Priced out for Saints Games? Geaux Hornets Instead

Published: November 4, 2010

I was planning to attend a Saints game for the first time since I sold my season tickets a few years ago, but was flabbergasted at how poorly the prices of available tickets to the Saints compare to what the Hornets offer. So much in fact, that I completely abandoned the plan and instead decided to write this.

Let’s compare trying to attend one Saints game with your family to a Hornets game. For this we’ll assume that you and your significant other have twin 9 year old kids, a boy and a girl. Their names are unimportant, but they both start with the letter Z. I’m going to ignore food prices as well as parking costs, since I’m sure they are very similar for both venues.

Saints Game

Purchasing the four cheapest tickets available to watch the Saints play the Seahawks on 11/21 will cost 123 dollars a piece on StubHub. After delivery and service fees, this comes to 553 dollars for you and your three family members to sit so high up in the Dome that you won’t be able to see a single players face.

At halftime you get to enjoy a *high school marching band. Yay.

Hornets Game

I’ll go through three options here. First lets look at the bare minimum cost to get tickets against Cleveland on 11/19. For four seats together in section 310 in row 16, a family of four could attend for 50 dollars through the Hornets. For that price they would be closer to the action than in the Superdome, and have 500 extra dollars to throw around.

Let’s say you did have 550 dollars to spend on four tickets. What exactly would that get you from the Hornets? Well, you could get four seats in the lower bowl at the cost of 68.75 a piece if you buy through the team. The next pricing jump is fairly substantial and would exceed the cost of the cheapest Saints tickets.

Or if you want to spend an extra 200 dollars, you could get four 12-game ticket packages, so you and your family could enjoy a dozen Hornets games throughout the year. That’s a lot more action for only a small additional expenditure.

Also, the halftime show at the Arena will often leave you wondering if you stumbled into a production of Barnum and Bailey’s circus. Sometimes it’s that cool.

I get that the Saints are the big team in New Orleans, that they won the Superbowl, and that there are only 10-13 home games a year, but the price differences are so huge that I just wanted to throw it out there. Tell your friends that if they want to see the only undefeated team in New Orleans, the price is right.

*I actually love marching bands, but the halftime shows at the Arena are legitimately awesome sometimes. When choosing between a marching band and a man who could/should/maybe does call himself “The Human Pretzel”, you know where I stand. The only exception to this is during Mardi Gras, in which marching bands top my list of favorite things.


  1. TopherPrice

    November 4, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Case in point: The Human Flag was the halftime show at the Denver game. That was some tier 1 level “who thinks to do that” gymnastics. Not to mention the way he stared a hole into the soul of the pole he was to work with before he began his routine was with the ticket price alone.

    • Joe Gerrity

      November 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm

      and some are completely mediocre. I actually didn’t see that one.

      Last year was pretty good. Juggler who player piano, giant unicycle, those 2 dudes who throw eachother with their legs, trombone shorty played once if I recall, etc.

      • TopherPrice

        November 5, 2010 at 12:36 am

        I love when they rarely get a true New Orleans Jazz group to perform at halftime. John Boutte was a very nice treat during half opening night. I do love the grab bag nature of the entertainment. Makes me thing of Flint Tropics every time.

  2. 42

    November 5, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I’m a season ticket holder for both. Joe, the next time I have an open ticket, I’ll drop you a line.

    I make much the same argument to folks that you make here. People sometimes feel like they are cheating on the Saints or something if they enjoy the Hornets too much. It’s crazy. It’s a great, great value.

    My Hornets tickets have gone up $1 per game since returning from Oklahoma, from $18 to $19 (the $18 year was actually $15 because I was a prior holder and I paid early, but that was a temporary special). My Saints tickets since 2004 went from $15 per ticket to $40 a ticket, a $25 increase that nearly tripled the price.

    Another way to look at it fairly is I pay $19*43/41 ~ $20 / regular season ticket with 2 good exhibition tickets free for the Hornets and $40*10/8 = $50 / regular season ticket for the Saints. Now, for the season, I pay $817 per ticket for Hornets and $400 for Saints. So in terms of capital outlay, it’s less for Saints but more per game. If you don’t have that much time, the Saints is a viable option. However, even if you miss half the Hornets games, you are still seeing more than twice as many regular season games for double the price.

    A Saints game chews up the better part of a day. A Hornets game is like dinner theater, you can enjoy it after working all day, and you can still get a good night’s sleep after.

