The Phoenix Suns, once a very competitive NBA franchise, have struggled to remain competitive over the past few years. One reason is the increasingly competitive Western Conference that has been largely dominated by the world champion Golden State Warriors over the past several years. Even the signing of LeBron James by the Los Angeles Lakers has not fazed the Warriors despite other teams wheeling and dealing to match the talent of the Warriors, Phoenix included.
The future of the franchise seems to be for management to acquire key free agent players that will keep the team competitive in the short term, while using their lower draft position via the lottery to acquire younger talent. As a small market franchise, it is impractical to expect the team making major financial moves that will jeopardize the long term future of the team. So if there is an ideal time to personally watch the Suns play at home, these next few years may be the best choice.
Tickets prices are lower than the league average.
As is usually the case, struggling teams in any sport will face smaller crowds followed by lower ticket prices. The Suns are no different, seeing their average ticket price fall by $8.06 since the 2008 – 09 season. The unfortunate reality is that as of this writing the Suns have a measly four wins and are off to the worst start in the team’s history. But as there is always a silver lining in the dark cloud, this gives fans the opportunity to get a pair of tickets for a very low price in the secondary market. How low can they go is anybody’s guess, but for now it can be considered to be bargain hunting time.
Concessions prices have only seen slight increases over the last few years.
More good news on the cost per game bottom line: concession prices have bumped up slightly since the 2010-11 season, but that is likely to have happened only because of covering the increased prices of the products. A single beer has gone from $9 to $10.25, while the stadium hot dog has dropped to a pretty reasonable $3.50 after skyrocketing to $5.50 during the 2014-15 season. . Oddly, soda prices have also spiked, running up the floor to $6.25 a pop. So if you go with a friend and are buying you’ll pay $27.50 for a couple of dogs and a couple of brews. Depending on how badly the team plays you might need to multiply the number of beers by 2 or 3.
Parking prices are almost obscenely cheap compared to other NBA venues.
Talking Stick Resort Arena, which is the formal name of where the Suns play their home games, has the expected priority parking spaces for season ticket holders and the like. Then, next door at Jefferson Street you can spend $20 for parking at a single game. But why? You can park in a half a dozen other places for about $5 that are less than a 10 minute walk from Talking Stick. It's easy to understand that parking right at the stadium is convenient, but it's not like you have to brave the New England weather to see the game. We can’t vouch for the neighborhood or safety, but as they say, there is safety in numbers.
The final total to attend a single Phoenix Suns game is about $142 ($110 for the tickets, $27.50 for the food and drinks, and cheaping out at $5 parking). But we know we can do better on the ticket prices given the sad state of the current team .There is no escaping the concession prices, and unless you know of some secret parking spot you won’t get any cheaper than $5. This may be the best time to take in an NBA game.
Usually the article ends with the summary, but in the case of the Suns this note needs to be added. Many people ask why pay so much to see a bad team. First, true Suns fans will always take advantage of the opportunity to see their team play. Second, you can focus in on watching the younger players, seeing their potential firsthand instead of depending on a camera or announcers who have a man crush on a certain player. Finally, can you think of a better way to do something different on a weeknight after work?
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker