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Heat do not sell out Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia

Oct 27, 2010, 11:51 PM EDT

Heat_bench

Even in down years in a slow market, there are certain teams that just sell out NBA buildings. When the Lakers come to your city, the building is full. Same with the Celtics.

The Heat are supposed to be one of those teams. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together? A guaranteed sell out, even when you jack up the ticket prices (got to love that variable pricing). A boon for the local ownership. They certainly were in Boston opening night.

But in Philadelphia tonight, Henry Abbott of TrueHoop tells a different story.

Halfway through the second quarter, I walked into the box office. There were no lines, and several windows open. I asked to buy a ticket, and the guy behind the glass was happy to help.

He showed me a seat map, and said I could choose from any one of five lower bowl sections. Prices started at $140 in the corner, and went up from there. Lower bowl seats near the 50-yard line were available for less than $300 each. There were also seats in the halo for $50.

I said I needed two together, and he said no sweat, we could do that in any of those sections.

I don’t think this speaks to the popularity of the Heat. Last night’s Heat/Celtics matchup earned the highest television ratings of any regular season game ever shown on cable. From this blog to ESPN to the far corners of the Internet, the Miami Heat draw eyeballs and sell merchandise. You may not love them but you read about them and watch them.

Except in Philadelphia. Which likely says more about the economy in that city and the state of the Sixers than it does the Heat.

  1. jmclarkent - Oct 28, 2010 at 8:18 AM

    I think that this may be part of the reason:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/100603999.html

    After the garbage that they have put on the floor during the last few seasons, way to annoy the few folks who still care (though I did see progress on the court last night)!

  2. flyerscup2010 - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    It’s not the economy as much as it’s the fact that the Sixers just haven’t been something worth watching while the other three teams have been contenders. Eagles will always be the top team in Philly no matter how good or bad they are. The Phillies won the World Series in 08, returned in 09, and had the top record in the MLB in 10. The Flyers are contenders virtually every year and went to the Stanley Cup Final last season. The Sixers have done nothing since 2000. People just aren’t willing to pay money for the unsuccessful team when there are three others that are significantly better teams.

    If the Sixers end up being an exciting team to watch this year, they’ll start pulling more fans. There’s nothing Philly fans like more than a contender.

    As far as there not being a sellout goes, there was indeed an announced sellout last night and the building looked pretty full during the game. If it wasn’t a sellout, there were still a good 19-20,000 fans or so at the game.

  3. zblott - Oct 28, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Here’s a write-up of some note-worthy happenings and box score items from Wednesday, including Evan Turner’s debut and LeBron’s continue turnover issues.

    http://www.hoopskarma.com/hk/2010/10/28/opening-night-part-two.html

  4. 11hawkinst - Oct 28, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    Trust me, the economy has nothing to do with why the Wells Fargo Center isn’t sold out. Just look across the street. The Phillies have sold out 120+ straight games over the past two seasons, Eagles games are always sold out, and the Flyers have average/above average attendance (although, that mostly has to do with the fact that Flyers’ tickets are on the expensive side).

    In Philly, we don’t buy tickets to go see a crappy team. If a team doesn’t perform, then we won’t go see them. It’s as simple as that. Ever since Iverson left (the first time), this team has slowly gone towards the way-side. We won’t blindly follow a team that has no playoff aspirations for this year (or, to be honest, the near future).

    Although, I think that the same can be said for most cities and in most sports.

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