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Seeking Relevancy

I was completely out of action yesterday/last night in terms of basketball. How the hell did James Jones get to the line 10 times vs. Boston?

HendrikDB reply to Brian on May 2 at 13:39

They just got the ball to them in the end of the 4th quarter to shoot "clutch" FT's, also some dumb regular fouls. He didn't drive or anything, guess it was just one of those nights. Allen had a crazy game, amazing defence by Wade and still got crazy stats.

Quick carry-over from the other thread:

I think Rose's success and a acclaim have undermined Westbrook's desire to be more of a team player.

How would Westbrook and Rose fare if their roles were reversed?

I said it in another thread, relevancy will matter if attendance at the end of the season is maintained at the beginning of next season played, but even before that, season ticket subscription numbers will tell a tale.

Those aren't made public, I don't think. Pretty sure they were really high the summer they signed Brand.

Are you sure? I remember hearing comments form other teams regarding season ticket subscriptions (especially when up)

PS - in case folks care - kings in sacramento next season

Not sure. But I think they make general comments like, "Season ticket sales are through the roof!" or they'll say they sold 5K in season in tickets the day after X happened, stuff like that.

Have we heard anything from that yet regarding renewals or new ones since they made the playoffs? I don't recall

I haven't heard anything, no. I know in the past they've set really early deadlines for renewals w/ like threats, or enticements depending on how you look at it. Not sure if they did that this year.

Any season ticket holders here? Help us out. Did the sixers do anything different this year (wonder if the lockout was a factor)

Marty reply to GoSixers on May 2 at 15:13

I received a bunch of renewal information in the mail. I did the 1/2 price lower level STH's last year (ends, behind the basket). Basically $25 a seat per game. They offered the same deal again this year but told me if I didn't renew before some arbitrary date (which has come and gone) I would lose those seats. It kind of felt like an empty threat though and I'd be willing to bet if I called back today I could probably get those same seats. I feel bad because without a lockout and even a decent off-season, I think they'd do very well. As it is, I think they are trying to get people to renew now, because once the lockout hits, NO ONE is going to be buying tix. That's kind of why I'm in no hurry - hoping there will be some desperation deals closer to the season.

Be interesting if you called up today, asked for the same seats and see if you could get em :)

I've had phone calls fielded my way but anyone who makes a season ticket renewal before we know if we even have basketball is foolish. I think there may be deals to be had also post lockout.

Rob_STC reply to GoSixers on May 2 at 17:47

I got a huge incentive to renew back in March. It amounted to a stored value of 800.00 for my seats and a premium membership. It is interesting that they didn't so something like that last summer with the Jordan debacle and needless to say I renewed this year which I was going to anyway. All in all I think the Sixers have done some really great stuff in that regard. I will say their service people and events are really top notch.

Just goes to show the fans appeal to see a star. Iverson drew fans to the stadium even when the team was not a serious contender.

Eh, not really. The year before he was traded they were 21st in the league. They only drew really well when they were legit contenders.

I think that's one of the reasons they finally decided to trade him. The attendance trend was downward for quite a few years before hand wasn't it?

Maybe attendance goes up in every NBA town when the football season ends and avid sports fans are forced to follow some other sport.

If only the data was available for you to test that theory.

Oh wait, it is

Tray reply to GoSixers on May 2 at 21:38

You're the data guy, I just throw these things out for you to look them up.

So in other words you just talk out of your ass and can't be bothered to figure out if you're right, that sounds like a lawyer to me

Tray reply to GoSixers on May 2 at 22:23

No, I didn't make a claim. I made a hypothesis. I mean, Brian here says the Sixers attendance correlated with improving play. Now, I guess that in itself can be questioned, because it seems we had consistently high attendance as our play turned south, but say you buy that. (There could be some lag, of course; the team is doing well, so you buy a ticket for a game a week out, or the team had been doing well and just lost a game or two, so you still think they're doing well and buy a ticket.) Well, even if you buy that, it just strikes me there are all sorts of other reasons that could be the case, like - people tune in to the NBA late in the season because the playoffs are coming, or, like I said, people go to games once football season is over. Hence, it's not obvious that this correlation suggests causation.

