises this season.
As of late Tuesday, over 5,200 tickets were purchased on StubHub, the highest number of tickets sold for a NBA playoff semifinal series thus far. The closest was Sunday's Game 1 between Miami and Indiana, which amassed over 3,500 tickets sold. In addition to Game 1 in Boston, which had over 3,400 tickets sold, other games this Sixers-Celtics matchup has already trumped are: Tuesday's Clippers-Spurs Game 1 (2,800), Monday's Lakers-Thunder Game 1 (1,700) and Thursday's Heat-Pacers Game 3, which has had over 1,500 buyers thus far.
Additionally for this game, Pennsylvania residents make up 61 percent of the purchasers on StubHub, followed by New Jersey (23 percent) and Delaware (4 percent). In other states - including the New England area - interest is less than 3 percent.
"Considering the 76ers' 9-year drought from the conference semifinals, it's not surprising that sales for their first home game are outpacing the other seven teams," said StubHub spokeswoman Joellen Ferrer. "Fans have already purchased 50 percent more tickets to this game, compared to Game 1 of the series in Boston last Saturday, as well as Game 1 of the Pacers-Heat series on Sunday."
Perhaps fueling the frenzy is the affordabilty of these tickets. StubHub had 2,250 tickets still available on its site late Tuesday with prices starting at $32 (upper corner, Section 221) to $590 for a courtside (Section 114) seat. Game 3 isn't sold out at box offices yet, but Lara Price, Sixers senior vice president of business operations, believes it's a matter of time.
"We still have tickets available for each game [starting at $59], but we strongly anticipate to be sold out for each game," Price said.
Wednesday will be Sixers City in the region as a number of buildings located in the city and in South Jersey will shine their lights in red, white and blue in support.
The structures slated to participate are both Liberty Towers in Center City, the Mellon Center, Amtrak's Cira Center, the span of the Ben Franklin Bridge and Camden's City Hall.