It wasn’t an unusual request for a basketball loving teenager to make.
An Illinois high school student and his friends were anxious to see whether the Chicago Bulls’ 1984 first round draft pick might have what it took to lift the moribund franchise back to relevance.
He sent out an SOS to his father: can you find some tickets to Michael Jordan’s first game and take us there?
Dad came through.
Now, the two ticket stubs from that night—with notations and an autograph from a Chicago college star of the day on the back of one of them—are going on the auction block where they’re expected to sell for $200,000 or more.
The red and black box office stubs are the centerpiece of Bonham’s The GOATS: Icons of Sports auction set to open next Monday.
The stubs, which were only available for purchase at the venue, feature the iconic Chicago Bulls logo as well as a silhouette of Chicago Stadium.
Going up against the Washington Bullets, that night Jordan scored 16 points with 6 rebounds and 7 assists, a successful start for the team’s first round draft pick. He would go on to compete in 1072 regular season games and 179 playoff games, earning six NBA Championships, Six Finals MVP titles and was Scoring Champion ten times as well as All Defensive Player nine times.
It all started on that October night in 1984.
According to Bonham’s, the owner of the stubs was a high school junior at Elgin Academy, about 30 miles northwest of the city. An avid college basketball fan, he was talking with friends at lunch about Jordan’s potential impact at the NBA level. He got in touch with his dad who managed to snare four great seats from an acquaintance and the two of them, along with two high school friends, met outside Chicago Stadium.
Sitting in front of them was Dallas Comegys, a member of the DePaul Blue Demons. The chance encounter with an up and coming local college star was unexpected and the owner of the tickets was more excited about seeing Comegys than he was about watching Jordan’s debut. After the game, Comegys scribbled his last name, number and “DePaul” on the back of one of the stubs. The boy also scribbled “Michael Jordan’s first game” and the names of his friends who were there that night.
The owner held on to the pair of ticket stubs for the next 38 years.
As ticket collectors know, there were a couple different types of tickets issued during the 1984-85 season, including several standard “Ticketron” tickets available at Ticketron outlets throughout Chicago.
The box office tickets, with a modest design in the background, are more desirable. A full red and black ticket from this game, believed to be the only unused example ever discovered, sold in February 2022 for $468,000.
The auction is set to run from September 19-29.