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Volume 24 No. 176
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Knicks Attendance Lower To Start Season, But Team Confident In Long-Term Strategy

The Knicks have sold out "fewer than half their home games this season on their way to an 11-5 home mark," and only seven of 16 games have "seen a full capacity of 19,812" at MSG, according to Marc Berman of the N.Y. POST. The Knicks entering the season, despite "all the losing ... had sold out 277 of 278 regular-season home games." The toll of "four straight non-playoff seasons and a new regime that talked up player development -- a euphemism for tanking -- probably is one factor in the non-sellouts." Nevertheless, MSG officials said that they also "believe a new long-term marketing strategy in which more individual tickets were made available at the expense of full season-ticket plans is another cause." MSG is "confident the new strategy will pay off, giving the public more access to tickets." In return, the franchise was "willing to take the short-term risk of not selling out." One MSG source said that the "larger amount of individual tickets available caters better to the growing number of European tourists who attend Knicks games" (N.Y. POST, 12/8).

AGREE TO DISAGREE: On Long Island, Greg Logan notes N.Y. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently "joked at a town hall meeting" that the Nets’ move from N.J. to Brooklyn "hasn’t panned out very well." However, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver "took strong exception to that characterization during a news conference Thursday." Silver said the Nets have "exceeded all expectations in terms of the move" (NEWSDAY, 12/8). In N.Y, Brian Lewis notes Silver, while acknowledging Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s "overzealous gaffes" and former GM Billy King’s ill-fated deal with the Celtics for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, "sounded bullish on the franchise’s future." Silver: "The current owners will be the first to admit they made some rookie mistakes in their early days of owning the team. They in essence went for it, trying to take a short cut in terms of trying to build a championship team. It didn’t work out" (N.Y. POST, 12/8).