After making our way up from Anaheim and enjoying the lovely LA traffic, we wanted to enjoy our last night in California by watching the Lakers play at Crypto.com arena. This actually ended up being a much cooler experience than I originally anticipated, and I was very happy I went.
Seeing LeBron play basketball is a treat in and of itself, but getting to watch it from the comfort of a box takes it to the next level. Let me explain how we ended up in a box for this game without breaking the bank.
This review is part of my Trip Report: Southern California 2022:
- The Final Companion Pass Flight: DCA-SNA
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Park Hotel Disneyland
- The Happiest Place on Earth: My One-Day Disneyland Experience
- Lakers vs. Nuggets: Box Seats
- Hotel Review: Hilton Checkers Los Angeles
Our seats were in box C44, which is somewhat located near the corner of the arena and on the third box level. My dad had invited some friends, so the box was an amazing perk that made it much easier to socialize. Although we did not order any food to the box or have it catered, the space overall made our time much more enjoyable.
For starters, we got to enter the arena though the VIP entrance in the Southwest part of the arena. While this did not make much of a difference in terms of practicality, there was something fun about being a VIP (maybe I’m a little crazy). It was also fun to see some of the cars that the richest people in LA arrived in to the game. Tesla’s and Rolls Royce’s seems to be the favorites.
The suite had a locking entrance that you scanned into in order to enter. Inside in the front portion of the box were two rows of 6 seats that had an amazing view of the court. Behind them was a bar with a couple seats on either side of the aisle.
In the back of the suite there were trash cans, plenty of counter space, a TV and even a table that was great for socializing. It would have been even better with catered food, but I am not complaining, and I was very happy with the arrangement.
You may be wondering how we ended up in a suite since they typically sell for $5,000+ plus for many arena events and games. To be honest, it falls somewhat under the luck category and somewhat under the being aware of seating options category.
When we were looking for tickets, we didn’t need to be court-side, but we were also hoping to avoid sitting in the nosebleed seats. During the time of our search, higher altitude tickets were selling in the $70-90 ballpark with 100s level tickets being close to $200 if not much more as you got closer to the court.
To my surprise, I found seats on Vivid Seats for just under $150 per ticket for box C44. The option wasn’t clearly available, but while digging through the options, I found that some boxes were selling tickets at varying prices. I was surprised to see individual tickets to a box, but I figured it was a good opportunity to try, so we booked it.
We ultimately got the cheapest box-level tickets, but other boxes had tickets selling for more than double the price we paid, showing the pretty good deal we got.
It doesn’t hurt that we put this charge on the Capital One Savor card, which earns 8% cash back (or 8x miles if you have a Capital One Miles card) on all Vivid Seats purchases (although I do believe the 8% bonus for Vivid Seats ended at the end of 2022). If we had booked through another reseller, we would have still earned 4% back on ‘entertainment,’ but the Vivid Seats bonus is a nice touch.
Additionally, we booked the tickets through the AAdvantage eShopping portal, which was offering 3x AA miles on all Vivid purchases. This not only helped our mileage balance, but it will also contribute to earning loyalty points towards status for next year.
The Last Point
I am not quite sure if this was more of a one-time occurrence or if individuals are regularly able to buy box-level tickets. I am sure that if the Lakers keep winning 126-108 like that and LeBron continues to put up 30-point games, it will be harder to find box seats, but I am happy that I got the opportunity.
While I was at Crypto.com arena, I also checked out the Centurion Suite (why not, right?), which I had access to with my Platinum Card from American Express. This poses a great option to buy the cheapest seats, high up in the nosebleeds and then go down to their suite to enjoy the game from suite-level views.
This is not only a cheaper option, but you can also order food and drinks to your seats. I have even heard that sometimes they offer a limited number of free drinks to guests. The only issue here is that space is limited, and I am sure many others will try to do the same thing, so you will need to arrive early if you attempt this.
Overall, I had a great time watching LeBron win a game in the Lakers home arena and I will definitely try to stop by again next time I am in LA.
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