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Bullets' ticket prices on the up-and-up


The fans who sit next to Wes Unseld and Michael Jordan at the Capital Centre will pay $40 more per game for their tickets next season.

Only 300-odd seats in the top rows of the Capital Centre escaped a third straight hike in ticket prices by the Washington Bullets, who finished with the NBA's third-worst record (22-60) this past season.

Hardest hit will be fans occupying sideline seats near the two team benches. They will see their tickets jump from $110 to $150 per game.

Tickets that were priced at $45 and $55 per game will be raised $20.

"We're only talking about a total of 634 seats here," said Bullets president Susan O'Malley. "And all these VIP tickets come with amenities like free parking and admission to the Capital Club."

The remaining tickets, which were priced from $20 to $27 last season, will go up $2. Next season's average ticket price will be an estimated $23.

"We'll still rank in the bottom half of the NBA as far as ticket costs," O'Malley said. "Last year, we were third behind Dallas and Indiana with the cheapest seats in the league.

"People want to equate our record with ticket prices, but that's not how it works. Like everyone else, we face rising costs next season with the salary cap going up another $500,000 [to $15 million]."

Paid home attendance for the 1992-93 season rose to a record average of 13,633, including 20 sellout crowds of 18,756. It placed the Bullets 20th overall in the 27-team league. Last year, Washington finished 26th with an average of 12,479, beating out only the Los Angeles Clippers.

"We're still conscious that a lot of people can't afford a $23 ticket," O'Malley said. "That is why we will continue to put away a minimum of 1,000 seats at half price for every game. And we will hold at least one family night with discounted tickets for children at least once a month."

The ticket hikes, which were first reported in yesterday's Washington Post, will be reflected in similar raises for the four games the Bullets will play at the Baltimore Arena.

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