Interesting stuff Brian, thanks. The attendance dropping to 21st in the league the year before Iverson got traded is kind of telling. The fans got bored of the same team a few years after contending for the title, because it was clear they weren't contending anymore.

I think one thing this tells us is how dumb it is to be playing basketball in South Philadelphia in the middle of monstrous parking lots. I don't think there is another team in the NBA that is playing in a new arena in that kind of location. As far as I know, all other teams in new NBA arenas are playing downtown. Put the Sixers in a Center City arena and there are other draws besides just basketball (it's a night out in the town). I think the 2005-06 season is a testament to that. Once the basketball got boring, there was no draw to the games, even though the team was winning and had a star. The Flyers don't have a similar issue because hockey fans aren't city-people, they're all suburbanites, they'd prefer easy-in easy-out driving. But city-people are more drawn to a downtown arena. And basketball fans are city-people.

Sixers really need their own arena in Center City, but this isn't happening, of course. So I think we're perennially stuck with only filling the seats when we have a superstar and are contending for a title. That's not good.

The 'parking lot' location doesn't seem to have hurt any of the other 3 major sports teams in Phialdlephia. That's a cop out excuse especially in a city with the public transport of Philly (or at least they used to have)

The Cow Palace is in the middle of nowhere (much more so than the WF Center) but when the Kings were good they sold out.

If the team is good people will show up, wherever the stadium is.

The freaking patriots play in foxboro - you think that discourages boston fans from the however long drive it is compared to taking the t to Fenway?

Football is completely different. 8 games a year, always Sunday afternoon (nothing going on downtown anyway) and it's an all day parking-lot event with tailgating.

Hockey I already explained--different crowd, not city people. Flyers could sell out a terrible team even if you put the arena in Delaware. Basketball isn't like that in the Philly area, there needs to be a draw beyond just regular professional basketball.

Baseball, let's wait and see how the Phillies are drawing when they aren't one of the 3 best teams in baseball every year. They were lucky to get 18k to the Vet even when they were pretty competitive every year in the late 90s/early 2000s.

Philly public transport is kind of a joke. Thus usage rate is far below Boston, NYC, Washington, Chicago. Just looking at the subway maps alone is embarrassing. Not to mention that the traffic in Philly is nothing compared to those cities (although people in Philly complain about the traffic all the time anyways), so people just drive more in general. SEPTA also has a very seedy reputation that the subway systems of the other 4 cities don't have.

Hockey I already explained--different crowd, not city people

I think you're dancing very close to a questionable line with that statement as I know a lot of city people who like the flyers.

South Philadelphia is still part of the city right?

The sports complex is only part of the city because the boundaries of the city of Philadelphia are drawn enormously because it kept swallowing every neighboring town. It wasn't part of the original city, and it's not part of the "city" in any more than Northeast Philadelphia is. No one would consider either place "the city" in my opinion.

As for "dancing a questionable line" regarding the Flyers, just a personal observation but I've found that most Flyer fans are from the suburbs, especially Jersey. And most everyone I grew up with either loves the Flyers or loves the Sixers, very few people were/are into both (and the strong majority were Flyer fans). Maybe it's just my crowd, but it seemed pretty universal to me. Hockey is much more popular in a blue-collar cities, I didn't know that was controversial.

I don't live in the area now, but all the people I still talk to are the same, huge fans of one team, casually acknowledge the other.

"If the team is good people will show up, wherever the stadium is."

Team was good this year, people didn't really show up. And that's part of my point. A successful franchise can draw crowds even when the team isn't so great. Sixers would get better crowds in mediocre years if the arena was in Center City. Washington is a perfect example. Arena downtown, they get solid crowds even with mediocre teams.

