Montreal basketball fans are excited as the Toronto Raptors take on the Boston Celtics in a preseason game at the Bell Center this Friday. The event that sold out a few weeks ago is an indicator of the NBA‘s popularity in the city.
The ridiculous resale value of tickets on Ticketmaster is another.
Need proof? As of now, going to the game on October 14 will cost a pair of fans a minimum of $213 (including taxes and fees) each. What does this big chunk of change bring you? A seat at the very back (Section 412) of the arena.
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According to NBA Canada Series representatives, ticket prices for the game start at $20.
If you want seats in the middle of the pack in the reds, you will easily have to spend at least $700 for each respective ticket. Meanwhile, shortside single tickets are selling for over $3,000 apiece, which seems pretty hefty for a preseason game —even for the biggest players.
And although local sports fans are used to emptying their pockets at Habs games, prices are still quite reasonable during the pre-season.
It just goes to show that Montreal, which got its own professional basketball team when the Montreal Alliance joined the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) last year, is a serious basketball market.
In fact, the Raptors and Celtics have four Canadian players combined on training camp rosters: Quebecers Khem Birch (Raptors) and Chris Boucher (Raptors), and Ontarians Dalano Banton (Raptors) and Mfiondu Kabengele (Celtics). .
This is the fifth time the Raptors have hosted a game in Montreal. The last time they played at the Bell Center was in 2018 against the Brooklyn Nets. Their season officially kicks off on October 19.