Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Many NBA Teams Fall Flat On Ticket Offers


A whole offseason and bad economy to think about apparently did little to inspire much creativity on the part of NBA teams.

When the upcoming season schedule hit on Tuesday, many teams weren't ready to offer fans enticing ticket packages.

Some teams had absolutely nothing to offer beyond season tickets.

Most offered few specific deals that would make a fan want to get back into the arena.

Kudos especially go to the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks, who ranked 20th and 24th in league attendance last year, for having immediate offers available to their fans within hours of the schedule coming out.

The Hawks are offering a 13-game plan, which includes 12 of last year's playoff teams, plus the season opener for as low as $260 a seat. Not only that, each seat also comes with a $50 credit towards future purchases.

The Bucks, whose entire schedule of games and offers was up within an hour of when the schedule came out, are offering a Click 'N Pick plan that enables fans to buy six- and ten-game packages featuring any combination of seats. For example, if a fan wants to sit close for the game against Cleveland and is fine with sitting up in the rafters for the Lakers game, he or she can mix and match and create their own a-la-carte plan. The six-game package comes with one free game and the 10-game package comes with two free games.

While some teams are taking their time to come up with the right packages, the Bucks deal offers the most flexibility and enable them to get out into the marketplace right away.

"Especially in this economy, there was great urgency to turn this around quickly," said Jim Grayson, the team's director of sales. "Once we got the schedule and were dealing with real dates, we knew it was important to immediately capture the fan who was coming to our site."

Other teams that had some good deals were the San Antonio Spurs, the Golden State Warriors, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. For a team with such a history, the Spurs deal was particularly impressive. The team is offering a 25-game pack for as low as $583 ($23.35 a game) and two 10-game packs for under $250.

Some teams including the New Jersey Nets, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Detroit Pistons were still taking deposits from fans who wanted to become part of the ticket packages when they came out. Fred Mangione, the Nets' senior vice president of ticket sales and marketing, said that deal was more important for the hard core fan to make sure they locked in their partial game plans before the schedule came out. Mangione said the Nets partial plans will come out in a couple of weeks.

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