Red Wings, Pistons Try To Sort Out Reasons For Smaller Crowds At Little Caesars Arena
The Pistons and Red Wings have had "trouble drawing large crowds early in their respective seasons" at the new Little Caesars Arena, and there are "myriad reasons for the empty seats," according to Rod Beard of the DETROIT NEWS. They range from "fan malaise to higher ticket prices." More than that, though, getting larger crowds for the Pistons is "going to require a change in behavior from a new segment of the fan base that isn’t yet accustomed to coming downtown for games." The Pistons are off to a 10-3 start and are one of the "surprising stories in the NBA this season, but it’s going to take potential fans more time to buy into it" (DETROIT NEWS, 11/13). In N.Y., Sarah Lyall noted LCA "feels kind of empty." The opening of the new arena has been "followed by a succession of not-so-enormous basketball crowds." Pistons coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy said that LCA and the surrounding neighborhood were "too full of distractingly fun stuff to do." Van Gundy: "They build these great restaurants, and everybody goes and eats. The first half of the third quarter, there’s no one in the building." Pistons Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Charlie Metzger said that the team was "pleased with how things had gone so far." Metzger said that more than 80% of last year’s season-ticket holders "came back," and the team "added 3,000 new ones." He said, "There’s an adjustment period, but overall the reaction we’ve gotten has been very, very positive" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/12).