SAN ANTONIO - Game 1 and 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals will be played in San Antonio. It's the Spurs versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But if you're looking to take a road trip and watch Game 3 in OKC, tickets will be hard to come by. In fact, if you live in Texas you are not allowed to buy tickets off Ticketmaster.com.
In this case, Ticketmaster.com is just the middle man doing what they're told. The people putting restrictions on the ticket buying are the Oklahoma City Thunder. They tell us it's something they've done in Round 1 and 2 of the playoffs.
Spurs fans have proven they're willing to do just about anything to prove their love. We’ve seen everything from kids from shaving their heads to fans sewing a special gladiator costume for game time.
So, it's no surprise, some fans want to travel to Oklahoma City for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Problem is buying a ticket online won't be easy.
Here’s what the Ticketmaster.com website reads when you’re trying to buy tickets to the game:
*** VERY IMPORTANT !! *** Sales to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Western Conference Finals Home Games at Chesapeake Energy Arena, will be restricted to residents of Oklahoma, Kansas & Arkansas. Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside of this area will be canceled without notice and refunds given.
Yvette Lopez has been a season ticket holder for 13 years. Not knowing there'd be a restriction on buying tickets, she planned ahead and bought plane tickets and a hotel room.
"People in Texas, the Spurs fans, if you're not in Oklahoma, Arkansas and I'm not sure why Kansas, you can't buy a ticket to the game,” Lopez said.
Over the phone a representative for the thunder told me their arena holds a little over 18,000 people. 14,000 seats are already reserved for season ticket holders. So, with just 4,000 general admission tickets available, they want to make sure thunder fans get the first pick.
Yvette still plans to go to the game. But she just knows she'll be paying double, maybe triple, the dollar amount just to catch a glimpse of the men in black.
"It's really heartbreaking,” Yvette told us. “We wanted to be there to share the experience. Because I really think the spurs are going to take that first game in Oklahoma."
Ticket restrictions are often used in college sports. For example, Texas A&M and the Longhorns travel well; so, opposing teams might limit the number of tickets available for visitors. However, it’s rare to see entire states being shut out of the ticket-buying process.
And while it is not against NBA rules to restrict ticket buying, it is not a common practice in professional sports. The Oklahoma City Thunder did admit News 4 WOAI’s Mireya Villarreal that they did this in the first two rounds of the playoffs; which may explain why it was hard to find anyone wearing Lakers gear at those last few games.
We also contacted the spurs. They tell us, they are not restricting their tickets for any playoff game.