No - they weren't good - they were mediocre (isn't that the definition of a 500 record)

By good I mean 'show us you can win in the playoffs'

People didn't show up for the phillies when they were 500 - they showed up when they started winning in the playoffs (it helped that they got a new not suck stadium)

The eagles won't draw fans as much if they are an 8-8 team. People talk a lot of crap but if you're team isn't winning, you don't go as much.

I think you're deluding yourself about attendance when a successful franchise isn't good.

Were the celtics selling out when all they had was paul pierce and a bunch of crap?

Fair point, they were mediocre. However, the fan support was embarrassing even for a mediocre team.

Eagles even when 3-13 got big crowds and I don't think had a single blackout.

I don't think we're really disagreeing on the Sixers, we both think the crowds will only come out if they are good. I just think they'd get better crowds even with a mediocre team if the arena were located downtown, like every other city in America that built a new basketball arena did.

Celtics in 2006-07 had a god-awful team with 24 wins and averaged 16.8k fans. Sixers that same year had 35 wins and averaged 14.8k fans. Sixers in 2010-11 had 41 wins and averaged 14.75k fans.

Can never say for sure, but my guess is if you take the Garden out of downtown Boston and put it in a dead part of town outside the city center surrounded by giant parking lots, the Celtics 2006-07 attendance would've been around the Sixers attendance.

Comparing NFL attendance to NBA attendance doesn't work.

This is a city that supports the NHL team more loyally than the NBA team, and the stadium being in center city wouldn't make much ofa difference

I completely agree about not comparing NFL and NBA, that's why I didn't in my original post. You brought up "the other 3 teams" so I then responded.

As for the arena location not making a difference, we'll just never know. Every other city seemed to think putting their new arenas downtown was a good idea. Either they're all crazy, or it's another example of the city of Philadelphia being behind the times and having no innovation.

I am not a city planner, maybe you are, but I don't think they built the new boston garden in down town boston (because, much like philadlephia, real estate is probably at a premium and there was no where to put it), the new marlins stadium isn't going in the center of downtown.

There was historical precedent for putting the stadiums exactly where they are. They seem to be doing fine.

Blaming the location for the attendance is a straw man when there are more solid supportable arguments based on the team being a title contender

I'm not a city planner. The new Garden is in downtown Boston. Just like the new Miami arena is in downtown Miami. And the new Washington arena is in downtown Washington. And the new LA arena is in downtown LA. Real estate was at even more of a premium in those cities than in Philly (where real estate is a comparative bargain), and yet those cities still managed to do it. It takes innovation though, which Philly lacks.

The Marlins stadium isn't going downtown because they couldn't get the funding for years (due to anti-South Florida state politics more than anything) when they were trying to build a downtown stadium, and once they finally gave up on state funding and decided to go solely with local funding, the Hurricanes up and moved, leaving free land open. Downtown was the preference, but they couldn't pass up the free land once it was available. Probably a mistake, but at least the Orange Bowl is 1 mile from downtown, not 5 miles like the Sports Complex. Big difference and still walkable/cheap cab.

Maybe it's a small sample but everyone i've talked to from out of town loves that all four stadiums are next to each other with huge parking lots.

I don't buy that the Sixers would draw better in center city at all. Lot of fans in south jersey and the burbs. From center city you take the broad street line for 5 freakin' minutes.

I agree that people say this. They love the easy access, the parking, the highways/bridge. The problem is, the Sixers got 14,750 fans for a 41-win team that made the playoffs, among the worst in the NBA despite being located in one of the biggest metro areas in the country. The teams below them in attendance were all in tiny metro areas except the Nets (NOLA, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Memphis) and the Nets are the second-fiddle in their metro, and are just waiting to say goodbye to NJ, so that's a clearly unique situation that's about to change.

So the fans can say how much they love the easy highway access all they want, but the fact is, they don't go. Given the metro area size, the Sixers are vastly worse in attendance than every other team.

Again, you're blaming location when there are numerous other factors to factor into the sixers piss poor attendance (and as brian showed you it trended up as they improved)

They sucked last year - 20% into the season they were 3-13, what exactly makes you think tons of people are going to come out in a city with so many options to see a non super star (clippers have blake griffin) non contending for a title team?

