Magic's Attendance Sees Drop Without Howard, But Ahead Of Projections
The Magic's home attendance this season has "surpassed many observers' predictions, but it's not as strong as it had been during the team's first two seasons at Amway Center," according to Josh Robbins of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. Through their first 32 home games this season, the Magic "averaged an announced crowd of 17,601 people per game, which ranked them 14th out of the league's 30 teams and placed them above the league average by 411." The Magic this year have often seen "small, but recurrent, patches of empty seats." But this is "life for the Magic in Year 1 A.D. -- or After Dwight -- the team's first season since it traded" Lakers C Dwight Howard. City records show that an average of 13,455 people have "attended Magic home games this season," down 15% from last season and down 25% from the team's '10-11 opening season at Amway Center. But the Magic are "doing better at the turnstile than many teams in the NBA." The team entered this season with "about 13,000 season tickets sold, but many of those sales occurred before the Howard trade on Aug. 10." The Magic are still "in the midst" of the season-ticket renewal process for next season. Magic CEO Alex Martins said that season-ticket holders are "renewing at a rate similar to this point last year." Additionally, the team has "struggled to draw viewers for its Fox Sports Florida broadcasts." Nielsen ratings show that the RSN has "drawn an average of 14,784 households per game," which is a decrease of about 54% from "last year's broadcasts on Fox Sports Florida and Sun Sports." Martins said, "In my opinion, and most data reflects this, that of all the components of our business, television ratings are most affected by wins and losses." Meanwhile, he added that the team has "set a new franchise single-season record for sponsorship revenue" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/10).