According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Staples Center made $1.2 million off of Bryant-related merchandise during the Lakers-Jazz game in which the Los Angeles superstar bade the NBA farewell by scoring 60 points. That haul set a new record for any arena in the world in a single day, per Rovell; the previous mark had been set by London’s O2 Arena, when it sold $1 million of Led Zeppelin merchandise during a 2007 concert by the temporarily re-formed band.
Enough money was spent on merchandise alone at Staples Center Wednesday to work out to $61 for each fan (attendance was officially listed at 18,997). Of course, many attendees spent far more than that simply to acquire a ticket to the highly anticipated event in which Lakers fans celebrated a five-time champion who had spent his entire 20-year career with the team.
Neither the Lakers, AEG (the arena’s owner) nor Bryant were caught by surprise by the high demand for items related to his final game. The group collaborated on a collection of high-end merchandise available for fans, including eight hats priced at $38,024 and another eight that went for $24,008. The numbers used in those prices were not coincidental, as Bryant has played with eight and 24 on his jersey.
“The 24 Collection started with a vision of gold and diamonds and how this translated with the fans of Los Angeles,” AEG vice president of merchandise Sean Ryan told ESPN. “We wanted every person who purchased with us the opportunity to have a piece which was special for the moment. The support and buy-in exceeded our expectations.”
Much of the merchandise was likely bought by people looking to resell the limited-edition items at a higher price, and the fact that Bryant electrified the NBA by going out with 60 points will surely help with that. Already on Thursday, ticket stubs for the contest were reportedly being sold for $125 to $175.