The location of the stadium is irrelevant compared to so many other factors (Philly is not an NBA team even in good times, and good times are not losing in the first round, it's having Dr J and contending year in and year out)

Clippers still averaged over 16,000 in 2009 and 2010.

I'm not ignoring the other factors. I'm saying that a downtown arena could mitigate the other factors. I agree that Philly has not been an NBA town. But Boston was not at all an NBA town when the Celtics stunk and the Red Sox and Bruins were both great. No one cared about the Celts and they still outdrew the Sixers.

I think you're still missing my point. I'm not saying the sports complex location is the sole reason for bad attendance. The Iverson heyday clearly shows even that boring location can draw fans for a great team.

My point is, we have no alternate draw when the team is mediocre (as it was this year) or bad (last year). The Wizards and Celtics have a fun location close to offices that makes it a lot less painful to go to a game when the team is bad. You can walk to the game, and you can walk to the bar after the game.

Why did every other city build a new arena downtown? Just a coincidence that they all thought it was a great idea? And just a coincidence that they all outdraw the Sixers, regardless of the quality of the teams?

Even if what you're saying is 100% true, and I have my doubts, what does it mean? It'd be better if the Sixers built their stadium in old city because then more posers would come to games when the team sucked? They'd have a higher attendance floor?

Personally, I don't really care about how low the attendance is when the team sucks. Ownership deserves to be 29th in the league when they put the product on the floor they did in 2009-2010. It's been proven that the location of the stadium doesn't scare fans away when the team is truly good, they were 2nd in the league in attendance for a couple straight seasons a decade ago.

As a fan, it's probably better if the team's attendance is tied directly to results on the floor. That's one way to motivate owners to put a quality product out there. As for having a place to go out afterward, although I guess having a nightlife around the stadium would be more of an issue for others than it is for me.

Last year is one thing, but the crowds this year, for a competitive team, were absolutely pathetic. I don't think it's poseurs either. Good fans still want to have something to do after the game, and they want to be able to walk from work to the game over hiking it to South Philly and walking through the beautiful parking lots.

Charlie H reply to GoSixers on May 3 at 16:33

I think you're missing his point. You can't compare Philadelphia basketball fans to New England football fans, who are drawn from a radius of 200 miles or so. NFL games are a day-long ritual for most people - tailgate party, beer, game, beer, back to the parking lot for more beer, stop on the way home for beer....

I'm not missing his point. I just think his point, from the beginning, is based in nonsense (and a little racial profiling actually based on his 'city' comment).

The location of the stadium IS NOT why the sixers don't draw to a mediocre team (500 is mediocre) with no superstars.

LOL that's absurd. Most Sixer fans at the games (and for every NBA team) are white. "City people" does not have any racial connotation despite your attempt to turn it that way. Ever heard of a yuppie? White-collar city workers and city dwellers are more likely to be NBA fans than NHL fans, from my personal observation.

But go ahead and make it about race. What a joke.

Yup, exactly.

I don't buy the location being an issue. They had the second-best attendance in the league at this location when they were contenders. Also think Staples is a really bad example, does anyone live in downtown LA? They did a bunch of renovation around there in recent years, but prior to that I think it was basically only homeless who lived in the area.

I obviously drive when I go to a sixers game, but the few times I've stayed "downtown" it was like a 10-minute subway ride to the wfc. Isn't easy access to downtown pretty much the same thing?

I'm not saying the sports complex is a bad location because it's hard to get to. It's fairly easy to get to. I'm saying that locating basketball in the middle of gigantic parking lots doesn't work unless the team is so good people will go anyways. Yes, they filled in the Iverson heyday, but that's because the team was so exciting. Teams like the Clippers and Wizards get good crowds even when they are way worse than the Sixers.