    They really are different commodities, each with strengths and weaknesses.

    As far as the outside-the-game stuff, the Hornets take the Doberge, hands down. It’s an easier experience too.

    For those who’d like to try something in between, I highly recommend the Voodoo when their season starts up. I had tickets before and have them again. It’s a fun time, is priced right, Hornets prices, football schedule, and the times are like Sunday around lunch. It’s just great.

    • Joe Gerrity

      November 5, 2010 at 12:17 am

      Yeah, I kicked myself for not picking up the Saints tickets. Face value is great, but the secondhand market is crazy right now. Thanks for the offer.

      • 42

        November 5, 2010 at 12:20 am

        Yeah, I can’t speak for the mark up. I have mixed feelings about the markup, really. I’ll not get into it.

        However, the upshot of it all is: Sports craziness + Hornets winning, + can’t/won’t buy Saints tickets = more Hornets ticket sales.

        I’m pretty sure we still are under the 14735 rule, by the way, so we could use those extra purchases. I think we’d have to have 2 pretty bad years in a row for the clause to kick in, but why tempt fate.

        Hurry up and buy!

  3. 42

    November 5, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Quick change is fun. I like the dude who has the dummies he dances with . . . Christopher or something.

    The lady who sang toot-toot was great. Jean Knight. Actually, the sound was horrible and she couldn’t hear herself (so obvious), but she sang toot-toot. The Oak Ridge Boys doing Elvira a cappella when the sound track was wonky was a rare treat by true professionals.


    • Edbballin504

      November 5, 2010 at 9:09 am

      Haha! I remember the Toot Toot lady singing off beat to the music. I was soooo embarrased! Quick change is great though! I always wondered howd they do that. I wonder what we will get to see tonight. I heard Ruben is singing before the game.

  4. Holy Cow

    November 5, 2010 at 6:27 am

    That’s a bit of an apples to oranges comparison (secondary market vs direct from the team pricing). I am fortunate to have had both Hornets and Saints tickets for the last several years. This year I gave up my two Hornets season tix and split a season package with a friend. Even splitting the season my Hornets tix cost about twice what my Saints tickets do. Per game ticket cost is virtually the same for good upper level seats for both ($48/per – Saints & $46/per – Hornets). The shear number of Hornets games makes it tough to do a full season package both in terms of a financial commitment and a time commitment. Still, as I said, I consider myself fortunate to be able to enjoy both of our professional sports teams and am excited about the prospects for this young season for the Hornets. Also, Hornets win the fan experience competition hand down. Give aways are superior as are the pre-game and in-game entertainment. Hornets also provide the greater season ticket holder benefit. The beer garden is a nice touch for all season ticket holders (nose bleed seats to court side). For the premium Saints “club level” ticket holders pay you would expect something more than a shorter bathroom line a sofa to watch the game from. Isn’t that like paying a ton of money to watch the game from home???

  5. thechosenuno

    November 5, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I agree with most of what you say, but you actually enjoy the halftime shows at the arena!?! Are you kidding me?!? They’re absolutely terrible. They always seem to be an after thought to what’s normally a well put-together game experience. It’s almost as if someone said 30 minutes before the game starts “OMG, we need halftime performers. Someone run to Jackson Square and grab a street performer!”

  6. hewhorocks

    November 5, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I leave the house at 6:30 and am usually home by 10:00 for the Hornets games Easy in easy out. I have never once in 4 years as a season ticket holder ever paid for parking. (I dont mind walking 3 blocks.) The 1/2 time shows are a mixed bag but on average worth watching. The sound in both venues is terrible (balcony in the hive and everywhere in the dome.)

    There used to be a saying though that the NBA is only worth watching in the last 6 minutes of a game. Still a $15 Hornets seat is a much much better seat for watching the nuances of a game that the typical $40 (terrace upper corner?) saints ticket. Tour game experience will vary. Still if you need to miss half the Hornets games to make the purchase comparable, I’d advise on of the many Partial season ticket plans. You can contact my season ticket Rep. He’ll set you right up!

    Charles Alexander
    Account Executive

    • 42

      November 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      I’m in Charles’ crew too. Cory before that. Tabitha before him.

    • 42

      November 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      I, too, never pay for parking.

      I’m with you on the partial plans, I’m just trying to `apple-ize’ everything as best as possible.

      Yeah, I’m basically corner terrace for both teams.

  7. 42

    November 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Hey, the banners are back!

    I just noticed. Maybe I’m the last to know.

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