SBD/Issue 43/Franchises

76ers Roll Out Several Initiatives To Reignite Fan Interest

76ers Senior VP/Business Operations Lara Price said that the team has "loaded up on specially priced ticket packages and plans this season" after finishing 23rd in the NBA in average attendance last year with 15,802 fans per game, according to John George of the PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL. The team's home opener on October 30 against the Bucks drew just 14,638 fans to Wachovia Center, and last season's average home crowd was down nearly 5,000 from the '01-02 season. The 76ers this year cut the price of their family pack ticket plan from $99 to $76, and once again will offer $10 tickets through a partnership with McDonald's. The team is "bringing back a 'Ladies Night Out' package introduced at the end of last year," and has added an "online 'sixth man club' where members who sign up on the team’s Web site get discounted ticket offers nearly every week." Last month, the organization "mined its database for names of former season ticket buyers" and invited them to a private dinner, where Comcast-Spectacor President & COO Peter Luukko, 76ers GM Ed Stefanski and coach Eddie Jordan all spoke. Price said, "We are really trying to accommodate all lifestyles and income levels" (PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/6 issue).

AN EMPTY FEELING: Last night's Magic-Bobcats game drew an announced crowd of 13,415 at Time Warner Cable Arena, and in Charlotte, Rick Bonnell writes, "If I were the Bobcats, I wouldn't just be worried about the number of empty seats at home games, but where those seats go empty. Let's face it: You could sell out the upper bowl every game and the revenue amassed couldn't pay the bills. Right now the lower bowl from baseline-to-baseline, the 'oceanfront property,' can look pretty deserted, particularly on a weeknight" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/11). In Orlando, Brian Schmitz writes it "looked more like a preseason game at tip-off Tuesday night, with the lower bowl about 60[%] full" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/11).

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