Bronny James’ commitment to USC this summer sent shockwaves throughout college basketball, and when he finally steps on the court for his first college game, it’s expected to bring an unprecedented level of attention to a program that’s long existed in the shadow of crosstown rival UCLA and the Trojans’ football team.
All of that means tickets to USC basketball games will likely be a hot commodity once the season starts—but don’t attribute any rising prices to James’ presence.
That’s what USC chief marketing officer and associate athletic director Craig Kelley told ESPN’s Myron Medcalf. Kelley noted that, while ticket prices are likely going to increase next season, there is no “Bronny tax” behind the expected spike.
“I know it’s going to be hard to believe, but with or without Bronny, the prices were more than likely going to go up by a few percentage points just because that’s just the nature of the business,” Kelley said. “Most teams are increasing their prices 2% to 3% annually. We’ve actually been flat for quite some time, and so we were going up in price just because the team has just gotten better. And you do add some notable name players.”
James is one of two McDonald’s All-Americans joining USC’s 2023 recruiting class, along with guard Isaiah Collier. The Trojans have won 95 games over the past four seasons under Andy Enfield, making appearances in the past three NCAA tournaments.
Fans will surely have added interest in watching Bronny James play in person, and the prospect of LeBron James attending USC home games will likely draw larger crowds as well. Earlier this month, Enfield provided some insight into what Bronny’s role could be during his freshman season.
“All our guards have a great opportunity to play for us because we don’t have a ton of guards,” Enfield said. “We don’t have eight or nine. We have some opportunity for those guys to carve out a nice role for them, and in Bronny’s case, we don’t promise starting spots, but the nice thing is I think all of our guards will play good minutes for us this year.”