My point is not that no one will go to the sports complex, or that it's hard to get to. My point is a solid franchise gets good crowds even when the team isn't much to see. I argue (without clear proof since it's never been tried) that the Sixers would be able to draw better crowds if located downtown. Why? Basketball fans tend to like hanging out in the city. Office workers are often basketball fans. Even if the the team isn't any good, well hey it's just a short walk from the office, I'll go anyways. This works in both LA and DC, and it worked in Boston even when the Celtics were crap.

Additionally, people will go to the games as part of a night out if the team is downtown (LA is probably an exception to this since there is hardly any downtown nightlife). This definitely applies to DC and Boston in my opinion.

My point is, who wants to go the sports complex for a crappy basketball team? No one. It's in an incredibly boring part of town, you can't walk there from the office, and there's absolutely nothing to do there after the game. So if the team isn't great, it's a worthless night. Whereas if you put it in Center City, even if the team is bad, you'll get some more fans (in the realm of the Wizards and the Celtics pre-Big3, like 16,500 fans). 16,500 when bad vs. 14,750 when good is a huge difference, and I firmly believe (though of course I could be wrong since I can't prove it) that a downtown arena draws 2,000 extra fans who can either walk from work or are happy to make a basketball game part of a night on the town.

jkay reply to stoned81 on May 2 at 23:38

The Phillies sell out don't they?
The Flyers do very well.
Eagles have been raking in ticket sales for the last decade.
Your argument about convenience is valid but the change that will result is only marginal. When it comes down to it, money is the crux and not availability. I don't care how easy it is to get to the WFC, if I gotta spend $40-$50 to watch a crappy game, I'm not going to.
Philadelphia to me, geographically is not a very large city. And is very blue collar, so I'm not so sure that the impact of metropolis based arena like the Garden would have that much of an impact.Just the same way the Casinos are not exactly the great revenue machines the City Council thought they'd be.

I commented above on why the Phillies, Flyers, and Eagles situations are different.

I agree with you that Philly is a blue-collar town and its downtown is different than the other big cities. However, I think one reason Philly's downtown is so lame is there's nothing there, and the city never lets anything get built in it. The arena and the baseball stadium should be downtown.

The casinos should be downtown (putting the casinos away from Center City was insane--they miss out on thousands of conventioners who would go to those casinos but always stay in downtown hotels). They'd be way more lucrative downtown.

I hear you but I don't think expecting 2000 more fans per game is an incredibly ambitious result from a downtown arena. It seems to be reflected in other cities. And that 2000 would make a huge difference, putting us in the middle in attendance. Especially with a playoff team like this year.

jkay reply to stoned81 on May 3 at 1:34

you know, somehow I think the problem is that it's physically impossible to fit any more stuff into center city.

There's plenty of room just off center city, such as where they considered the baseball stadium sites. Broad and Spring Garden and 12th & Vine are still empty and lifeless.

And they said the same thing about the Kimmel Center and Convention Center. There's always room to add something in Philadelphia, because there are so many parts of the city (even Center City and certainly bordering Center City) that are dead.

Jeff reply to stoned81 on May 3 at 3:17

12th and vine is a no-go. They were going to build CBP there originally, but it was heavily protested by the "Chinatown" community.

The "Chinatown" community in DC didn't block Abe Pollin's dream, the Verizon Center, from being built, casting its 'gregarious neighbor' shadow and assisting in urban area revitalization, just blocks from the Capitol.

Philadelphia could've done better in placement of new arena had Mr. Clout and Mrs. Moneybags marshalled any passion towards the subject. WFC - the tapping of convenience, the missing of opportunity.

Somebody is always complaining. If complaints were a reason to not build, nothing would ever get built. Again, look at the Kimmel Center and Convention Centers, built right in the middle of downtown. People complained, it still got done.

And like Ty Game said, DC managed to build the Verizon Center in Chinatown. And what a success. Philly is just lame and gives up at the first hint of a challenge.

DC isn't Philadelphia, the politics and the powers are distributed differently.

It's not about where they built the stadium it's about your premise that attendance would be up for a mediocre team if the stadium were in a different place and you haven't presented any actual evidence that this is true.

