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The Ultimate Lakers Tickets Buyer’s Guide

January 9, 2014
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If you’re looking for Lakers tickets for the next home game at the Staples Center, you’ll want to consider where the best seats are and where you’ll get the most value for your ticket. Let’s take a look at the seat available in the Staples Center for Lakers games.

Expert Resources

Best Seats in the House

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Image via Flickr by Michael Sandoval

Courtside seats are of course the best seats in the house if you want to be a part of the action. If you’ve ever watched a Lakers game on TV, you’ll notice that this is often where the celebrities are sitting, everyone from Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz to Justin Timberlake and Jack Nicholson. The best courtside seats are along the court opposite to the teams because it will get you closest to the action and a better chance of having a basketball land in your lap. Since the teams switch baskets at half time, it doesn’t matter which end of the court you sit at.

Courtside seats are also found at each end of the basket. These seats are close to the action, but aren’t worth the price as much as the courtside seats on the side of the court. For one, when the teams are at the other end, the hoop can obstruct your view of the action and it may be hard to see what’s happening. When the teams are at the hoop you’re sitting near, it can still be a little hard to see the action past the backboard and hoop.

Of course courtside seats are sold as season tickets and have such a long waiting list, the chances of scoring a ticket, assuming you can afford it, is very slim, especially for the Lakers. For a playoff game, courtside seats can go for as much as $20,000 a ticket.

Behind Courtside

Though courtside seats are the most coveted seats in the Staples Center, a close second are the sections behind courtside, especially the mid-court sections of 101 and 111. If you choose the seats in 119, you’ll be sitting right behind the Lakers team, making it a great spot if you’re a Lakers fan. If you’re there to root for the visiting team, section 102 sits right behind the visitors. For celebrity spotting, get seats in sections 110 and 112, which are right behind the courtside seats on the side.

Note that when it comes to these sections, the rows start with letters A and B and then are numbered, so if you have your heart set on sitting directly behind the players or courtside seats, you’ll want tickets in row A, not row 1.

100 Level Sections

Apart from the above 100-level sections, any of the other sections on the 100 levels will give you a great view of the court. Though the seats behind the hoops are not ideal, the hoops themselves take up very little space allowing you to maximize your view of the court. If you’re looking for a value, choose one of the seats behind the courtside seats that are located at each end of the court, such as sections 105, 106, 115 and 116, saving as much as $150 or even $200 from an equivalent seat in the 111 section.

If you want to avoid being on the end but you’re still looking for value, consider one of the sections located on the corners, sections 103, 109, 113, and 118. The tickets may run you a little higher than seats on the end of the court, but you’ll have a better view of the action because you’ll see more of the court.

Another way to gain value is to purchase seats that are across the aisle from a premium section. For example, a seat in section 101, row 7 on the aisle (across from 102) might sell for $350 whereas a seat across the aisle in section 102, row 6 (literally up one row and just across the aisle) could sell for $220, for the same exact game! (This is a real-world example pulled directly from the ticket seller’s website.) There’s no way that a seat one row up and across the aisle would have a worse view and yet it can save you over $100.

Premier Seats

Located on the same level as the 200-level seats are the premier seats. All premier sections are numbered with single digits. With premier seats, located on the sides of the basketball court, you’ll have great views of the court and enjoy additional benefits that come with premier seats. You’ll have preferred parking and a private entrance. Upscale in-seat food and beverage services are included as well and you’ll have access to the exclusive San Manuel Club.

Some of the best values you’ll find are the premier seats in the corner of the court such as sections 2–3 and 7–8. Here you’re still in the premier section, but tickets are cheaper than the center premier sections and many consider the view to still be enjoyable.

200-Level Seats

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Image via Flickr by Ricardo Diaz

Outside of the premier sections, the other 200-level seats are located at each end of the court behind the 100-level seats. Here you’ll find some seats that are good value, though note that you will sacrifice some visibility by choosing these seats, making it hard to see the action happening on the other end of the court.

In fact, some Lakers fans prefer sitting in the front few rows of the 300-level sections rather than sitting in one of the 200-level sections behind the backboard because of limited visibility of the game action. Still, it’s a great location for enjoying the game. Unlike the premier seats on this level, these seats do not come with the additional amenities included in the ticket price.

Luxury Suites and Seating

If you can’t score a courtside seat, the next best option is a luxury suite at the Staples Center. Luxury suites include premium seating, early entry, VIP suite access, plasma TVs, catering, and access to the San Manuel Club. The suites are located between the 200-level seats and the 300-level seats and are available in a variety of sizes from suites that hold eight guests to larger suites that can accommodate 18 guests.

Event suites are also available and can accommodate between 20 and 24 guests. These suites include a cash bar and bartender, VIP entrances, and flat screen TVs with DirecTV. Because of buying tickets in bulk, the price per is fair, costing about $125 per ticket. This is a great way for businesses to entertain guests or for a company to award employees for a job well done. Contact the Staples Center directly to inquire about suite availability for both luxury suites and event suites.

Another premier experience at Lakers games are the premier tables and lounges. Prices of tickets include a chef’s table, an account manager, parking pass, and personal TV for every table or lounge.

300-Level Seats

The 300-level seats are located above the suites and lounges, making it harder to view the game, but if you’re looking for the cheapest options, these are definitely it. The further back you go, the cheaper the tickets are. You’ll find that the seats in the center of the court for this section will give you the best visibility of the action, though you’ll pay extra for the view. For certain games, you can find economy seats for only $10.

From this far up, you’ll be able to see the entire court, though it may be hard to tell which player is which. You might want to bring binoculars if your seats are this far up. If you’re planning on getting Lakers tickets in the 300-level section, get seats in the first five rows if possible, especially in sections 301-303, 333-334 and 316-320.

One thing to note about sitting in the 300-level is that the fans in this section are often very rowdy and into the game. This is great for die-hard fans that really get into the outcome and are rooting for the Lakers to win. If you plan to sit in this section, consider getting decked out in Lakers jerseys and losing your voice by the end of the night.

Enjoy the Experience

No matter where your seats are located, just being at the game and soaking up the atmosphere is an experience that all basketball fans should have. If you really want to go all out, get tickets to a playoff game. No matter where your seats are, getting to attend a playoff game, especially for passionate Lakers fans, is an experience you’ll never forget.

As you look for tickets, take the time to consider what you can afford, where you want to sit, what you’re willing to sacrifice (view or price), and what you want your experience to be. It may be worth paying a little bit more to have the experience of a lifetime. Just make sure to take someone with you. This isn’t an experience you’ll want to enjoy alone.

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