Boston Celtics Tickets Cheaper with Rajon “The Riddler” Rondo Return


You read it correctly. Go ahead, rub the sleep from your eyes and look again – the price of Boston Celtics tickets is actually cheaper after Rondo’s cryptic tweet that suggests he is returning to the hardwood Friday.

Rajon Rondo’s departure from the Celtics lineup as a result of a torn ACL suffered last January immediately impacted the price of Celtics tickets on the secondary market. All but two of the remaining eighteen home games (at the time) saw a fall in average price, some as large as nine percent. This occurred despite the fact that Boston still had a stacked roster with Celtic favorites Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce at the helm. Had Rondo been the sole shining star, we’d imagine that decline would have been much greater.

Last week, Rondo said he was hopeful he’d return before the All-Star break which got discussions rolling as to whether or not the 13-26 Celtics could still make a playoff run behind their four-time All-Star point guard. This season Rondo will be surrounded by a much different supporting act on the court and a new coach on the bench. After a blockbuster trade in the offseason that sent Garnett, Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets, Rondo will take on a new role – as veteran, leader, and yes, Boston’s brightest star.

The media is calling Rajon Rondo “The Riddler.” After tweeting to his 1.4 million plus followers yesterday evening, excitement among Celtics fans quickly gained momentum. As ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg calculated, 29,233,380 seconds equals the differential in time between Rondo’s surgery and tipoff to Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Considering Celtics fans have had a couple of days to digest the fact that Rondo is expected to return soon in such a large role, it is surprising that the price of Boston Celtics tickets have not taken flight.

After the initial statement, fans expected Rondo might make his debut the same day that his three former teammates – Garnett, Pierce, Terry – returned to the TD Garden, giving a whole new meaning to “The Year of the Returns” as we formerly dubbed the 2013-2014 NBA season. At the start of the season, Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets tickets averaged $345 and was the most expensive game on the Celtics schedule. At the start of the new year, prices had dropped 42% in two months and another 8% since.

Today, the fans and media are circling Friday for Rondo’s return. After witnessing the price of Lakers tickets jump 22% for Kobe’s projected return (before official announcement), we’d expect Celtics tickets to do the same. Instead, we’ve seen a 5% drop in price since yesterday morning for Friday’s game against the Lakers.

Perhaps we are all being fooled by the clue from The Riddler and we’ll all be left with a big green question mark when Rondo is not in the lineup Friday. When interest and demand grows, typically prices will follow. But not the case (yet) here; with ticket prices on the secondary market continuing to fall, we’re left to wonder if the market is suggesting that there will be no return for the point guard.

Then again, maybe he just hacked all of our computers.

Boston Celtics Tickets – Price Changes

Date Opponent Avg. 1-14-14 Avg. 1-2-14 Avg. 10-28-13
01/17/14 Los Angeles Lakers $119.99 $156.93 $256.78
01/24/14 Oklahoma City Thunder $118.98 $135.31 $227.39
01/26/14 Brooklyn Nets $184.90 $201.20 $345.24
01/29/14 Philadelphia 76ers $54.31 $60.72 $136.33
02/02/14 Orlando Magic $88.95 $103.43 $163.16
02/07/14 Sacramento Kings $74.08 $92.78 $152.27
02/09/14 Dallas Mavericks $80.72 $98.85 $156.92
02/12/14 San Antonio Spurs $75.91 $94.55 $160.78
02/26/14 Atlanta Hawks $60.71 $78.45 $150.43
03/01/14 Indiana Pacers $112.70 $131.23 $179.70
03/05/14 Golden State Warriors $77.27 $91.68 $157.83
03/07/14 Brooklyn Nets $176.65 $186.82 $279.92
03/09/14 Detroit Pistons $79.31 $98.89 $162.06
03/12/14 New York Knicks $101.44 $106.47 $205.39
03/14/14 Phoenix Suns $80.45 $94.39 $162.11
03/19/14 Miami Heat $200.29 $209.39 $294.68
03/26/14 Toronto Raptors $66.41 $78.98 $148.90
03/30/14 Chicago Bulls $103.22 $124.03 $214.71
04/04/14 Philadelphia 76ers $129.95 $141.24 $163.47
04/11/14 Charlotte Bobcats $128.77 $143.86 $172.14
04/16/14 Washington Wizards $122.42 $126.98 $150.38
    $105.56 $119.67 $191.62
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