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Volume 25 No. 51
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NBA Again Sets New Attendance Record; Bulls On Top For Seventh Straight Season

The NBA during its '15-16 campaign had a second straight season of record-setting attendance, averaging 17,864 fans per game, up from 17,826 last season. The league also set a new record for sellouts in a season (723), passing last season’s record of 700. Prior to last season, the record was 676 from 20 seasons ago. The Bulls topped all teams at the gate for the seventh straight season, drawing 21,821 fans per game.  The last time the team did not lead was in '08-09, when the Pistons took the top spot. The Nets saw the sharpest drop among all NBA teams, down 11% at Barclays Center. The Pistons led all gains, with attendance at the Palace of Auburn Hills up 8%. There were 10 clubs filling their respective arenas to at least 100% capacity. The Mavericks led all clubs, with home game attendance at almost 105% capacity for American Airlines Center (THE DAILY).

NBA REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCE FOR '15-16 SEASON
HOME TEAM
GAMES
TOTAL
AVG.
% CAP.
PREV.
% +/-
Bulls
41
894,659
21,821
104.3%
21,866
-0.2%
Cavaliers
41
843,042
20,562
100.0%
20,562
0.0%
Mavericks
41
825,901
20,144
104.9%
20,188
-0.2%
Raptors
41
812,863
19,826
100.1%
19,752
0.4%
Knicks
41
812,292
19,812
100.0%
19,812
0.0%
Heat
41
809,350
19,740
100.7%
19,713
0.1%
Warriors
41
803,436
19,596
100.0%
19,596
0.0%
Trail Blazers
41
794,085
19,368
99.9%
19,546
-0.9%
Jazz
41
791,489
19,305
97.0%
18,831
2.5%
Clippers
41
786,910
19,193
100.7%
19,168
0.1%
Lakers
41
778,877
18,997
100.0%
18,738
1.4%
Spurs
41
756,445
18,450
100.2%
18,606
-0.8%
Celtics
41
749,076
18,270
98.1%
17,594
3.8%
Thunder
41
746,323
18,203
100.0%
18,203
0.0%
Rockets
41
737,244
17,982
99.7%
18,230
-1.4%
Wizards
41
725,426
17,693
86.9%
18,239
-3.0%
Magic*
41
719,275
17,543
93.1%
16,785
4.5%
Hornets
41
716,894
17,485
91.7%
17,192
1.7%
Kings*
41
707,526
17,257
99.5%
16,587
4.0%
Grizzlies
41
701,894
17,119
94.5%
17,329
-1.2%
Suns
41
701,405
17,107
94.8%
16,923
1.1%
Pacers
41
690,733
16,847
92.7%
16,864
-0.1%
Hawks
41
690,150
16,833
93.3%
17,412
-3.3%
Pelicans
41
688,549
16,794
99.6%
16,677
0.7%
Pistons
41
677,138
16,516
82.7%
15,266
8.2%
Bucks*
41
621,808
15,166
81.0%
14,908
1.7%
Nets
41
620,142
15,125
85.3%
17,037
-11.2%
76ers
41
610,121
14,881
73.2%
13,941
6.7%
T'Wolves*
41
581,178
14,175
73.2%
14,528
-2.4%
Nuggets
41
577,898
14,095
73.6%
14,700
-4.1%
TOTALS
1,230
21,972,129
17,864
94.0%
17,826
0.2%
             

NOTES: * = Figures include designated home games in Mexico City for the T'Wolves last season and Kings this season, and in London for the Bucks last season and Magic this season.

ON THE UP & UP: In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg noted the Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena this season had 13 home sellouts, the most since the arena opened in '05. The Hornets averaged 17,485 fans per game, up 1.7% from '14-15, which was the team's "previous attendance best" at the venue. The Hornets this season "ranked 18th among the 30 NBA teams in attendance, up one spot from a year ago." Home attendance as recently as '11-12 "was 14,757 per game." Hornets Exec VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Pete Guelli: "We think we could have done even better with a schedule that was more spread out." Spanberg noted the Hornets "in an unusual twist" had two seven-game homestands this season, "rarities for any NBA club." The team's home schedule was also "heavily front loaded: 20 of their 41 home games fell between Nov. 1 and Jan. 2" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/14).

ONE STEP BACK, TWO STEPS FORWARD: In Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle noted Pacers Senior VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Todd Taylor "is bullish" on the team's outlook "despite a slight home attendance decline for the Pacers this year." Taylor is "planning several big promotions for the team's playoff push he thinks will boost attendance next year." Taylor said that the Pacers' overall home ticket revenue this year "is up," thanks to "dynamic pricing and ticket demand for marquee matchups against" teams such as the Warriors and Kobe Bryant-led Lakers. This is the second year the Pacers' home attendance has "seen a small decrease." The Pacers "despite the small dips of the last two years" are "far ahead of where they were when the team averaged an NBA-worst 13,538 during" the '10-11 season. Taylor said that he "sees this season as a momentary plateau and expects attendance -- and ticket revenue -- gains to be realized next season" (IBJ.com, 4/13).