The sixers have no superstar and aren't contending for a title, attendance would suck, wherever they played.

It's impossible to provide the evidence you want, since they didn't build a downtown arena. The only evidence you can look at is comparable cities. Washington, Boston, LAC, all outdrawing the Sixers with downtown arenas, even when their teams are terrible.

And I know DC isn't Philadelphia. That's part of my point. DC overcame the challenges with some innovation and built the arena downtown and reaped the benefits. Philly has no innovation, saw a challenge and threw its hands up in surrender.

And yet none of the conditions are the same.

Hmm...did the wizards outdraw the sixers every year at home - or just this year - is so - is it because of a down town stadium or BECAUSE OF THE NUMBER ONE DRAFT PICK

(Same for the clippers)

Your using a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument and it doesn't work. You can not prove that the attendance wouldn't be the same if these stadiums were moved slightly away from downtown with easy access to great parking and public transportation

What was Washingtons attendance last year - when they didn't have the #1 pick in the draft?

Or the clippers two years ago (cause last year people may have purchased tickets with the expectation of blake griffin and attendance is reported based on PAID not actually showed up)

Wizards attendance 2009-10: 16,200
Clippers attendance 2008-09: 16,170
Sixers attendance 2010-11: 14,751

We'll never be able to prove if this would apply to Philly or not unless they actually build downtown. But it just seems, to me, completely impossible to believe the Sixers wouldn't draw extra fans by locating downtown. You get office workers who don't feel like shlepping to South Philly, and you get night revelers who want to make a game part of their night out in the city. That's two groups the Sixers are missing out on. These teams with downtown arenas (DC and LAC) are outdrawing in their terrible years (before #1 draft picks) the Sixers' playoff team. That's doesn't say much good about the Sixers location.

So Rose hasn't gone to the line once today, has scored 22 on 26 shots, and as a consequence it looks like the Bulls will be in a 1-0 hole. To be fair, he is hurt and his regular season, while not MVP quality, wasn't this bad. Still, this has to be the worst MVP choice since Jordan retired the first time.

jkay reply to Tray on May 2 at 23:22

if you base it on the regular season performance, it's not. Close call with Howard arguably more deserving but if you're going to fault the player and not the performance you're mis-interpreting the point behind the award.

First Union/Core States/Wachovia/Well Fargo Center should be renamed Sam's Club Arena for all the charm and intimacy it affords. Too big, too wide for Naismith's game. A seat in the upper level is laughable for its distance from the action. Should've built smaller (closer to Spectrum scale) somewhere in the city, with "life" as neighbor and fan observance of action as priority instead of serving a tricked-up airplane hanger with jumbotron as magnifying glass for young and old in the South Philadelphia warehouse meadows. When an attendance decision is in the balance, the "Supersize It" venue and the high cost of good seats don't play to the Sixers' favor. They've only packed it regularly for prime AI's rollicking house parties despite its amenities. Place has the soul of a shopping mall.

johnrosz reply to Ty Game on May 3 at 1:26

agreed. when I sit up top it takes me about 15-20 minutes to adjust my eyes to the absurd vantage point. Almost feel like I'm battling vertigo when I first grab my seat. I've always felt that the arena was a dump, even when it was still considered new.

Eh, I've never had a problem w/ the WFC. Try sitting up top at Staples. The players look like ants on the floor.

johnrosz reply to Brian on May 3 at 1:40

The atmosphere would be exponentially better if they removed the "Hare Raisers", aka, the kids that go around smacking those noise things that can damage your hearing. Also would love if they dimmed the lights a la MSG or Staples, I love that "stage" vibe but some people aren't fans of it

I hate the arena. I hate the location. I would also like to see the lights dimmed. And if the Hare Raisers were all shipped to Antarctica, this world would be a better place.

'hangar', not "hanger"

pretty sure the sixers did not make the playoffs in 05/06

You're right. They missed by 2 games that year. Barely made it the year before and got bounced by Detroit.

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