A studio executive could open a summer’s worth of blockbusters with the celebrities sitting court side at a single L.A. Lakers’ playoff game.
Just how do Hollywood’s finest manage to get those prime locations court side and in the lower bowl? Some buy in bulk – Lakers’ season ticket holders include Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dustin Hoffman, Penny Marshall, Dyan Cannon and Glenn Frey, to name a few. But that’s not the only way to get a foot on the floor. “The main way most of the celebrities get in are through seats given to them by studios, record companies, major talent agencies and production companies,” says Lakers’ spokesman John Black. “On a given night, we may have 40 celebrities here but I may only be aware of five of them myself.”
Wednesday night’s game at Staples center, the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggest 103-94, in front of a crowd studded with dozens of stars. In the stands were Ellen Pompeo and husband Chris Ivery, Denzel Washington, Nicholson and son Raymond, David Arquette, Adam Levine, Zac Efron, Tyrese Gibson, Taraji P. Henson, and M.I.A. with Ben Brewer. Also spotted arriving at the game were DJ AM, Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush, Andy Garcia, Hugh Hefner and Ice Cube.
The Lakers also have house seats they distribute to corporate sponsors and broadcast partners, which in turn provide them to celebrities. The Lakers’ organization also has a few tickets to sell to celebrities themselves with the best seats in the house ranging in price from $445 to $4,500 during this round of the playoffs. The Staples Center organization also has an allotment. Players in need of extra tickets for friends and family typically go through the team and pay face value, Black says. “We probably get a hundred requests per game, and we can’t accommodate everyone,” he says.
If you can find them, floor seats during the Nuggets series go for $4,500 per chair – face value that is – but that also buys you a ticket for courtside wait service and entry into the exclusive Wachovia Chairman’s Room, located below the stands on the south end of the arena. There, you can enjoy a pre-game or halftime martini, and on a given night, rub elbows with the likes of Kanye West or Tom Cruise. But don’t bother showing up to the room after the game unless you have a personal invite from Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss, who reserves the club for his guests.
Those pricey seats also come with a special treat everyone in L.A. can appreciate – special parking close to the arena and private entry no lines to mess with.