SBD/Issue 124/Franchises

T'Wolves Lower Ticket Prices In Effort To Re-Energize Fan Base

The T'Wolves are "now officially working the cheap tickets angle hard," according to Henry Abbott of TRUEHOOP. The team recently launched its "Run with the Pack" ticket sales and renewal campaign for the '10-11 season, which includes "lower bowl season tickets" for $10 per game. Also, during the month of March, season tickets are "as much as half off." The T'Wolves said that the team in the first week of the campaign "sold 300 new full season tickets during the record-setting week, while also renewing 30% of its current season ticket holders." At the same point last year, the team "had only renewed 1.5% of its season ticket holders." T'Wolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn: "We want to start to re-energize the fan base next year as we start, we hope, a climb. It'll be easier to make that climb to the top with a very full, vibrant, loud building. This was an opportunity for us to start to reconnect, and to rebuild the fan base which at one point was one of the most rabid in the League." Kahn was asked if the decision to sell tickets "so cheaply" points to the "ongoing issues between large and small markets." He said, "I don't want to say anything in defiance of the League's wishes that we stay quiet on collective bargaining." But he added, "There should be a more robust revenue-sharing program out of this agreement." Kahn: "Having worked at Indiana for nine years, and now here, there's no question that the difference in broadcast markets has an impact on your revenues. ... New York, L.A., Chicago, the Bay Area, they're in the top ten, and especially those first three, have the opportunity to drive revenues that simply don't exist for the rest of us. ... I'm hopeful that the end result here is that the pricing decrease here will be made up with a fuller building and more buyers, and a better atmosphere for our team and our fans." Kahn said the "best thing" for the T'Wolves is "for people to be talking" about the team. Kahn: "This is one of those cases where you can't be anything but pleased if people are buying the tickets. And the more the merrier" (ESPN.com, 3/9).

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