SBD/January 12, 2012/Franchises

Pistons Seeing Big Attendance Drop This Season Despite In-Game Marketing Push

Not counting opening-night sellout of 22,076, Pistons are averaging just 9,631 fans
The Pistons are averaging just 11,710 fans through six games at The Palace of Auburn Hills this season, the lowest since '81-82 when the team "averaged 9,910 fans at the Pontiac Silverdome during Isiah Thomas' rookie season," according to Terry Foster of the DETROIT NEWS. Not counting the opening-night sellout of 22,076, the Pistons “are averaging just 9,631 fans and last week were outdrawn by Michigan State women's basketball.” The Pistons averaged 16,660 fans per game last season. The team is trying “to lure fans by turning games into events,” but there are “so many live musical acts that some fans joke that the Pistons parade a basketball game in between concert sets.” Palace Sports & Entertainment President Dennis Mannion said that there will be “more direct marketing and more concerts and acts.” There are also “giveaways for just about every home game, including a Greg Monroe jersey on Sunday, Pistons hats and posters.” But the Pistons “are working on their fourth consecutive losing season,” and Mannion admitted that the “product on the floor must be better to lure fans.” Fans have grown “accustomed to ticket giveaways, but Mannion said the club has no plans to do that.” Instead, the Pistons are “working to increase the value of a game at The Palace with concerts, hip hop dancers, an improved dance team and louder music.” Mannion said, “The strategy is to reestablish The Palace brand and the Pistons brand” (DETROIT NEWS, 1/12).
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