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Unused ticket to Michael Jordan's debut game sells for $468,000

An unused ticket to Michael Jordan's Oct. 26, 1984, debut game with the Chicago Bulls was auctioned for $468,000. The auctioneer said the item is the only known example of an unused ticket from the game. Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions
An unused ticket to Michael Jordan's Oct. 26, 1984, debut game with the Chicago Bulls was auctioned for $468,000. The auctioneer said the item is the only known example of an unused ticket from the game. Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions

March 1 (UPI) -- An unused ticket to Michael Jordan's NBA debut game with the Chicago Bulls in 1984 was auctioned for $468,000.

Heritage Auctions said the ticket to the Oct. 26, 1984, Chicago Bulls home game against the Washington Bullets sold for $468,000.

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Mike Cole, the ticket's former owner, said he was gifted two tickets to the game by Jerry Sachs, a Bullets executive and family friend, while he was attending Northwestern University in the 1980s. He said one of the tickets remained intact because he had been unable to find anyone to attend the game with him.

Heritage said the ticket is the only known surviving example of an unused ticket from the game, which marked the NBA debut of superstar Michael Jordan.

Cole, who does not consider himself a collector, said he was shocked to see how high the auction climbed.

"I've never held on to these items thinking one day they're going to be worth a lot of money," he told the Chicago Tribune. "I hold on to them because they are memories of good experiences and times spent with family and friends, and as we get older, as is in my case, it's often enjoyable to think of those times from the past."

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The sum fetched by the ticket was briefly a new record for the auction of a sports ticket, but it was broken a short time later when a ticket stub from Jackie Robinson's April 15, 1947, Major League Baseball debut game sold for $480,000.

"We were a record holder for a brief period, but I couldn't be happier because to me Jackie Robinson was not only an incredibly accomplished athlete, as was Michael Jordan, but also an incredible pioneer," Cole said. "I think it's fitting that Jackie Robinson, whose contribution goes way beyond sports, has the highest valued ticket."

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