Sportress of Blogitude

Knicks Raise Ticket Prices For Courtside Seats For Disabled Fans 900%

Alonzo George, a quadriplegic former Brooklyn high-school basketball player, is rightfully upset with the New York Knicks. After learning from a friend who has been treating him to Knicks games that the team has raised the price of courtside seats dedicated to access for the disabled a whopping — and some might argue reprehensible — 900%. The seats which were going for $300 a pop last season will now cost an unbelievable $2,850. Ouch.

Said George, who was high school basketball standout before he was tragically paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident in 2007, regarding the price hike (via the New York Post):

“I was really shocked. I’m wondering how they did that, especially with people in a wheelchair.

“I’m not sure I want to go to the games at those prices.”

The opportunity for George to attend Knicks games was being provided by Ed Rose, vice chairman at the Maxim Group investment bank, a company where George had been interning. He had been purchasing two tickets for he and George in the wheelchair-accessible area in Madison Square Garden for $600. Now those same tickets would cost him $5,700.

Garden spokesman Barry Watkins said the $300 spots were eliminated as part of the arena’s ongoing $850 million renovation. He said the new floor spots for the disabled are closer to the action than the old ones.

The average increase for seats in the Garden this year was about 50 percent, including accommodations for the disabled at 14 other locations in the arena. The price hikes, he said, were due to renovation costs.

Obviously, the company that runs and operates Madison Square Garden — as a private entity running a business as they see fit — have each and every right to charge whatever they please for seats, so long as there are people out there willing to pay for them, but it seems to me that the considerable increase in profits they will make off the absurdly substantial increase in prices for seats which accommodate disabled fans who would like to sit courtside pales in comparison to the public relations hit they Knicks and Madison Square Garden are sure to receive as a consequence of this story. Sometimes, it’s just not worth it.