L.A. Times: Everybody loves a winner, even during troubled economic times.

The Lakers season-ticket holders renewed at a 99% rate for the upcoming season, an impressive percentage during robust financial periods, but much more so given the current slowdown.

The Lakers were within two victories of winning an NBA championship last season, and their fans have followed, hoping for a continued uptick in the franchise’s fortunes. The Lakers are preseason favorites to win the NBA championship in the eyes of many prognosticators.

Season-ticket renewal averages across the league this season were about 79%. Some NBA teams have even had trouble collecting from fans.

The Lakers, however, had no such issues when money was collected over the off-season, despite across-the-board price increases, a relatively unsurprising action after the team paid almost $5 million in luxury taxes on last season’s payroll and faced a larger tax hit this season.

Courtside seats, think Jack Nicholson, were raised from $2,300 to $2,500 per game, an 8.7% increase, and seats in six lower-level sections between the baskets were raised from $230 to $245, a 6.5% hike.

Still, season-ticket holders expressed resounding interest in the Lakers’ upcoming season, which begins Oct. 28 at home against Portland.

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