The NBA returned to business as usual in the 2021-2022 season, putting no capacity limits on any games for the first time in years. Attendance was down compared to the last season before the pandemic, but that didn’t stop the league’s most popular teams from increasing their revenue.

The Golden State Warriors made the most money off ticket sales, generating $4.175 million in gate receipts, according to internal NBA data obtained by the New York Post. The Los Angeles Lakers were second in the league with nearly $3.1 million made from tickets. The New York Knicks’ $2.98 million in gate ranked third for the regular season.

It was Golden State’s first full season in front of fans at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors saw their gate receipts increase by 19% compared to the 2018-2019 season.

The Lakers’ gate increased by 18.2%, while the Knicks’ gate went up 9.2%, the NY Post reports. Both teams generated more revenue in ticket sales despite failing to even make the league’s play-in tournament.

Los Angeles fell extremely short of expectations, going 33-49 and finishing as the Western Conference’s No. 11 seed. The Lakers entered the season as the favorites to represent the West in the 2022 NBA Finals. With LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook on the roster, the Lakers had the NBA’s fourth-highest payroll.

The Knicks also finished 11th in their conference, going 37-45. New York took a step back after unexpectedly making the 2021 playoffs with the East’s fourth-best record.

The Warriors gave their fans plenty to cheer about in the regular season as the West’s No. 3 seed. Golden State went 31-10 at home. The Warriors’ league-high payroll approached $180 million.

On average, NBA teams made $1.48 million in gate receipts for a 10.2% increase compared to the 2018-2019 season. The average attendance for NBA games was 13,603 fans per game, down 71% from 2018-2019. 

The Toronto Raptors were the only team to finish in the top 10 in gate but generate less money compared to three seasons ago. In the middle of the season, the Raptors were forced to play home games without fans because of local restrictions amid rising coronavirus cases.

NBA TV ratings have increased during the 2022 playoffs compared to the last two years.

Golden State's Draymond Green reacts to being ejected on Sunday for a flagrant foul but the Warriors managed to defeat host Memphis 117-116 in an NBA playoff game on Sunday Golden State's Draymond Green reacts to being ejected on Sunday for a flagrant foul but the Warriors managed to defeat host Memphis 117-116 in an NBA playoff game on Sunday Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / Justin Ford