We all saw this coming, and it totally makes sense. The Hornet attendance numbers are dropping quicker than Devonte Graham three pointers, and it was most evident last night. I was watching on TV in rainy Seattle and it was very obvious that the stands were empty. No one blames the fans for not rushing to the arena on a Tuesday night to watch two bad teams battle it out for the crown of most mediocre. I am surprised at the rate the attendance numbers have dropped already, less than 1/3 of a season into the rebuild that the front office refuses to call a rebuild. When Jordan and Mitch made the call to not pay Kemba Walker market value, they knew they were going to take a loss at the gate, but I would love to talk to them after a few shots of Jordan’s new tequila and ask them if the realized how ugly it would get this fast.
2018-2019 16,501 86.5% of capacity 23rd in NBA
2019-2020 15,054 78.9% of capacity 29th in NBA
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Now at first glance some might say, “That doesn’t seem so bad” but after hearing how the numbers got here you might see my point. I have been watching the numbers since the season started, and 5 home games in they were only down about 450 fans per night but in the next nine they have dropped another 1000. The team got a boost from Opening night and Kemba’s return game, but since then they are dropping quick. We all know the attendance numbers are tickets paid for, not butts in seats, and by my math we are going to see the numbers continue to trend downward. When teams like the Lakers and 76ers come in the arena, it will look better, but the reality is there will be far more midweek games vs. the Magic and Knicks that will continue to drag that number way down.
THE NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS
While the lack of interest is hurting the Hornets bottom line for sure, the innocent bystanders taking the brunt of the burden is the Season Ticket holders who were forced to make a decision on keeping their tickets before the team decided to re-set the roster. These folks are not only having to watch a team with no chance of the play-offs and them getting crushed by the better teams in the league but the re-sale market is absolutely non existent. Many season ticket holders lay out big bucks every year to keep supporting their team, and re-coup some of that investment on games that they can’t make it to. Many of these fans CAN’T EVEN GIVE THEM AWAY. I have talked to multiple fans on social media who have good Lower Bowl seats that can,t sell them for 25% of face value. For the Wizards game yesterday there were Lower Bowl seats that went unsold that were 15 bucks….are you kidding me….FIFTEEN DOLLARS! This makes me wonder how many of these fans will continue to shell out 5 to 8 grand for season tickets next season, which Jordan and Co. in the front office should be very worried about, because once those fans leave the overall numbers could get VERY ugly next year and beyond.