Warriors gear sales hit historic high as fans vie for NBA Finals tickets and merchandise

OAKLAND (KTVU) - If you measure Warriors fans by the lengths they'll go to support their team, George Dean is a slam dunk devotee.

The lifelong Warriors fan from San Pablo woke up before dawn Thursday to stand outside the Oracle Arena box office for the opening of the NBA Finals ticket sales.

"Like 3 a.m., 4 a.m., I was figuring they were going to start selling them first thing," Dean told KTVU.

He and others lined up on the longshot, that they could buy a golden ticket to see the Golden State Warriors play for the NBA Championship title.

General sales opened at 4 p.m. and by 4:36 p.m. the tickets were gone.

"All games are sold out," a woman announced from the box office.

Fans who left empty-handed were disappointed.

"Super bummed, Got 1, 2, and 5...no standing room?" said Jim Rutledge of Oakland.

"It was so close," said Dierdre Veals of Oakland with a laugh. She was the next in line when the ticket office staff made the announcement.

"Kind of wanted to see them play in person," Veals said, "Not at the bar."

Fans now face the option of the resale market, where ticket prices are expected to soar.

"I been hearing it on the radio too and so I thought I'd double check it," said Cory Chung of San Francisco, "You could fly to Cleveland, buy a ticket in Cleveland and fly back here for about the same price."

For much less, fans can wear their blue and gold hearts on their sleeves.

Steph Curry shirts and other Warriors gear are the hottest in Warriors' history, according to Warriors team staff.

After Wednesday night's Western Conference Championship win, the Warriors had record retail and web sales.

"He's the baby-faced assassin," said Joshua Shanklin, 9, pointing to his t-shirt with a photo of the Warriors' star guard Steph Curry.

"I got a Warriors hat, a Warriors shirt and it has all the players on the back with their numbers," said Treyvonne Shanklin, 11, who was sporting blue and yellow signature Curry shoes as well.

And those coveted Western Conference Championship hats - all 1,500 allocated to the team were sold out in the first two hours.

Some fans turned instead to the t-shirts. "Gotta have the shirt. Gotta have that," said Cecile Richards of Oakland.

But it isn't about strong sales numbers. It's about the strength in numbers that is the true-blue measure of how historic this moment is for the team and their hometown.

"I have a lot of confidence in them that they can take it all the way," Richards said smiling, "But even if they don't, they're still a great team. I'm still a fan no matter what." Well said, from an Oakland fan who like so many others, has never stopped believing.

(Warriors staff say the team stores will be open every day through the end of the finals. Hours at the Oracle Arena location are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Westfield San Francisco Centre store on the third floor is open from 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.)