I have two favorite days of the year. First, the Monday after Easter, when all the candy is half off (or, if you like to live dangerously, you can wait two weeks and hope for good candy at 75% off) and STM Relocation Day.
Relo day is the that the Celtics open up the seat map and STM can change their seats on a first-come-first-served basis. They show you the map from a sky view and you go for it. The longer your tenure, the earlier they open the map for you. That doesn't mean that the newbies get totally hosed, since a longer-tenured person has to give up their
(presumably better) current seats to get new ones. Think of it as sloppy seconds.
I've always viewed relo day as a good proxy for demand. Six or seven years ago, when the Celtics sucked, there were several hundred tickets available. Last year, there were, at most, 50-60. This year, I'd say that there were 300-400. Since I'm in the Loge, I can only see the Loge seats, and I didn't have access to the two sections behind each basket, since I told them that I wasn't interested in those. As I write this, a day after my window opened, there are still 150-200 seats available in the 15 or so sections that I can see. Here's what I see when I sign in:
I'm attributing everything to COVID. To put it in perspective, I renewed on March 20, a week after schools closed in MA, and I was early. So even by that time, it was pretty clear which way the wind was blowing. For those who waited until April or May (I don't remember which.), they had plenty of time to decide not to renew.
Anyway, here's what I learned:The Celtics website still sucks
: Every year, I sign in just as my window opens and, every year, the site crashes. So I spend two minutes screaming at my computer and get in at 2:02 pm.You still can't get the best seats
: It doesn't matter how weak demand is; nobody ever gives up the courtside seats or ones around the Celtics bench and, if they did, I'm sure that there is a corporate bigwig who will skip get to skip the line. The best seat I saw available this year was one three rows behind the Celtics bench. It was a single seat and yes, somebody bought it.There were still plenty of good ones available this year, though
: Usually, it's tough to get anything in the VIP section (the three rows of folding chairs behind the courtside seats), unless they're in the corner. This year, though, there were some decent ones available, including aisle seats in section 11. I'm not a big fan of the folding chair seats, despite how close they are. They are on the floor, so it's hard to see if you have somebody tall in front of you. There also isn't a lot of leg room and the chairs don't look particularly comfortable. On the plus side, I see the VIP folks walking around with little cups of gummy bears, so they must have free snacks somewhere. Oh, yeah, and the unobstructed view isn't bad either:
But yeah, look at that price. It comes out to $400 per ticket. Ouch.
The other rarity that I'm seeing plenty of is aisle seats in the Center Six section (Loges 11, 12, 13, 21, 1, 2). Seats 9 and 10 in a row of 20 seats are never very popular for obvious reasons. In the past, I've never seen more than one or two pairs in the "inside" aisle. This year, they're all over. In the "for what it's worth" column, the best of them (loges 12 and 1, the very center sections) are selling for about $250 each.
There are still a lot of really good seats available. They're expensive, but in any other year, they'd be gone by now.I have no idea what's going to happen in the resale market
: Most STM are interested in the resale market, since we're not going to go to all 43 games. This is the first idea that I have absolutely no idea what it's going to look like because I'm not even sure there's going to be a season. And if there is, how do you plan for it? My guess is that the NBA will come up with league-wide rules regarding capacity restrictions and that the season will be delayed until January. But ask me again next week and I'll probably have a different answer.