January 2, 2012 19:21
The NBA wasn’t the only professional sports league to experience labor issues this year, but being forced to cancel some regular season games left “The Association” with a black eye. The NBA and Players Association were left to backpedal and do whatever it takes to get people back through the turnstiles when the season opened up this past weekend.
A few teams have resorted to putting some cash in their customers’ pockets to keep them happy. The Philadelphia 76ers have decided to reduce online ticket fees in order to boost sales. Sales through the team’s website will be handled with smaller service fees. It is easier for the Sixers to pull this off because unlike other NBA teams, all tickets are handled exclusively in house at the Wells Fargo Center. Most teams use Ticketmaster to handle the online sale and distribution of seats, but keeping everything under one roof allows the 76ers to cut some corners without hurting the bottom line too much.
Another popular idea that multiple NBA organizations are trying out is the reduction of concession stand prices. It can be expensive to take a family of four to an NBA game. After the ticket costs, one must pay for parking, maybe some souvenirs and of course… the snacks! Teams are trying to lessen the blow of a night out with cheaper food prices. They hope in addition to the tried and true methods of promotional giveaways and ticket specials, that more fans will welcome the NBA back with open arms.
Time will tell if these small gestures will be successful. The early returns are favorable as league-wide, the season ticket renewal rate is over 80%. Some big names have helped attendance figures across the NBA, as fans flock to see loaded lineups like Miami, New York and now the LA Clippers. It’s a shame the NBA Lockout happened when it did as the league was heading towards a boom period. There are tons of great teams and superstar players that fans want to see. If the NBA can recover from its current PR issues, we may see another “Golden Age” in the near future.