SBD/December 19, 2013/Franchises

Blazers' Ticket Revenue Has More Than Doubled Amid Team's Hot Start

The Trail Blazers are off to a 22-5 start, and in conjunction, the team's ticket revenue has "more than doubled compared to this point last season and single-game ticket prices are increasing as the team continues to rack up wins," according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. However, the higher revenue has been achieved with a home arena in the Moda Center that "clearly has not been filled to capacity for at least eight of the Blazers' 12 home games this season." The team attributes the unfilled seats "in part to people who buy a ticket and don't show up or, more commonly, to groups that buy a block of tickets and end up with some unused." But the empty seats "also reflect the Blazer's ticket-selling strategy shift, which has coincided with the arrival" last year of team President Chris McGowan. Blazers VP/Ticket Sales & Service Tyler Howell said that the team previously "resorted to later-season, deeply discounted ticket packages or to selling blocks of tickets to secondary market brokers in the quest for the valued 'sellout.'" The altered strategy "is intended to protect season ticket buyers' commitment to a 44-game, regular season home schedule." The "hottest ticket of the season" is the Dec. 28 game against the Heat. About "200 tickets on the upper bowl that the team put up for sale Monday morning were sold within hours." The "average price for a ticket to the Heat game" is $95. The Blazers yesterday morning "took the unusual step on the team website of directing consumers to ticket brokers for Heat tickets as the team's supply is gone." The "lowest-priced ticket" yesterday on StubHub for the Heat game was $128.95 (Portland OREGONIAN, 12/19).

THE SUNS WILL RISE AGAIN: In Phoenix, Bob Young notes the Suns went into their game last night against the Spurs "ranked 28th out of 30 NBA teams in average home attendance, with 14,158 fans per game." That is a "startling 1,274 fewer fans per game than last season." The Suns once "ruled the Valley’s sports landscape." But the "trouble with operating in a saturated market is that once the foothold with fans is lost, it’s difficult to stop sliding." Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said, "We had to go through a difficult cycle at the end of one era to start another one. It’s like a mourning process. You almost have to go through the grieving" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 12/19).
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