Thinking about getting Phoenix Suns playoff tickets?
Get ready to pay big bucks.
On Sunday, the Suns will kickoff this year’s playoff season against the Los Angeles Clippers or the New Orleans Pelicans depending on who won Friday’s play-in game. The winner plays the top-seeded Suns at the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix.
But don’t count on scoring tickets cheap.
According to Ticketmaster.com, some top tickets are going for $6,800 a piece plus tax for floor seats for Sunday’s contest. Fans can get seats in the peanut gallery for a mere $124 each plus tax.
On SeatGeek, two courtside tickets in section 115 for Sunday’s game are listed for $2,154 each.
Attendance at Suns games has broken records during the regular season. Patrick Battillo is a Suns fan with plenty of passion who regularly attends games.
Battillo is an Avondale resident known for revving up the crowd as Mr. ORNG during Phoenix Suns games at Footprint Center — the arena known as the Purple Palace.
Battillo has been a Suns season ticket holder for 20 seasons and has been Mr. ORNG for the past 12 NBA seasons. He developed the Mr. ORNG concept to help bring “more energy to the arena and our fan base” to support the players.
He is also the head coach of the Peoria High School varsity boys basketball team and teaches a sports course for student athletes during the second semester.
The Avondale resident doesn’t exclusively stay in the desert to watch his team play in person. He said he has traveled across the country to see Suns basketball, too.
“So far this season I have been to Los Angeles and Milwaukee,” Battillo said. “I will be attending every playoff game home and away this postseason. It’s important for me to be able to go support the team on the road because obviously we have fewer fans in attendance and I like to ensure the team feels our support on the road as well. I have five arenas left to attend before I have visited every arena.”
Battillo said he wants to support the Suns regardless of who they are playing and whether they have a winning record or not.
The number of fans in attendance has increased over the last few years, he said.
“The excitement throughout the Valley is the biggest difference along with the number of fans in attendance at the games,” Battillo said. “We went from a stretch of almost 10 years where we had half the arena maybe filled with fans and many of those not for the Suns to where now we have sellouts and most of those fans are Suns fans. That level of excitement in arena(s) has been the biggest difference and what made me create Mr. ORNG to begin with.”
The Suns had 26 consecutive sellouts for their regular season games this year, according to Dean Stoyer, a Phoenix Suns spokesman.
Stoyer said during last year’s playoffs, the Footprint Center earned a reputation from visiting media as “having the best arena” to watch a game. He said he expects sellouts to continue in this year’s playoffs.
“I don’t see that changing,” Stoyer said. “Our fans bring their energy, our live entertainment team puts on a great show, but nothing beats the excitement of Suns basketball. Our fans will pack Footprint Center again.”
Stoyer said team officials capped the PayPal Sixth Man membership at 12,100 for this year.
“For the first time in 10 years, we created a waiting list called the ’68 Reserve for fans still looking to become members,” Stoyer said. “PayPal Sixth Man members and ’68 Reserve members get first access to playoff tickets, respectively. Pricing varies depending on the game and the seat but yes there is a price to secure seats. Tickets are made available to the general public after those purchase windows for members. We encourage fans to use TicketMaster but they are available through other ticket services.”
Peoria resident Jeff Thalblum, 60, knows all about Suns basketball.
Thalblum organizes sports card and collectible shows and remembers inviting a then-unknown guard named Steve Nash to sign autographs at Moon Valley High School during his rookie year in Phoenix.
Thalblum said regular Suns fans might have trouble paying high prices for tickets. He said fans should expect playoff tickets to go up even more if the Suns advance beyond the first round.
“When the team is winning, you can’t get a ticket to the game,” Thalblum said. “The Diamondbacks are losing and they have 40,000 tickets available each game.”
Battillo said Suns fans should enjoy the moment while the team is having success whether they make it to the arena or not.
“I hope every Suns fan enjoys this time and really embraces this opportunity — because nothing is guaranteed tomorrow or next year!”
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