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by Howie Stalwick


Some Gonzaga fans soon will be paying nearly $300 a game to watch their beloved Zags play basketball. Still, it could be much, much worse Take the New York Knicks. Please.


It costs a mere $1,600 per game to sit courtside at Madison Square Garden. For that tidy sum, you get to see one of the NBA's worst teams up close and personal. Maybe you'll even get the privilege of being strangled by Latrell Sprewell.


And the Knicks' season tickets? Try $70,400 for the premium seats and $440 in the nosebleed section. And if you'd prefer a luxurious suite for every single Garden event ... well, the starting price is $400,000.


Gonzaga basketball ticket prices, however, look like a steal compared to those at North Carolina, where you must endow a scholarship for $150,000 or $75,000 to earn the right to pay $450 a year to watch the Tar Heels.


Duke University charges a whopping $865 or $445 for season tickets -- plus an annual $5,000 boost for the good ol' athletic department. Strangely, the Blue Devils have sold out forever, and if you get on the waiting list today, the Dukies say they might be able to get you a season ticket in 10 years.


Indiana, meanwhile, offers some of the most reasonable season ticket prices among traditional major college basketball powers -- $224 or $322. Some longtime fans don't pay anything extra, though most pay at least the minimum $50 booster club dues.


Closer to home, the Seattle SuperSonics charge $387 to $4,700 for most season tickets, $7,500 to $30,000 for courtside and $80,000 to $150,000 for suites. The suites are open for virtually all events at KeyArena.


Season tickets for the Seattle Seahawks range from $200 to $720. A team spokesman said most of the suites at Seahawks Stadium go for approximately $70,000 to $80,000.


The Seattle Mariners offer megabucks suites and box seats behind home plate, but their regular season tickets go for $1,215 to $3,483. Keep in mind, of course, that major league baseball teams play about twice as many games as pro basketball teams; that pro basketball teams play about three times as many games as college basketball teams; and that NFL season tickets include two exhibition games and eight regular season games.


But the Zags are in town only about a dozen times a year.

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