CLEVELAND, Ohio — If you’re looking to get your hands on tickets to the NBA All Star Game Sunday night, you’ll likely pay more than $500 per ticket for standing room only. As of Wednesday morning, some resale websites are advertising lower-level tickets available for $12,000 each.
“We’ll just have to enjoy it from home, I guess, when the tickets are that price,” said Anthony Pagano. “But at least we still got to come down here and enjoy the festivities.”
The Brook Park resident was visiting the Cleveland Cavaliers team store with friends and their two young sons Wednesday. The group was enjoying seeing downtown Cleveland draped in wine and gold with All-Star signage. Two-year-old James and 4-year-old Austin were enjoying a new NBA All-Star miniature basketball purchased from the team store.
It was a popular stop just several days before the kickoff to official NBA events.
“I think it’s awesome. I am super excited about it,” Kellie McDowell said about Cleveland’s latest foray into the international spotlight. “I just can’t afford to come down here.”
Like others, McDowell planned to watch the game and Saturday night competitions on TV after the sticker shock from prices for the main events.
Mari Nallis wanted her daughters to experience the excitement of All-Star weekend without breaking the bank, so the family of four decided to purchase tickets for the NBA Crossover. The interactive fan event at Cleveland Public Auditorium costs as little as $30 per person, with options for more experiences at an added cost.
“We’re just going to come down and do something. It’s something we can do with our kids and that was really important to us. We wanted them to enjoy it as well,” she explained.
If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of the NBA All-Stars, the least expensive tickets available for the All-Star practice at the Wolstein Center Saturday morning were going for $25 Wednesday. General admission at the HBCU matchup between Howard University and Morgan State ranges from $10 to $20. Tickets for the G League Next Gem game cost just $17 each.
One of the most affordable ways to enjoy All-Star Weekend is to simply walk through downtown Cleveland and take advantage of the free photo opportunities in front of landmarks decked in wine and gold.
“Even if you’re downtown and you’re not at one of the events, you’re going to feel the excitement,” said Jen Brasdovich from Destination Cleveland.
Brasdovich explained many venues throughout town are hosting pop-up budget-friendly and family-friendly events.
The Great Lakes Science Center is hosting a basketball-themed family event on Saturday. Gamers can compete in an Xbox NBA 2K22 tournament and families can enjoy classic basketball arcade games and a virtual reality basketball competition. The event includes a Saturday night watch party. Children 10 and under are free and tickets for everyone else are $35-$75
At nearby FirstEnergy Stadium, general admission at an All-Star Fitness Expo on Saturday will cost $30. The event, hosted by Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward’s ‘Make Them Know Your Name’ Foundation, will feature workout sessions, dance battles, musical performances, vendors, celebrity appearances and giveaways.
On both Saturday and Sunday, Tower City will feature family-friendly activities, dining and chances to win prizes by shooting hoops at the NBA Ice Buckets court.
A free Power of Sport Summit at the Metropolitan Conference Center will highlight diversity, inclusion and equity through creative performances, art, workshops and panels.
The weekend will also feature public art installations, buskers performing under the chandelier at Playhouse Square and artists creating live art.
Brasdovich explained the weekend will have a deliberately "Cleveland feel" and showcase the city for residents and visitors alike.
“Come downtown, visit the restaurants, visit our businesses and really show everyone what Cleveland is all about,” she said. “And show that we come out in force when we have these big events here.”
For a complete list of official NBA All-Star events and tickets, click here.
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