SBD/July 8, 2013/Franchises

Grousbeck Confident Of Celtics' Future After Key Departures, Hiring Of Brad Stevens

Grousbeck (r) said no season-ticket holders plan on canceling their packages
Celtics Managing Partner & CEO Wyc Grousbeck last week said he is "not afraid" of the franchise's future after the recent departure of key players and coach Doc Rivers, as well as the hiring of coach Brad Stevens, according to Steve Bulpett of the BOSTON HERALD. Grousbeck said, "We’ve been to the top of the mountain. We’ve been to the Finals twice, and I want to get back there. And I think the way to get back there is to be honest. What people can’t stand is dishonesty, and what people can’t stand is pretending. We are not pretending about anything. We’re fighting to get to Banner 18, and anybody that knows us knows that’s what we care about." Bulpett noted the Celtics "may not be championship-driven, but they will be taking what they believe is a more direct route back." Grousbeck said fans "have been unbelievably supportive in terms of what they think is going to happen," as they have approached him and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge "being all-in and enthusiastic." Grousbeck: "People realize that one era ended and they’re ready for what the future holds. ... Our season ticket-holders are as knowledgeable a group of fans as you can find anywhere." He added, "I’ve not gotten a single email -- not a single one -- asking to cancel tickets. And I’m the CEO of the team, and I’ve given everybody my email (address). ... I don’t think we’re going to be a particularly bad team next year. I do think it is a building project" (BOSTON HERALD, 7/7).

SEASON-TICKET SALES HOLDING STRONG: Celtics President Rich Gotham said that season-ticket retention is a "little above 90 percent at present, which is down from 95 percent the season before." In Boston, Tom Layman noted the season-ticket base during the '06-07 season, the year before the acquisition of F Kevin Garnett and G Ray Allen, was "roughly 6,500." But that "ballooned to more than 13,000 before being capped to allow for single-game and 10-game packaged tickets to be sold when Garnett and Allen came aboard." Gotham said of the team's recent changes, "I think fans accept that and I think they expected it to happen this offseason" (BOSTON HERALD, 7/7).

CELTIC PRIDE & PREJUDICE: In Boston, Gary Washburn wrote the Stevens hiring "proves that the Celtics job still holds cachet." It will "take a few years" to win, and it will "be a tedious process but one that should excite Celtics fans because Stevens is the perfect choice for the face of the franchise" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/4).
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