-- The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Friday that they will sell single-game tickets through an unprecedented monthly lottery system.
With demand at an all-time high thanks to the return of LeBron James, the team decided the best way to allow fans to get a shot at seeing the team that is now favored to win the NBA title was through a random drawing.
"There was an internal desire to make sure we could get as many different fans in to see our games as possible," Cavaliers CEO Len Komoroski said. "These fans have been with us for the good times and the bad and we want the tickets in their hands instead of the brokers, who are going to buy them with the intention of taking them, reposting them and selling them for a profit."
On Sept. 26, the team will start taking names from fans who want to be entered into the lottery. The Cavaliers say they have set aside about 50,000 tickets to sell on a single-game basis, meaning they'll release roughly 1,200 per game to the lottery.
During the first week of each month, fans whose names come up will have 12 hours to choose which game during the next month they want to attend. Each winning fan will be able to purchase up to six tickets. The price of the tickets is variable depending on the opponent, but team officials said the average price of this season's tickets matches the average price of the top tier of seats from last season.
Fans who win the chance to buy tickets and purchase them are not eligible to participate in the lottery for the two months following.
Unlike season tickets, which the team restricted to in-state buyers, the lottery is available to out-of-town fans.
The Cavaliers sold out of season tickets in July, less than eight hours after James announced he would leave the Miami Heat to return to Cleveland.