Want to Watch LeBron Play in Cleveland? Just Win the Lottery

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If you’re a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, chances are this summer has left you feeling lucky. From getting the No. 1 pick in the draft for the second year in a row to signing ex-Cav LeBron James to trading for Kevin Love, the NBA offseason has played out better than any Cavaliers fan could dare to hope in his or her wildest dreams.

But if those same Cavaliers fans want to actually see the Big Three of James, Love, and Kyrie Irving play at Quicken Loans Arena in person this year, they’ll have to put their newfound luck to the test. That’s because the team announced this week that all single-game tickets will be distributed through a monthly lottery process so that “as many individual fans as possible” are able to buy tickets for the 41 regular-season dates at the Q.

The lottery is a creative way to try and keep brokers from snatching up all the tickets and marking them up by a few hundred percent — fans will have the chance each month to have their name drawn and win the right to buy up to six tickets to a single game the following month. Of course, there’s still no guarantee even if someone’s holding the proverbial golden ticket that they can get seats to the exact game they want. For instance, it’s safe to say that February’s lottery winners will snatch up LeBron-Kobe tickets (February 8) in short order before condescending to buy any for that week’s 76ers game (February 2).

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Everyone knew that demand for Cavs tickets this year would be through the roof once LeBron announced he was “coming home” – or if they didn’t, the team selling out of more than 12,000 season tickets in the first 24 hours should have been a pretty obvious sign. The good news for average fans is that they have a better and easier chance of getting face-value tickets than they would have if they had to stand in line for hours or days before an on-sale date. The bad news? If you were hoping to see a certain opponent (especially one from the Western Conference that might only make one visit), you don’t just have to win a lottery, but you have to win a lottery for the very month in which that game falls.

Oh, and if your name does get called, buying tickets disqualifies you from winning again for 60 days, so plan accordingly. One last piece of advice for prospective lottery winners: Don’t get too far away from your phone, tablet, or computer. When the clock starts on your month of privilege — should you be fortunate enough to win — you have all of 12 hours to cash in before you lose your spot to some other hopeful.

Sound too complicated? Well, there’s always StubHub, where tickets to the October 30 home opener against the Knicks are currently going for $798 apiece. So the moral of the story remains, Cavs fans: Better hope you get and/or stay lucky.