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Lakers’ seven-year, 270 game sellout streak ended Tuesday

Nov 14, 2013, 2:20 PM EDT

empty staples center

Los Angeles is a Lakers town.

Yes, the Clippers are the better team now and plenty of people are jumping on the bandwagon (despite what they will say, plenty of Los Angeles sports fans are willingly polygamous, rooting for USC football and UCLA basketball for example). Yes, the Dodgers are the one team that could make serious inroads into the Lakers’ title claims, but they have years of damage to repair.

That said this is Los Angeles — if the product isn’t good people will not pay top dollar to be entertained by it. Without Kobe Bryant in the lineup (and no Steve Nash and a hobbling Pau Gasol) the Lakers’ product isn’t nearly as compelling.

Tuesday night, the Lakers’ streak of 270 consecutive home sellouts ended, a streak that stretched back seven seasons. The Lakers drew 18,426 to see them beat the Pelicans, short of the capacity of 18,997.

If you want to compare, the Clippers are now at 98 consecutive sellouts, dating back to 2011, which is when they became interesting.

The Lakers are still more popular on the secondary ticket market, according to a report by Vividseats.com. They say the average Lakers ticket on the secondary market goes for $50 more than the Clippers ($180 to $130) and that the most expensive ticket on the secondary market is the Heat’s Christmas Day game in Los Angeles against the Lakers.

  1. stadix093 - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Man it’s expensive as hell to go to a Lakers game. I don’t blame the fans for not putting their money into a product that isn’t good. Hopefully this means some people will finally free up some of those season ticket spots for people that want to see the games, and not use it as an investment. Also fire Mike D :)

  2. unfly - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Lived in Los Angeles my whole life and never met one person who rooted for UCLA hoops/USC football or vice versa.

    And as far as the Clippers bandwagon, of course in a city of 4,000,000 you’re going to have bandwagoners, statistically it’s bound to happen. But anyone who thinks the Clippers are going to overtake the Lakers is fooling themselves. Staples Center has two Laker statues to the Clippers’ 0, which alludes to the greater truth that LAC simply doesn’t have the historical precedent that the Lakers have.

    It seems like people, journalists included, are so ready to stereotype the Laker fanbase as bandwagon when those individuals are a fraction of the greater fanbase. Bandwagon fans are the rich ones you see on TV, sitting in the premium seats and typing away on their phones the whole time because they want to be seen.

    All that said, now is a great time for middle class fans to see their team at cheaper prices than we’ve seen probably since the Smush Parker-Kwame Brown era.

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 16, 2013 at 8:28 PM

      People in LA say they don’t root for both USC and UCLA, and the die hards/alums do not, but many more do both.

  3. asimonetti88 - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    I don’t know anyone who roots for both USC football and UCLA basketball.

    • lew24 - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Unfortunately, I do know people who do that and its stupid to root for both USC football and UCLA basketball.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:42 PM

        Wow, that’s kind of embarrassing.

      • ambitoos - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        Not if you were born and raised in LA but now live in San Diego.

    • Anoesis - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      I played basketball and football throughout school. My dad turned me on to USC football when OJ Simpson was playing. As a basketball player I gravitated on my own to UCLA basketball because of John Wooden and players like Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton.

      When you’re a kid you like to emulate winners. As I grew up it simply became a habit, even through the down years. USC basketball sucked for a long time until just recently , so I never felt compelled to watch. I rooted for UCLA football, but only when they weren’t playing the Trojans.

      • 00maltliquor - Nov 15, 2013 at 5:40 AM

        Both my parents are from the LA area, but when my dad got married, soon after he got a big job offer to move to Houston, Texas. Then they had me.

        I honestly remember vividly, believe it or not, when I asked my dad how do you know who to root for. His response was, go for the hometown team.

        He rooted for the Lakers.

        I was living in Houston.

        We rooted for the Lakers.

        It wasn’t till we moved back to CA when I was at my grandma’s crib when I finally put 2 and 2 together. LA. we’re in LA right now. The Rockets are from Houston. I’m from Houston. “Always root for the hometown team”

        Wait a minute!!

        My dad duped me! (at least that’s how I felt at the time) And I’ve been rooting for the Lakers MY WHOLE LIFE!! (granted I was 7). Lemme say, I was pissed for a whole week. I got over it eventually and I’ve stayed a Laker loyal. LA teams always come 1st, H-Town teams always were a sister team. Eff everyone else. It was what I was brought up on.

        For college, it I picked Bruins even though my Aunt went to USC because, well, IDK. Maybe I liked the bear better then a trojan and the colors were cooler to me. Who knows. Football AND basketball. NFL is where I got screwed, the Oilers went to Tennessee and became the Titans and the Raiders left back to Oakland. So there was a grey area for me as a youngster there.

        Sooo..I went off on an unnecessary tangent and don’t know what the point is in response to you, but, all I can say, good OR bad, rock with the teams you choosen and don’t ever jump ship!

  4. asimonetti88 - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Clippers have always drawn well, their tickets are cheaper.

    • Anoesis - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      What time period are you referring to?

      In San Diego the Clippers never averaged more than 8,000 a game until their final year there.

      In Los Angeles they didn’t average over 10,000 until their fourth year there. 2006-’07 was their highest average ever (18,421) until last year (19,219).

      Despite cheap ticket prices (until they got to Staples) the Clippers have historically been a crappy draw. Last year they finally started looking like a team that could win regularly and the first thing ownership did was raise ticket prices by 15%. Season ticket sales were at capacity last season for the entire year for the first time in the organization’s history.

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 15, 2013 at 5:49 AM

      I’m a Laker DIE HARD, but I’ve been to sooooooooooooooooo many Clipper games because of the ticket price! That and I’ve had good friends with courtside seats back when I was younger. When I saw the title to the article I was ecstatic! I can FINALLY probably be able to afford a non-nosebleed Lakers seats. If they do lower the price, I wouldn’t mind being in the gutter for a few years to watch my Lakers in seats where I don’t need binoculars!

  5. topdawg4ever - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    To add insult to injury, not only are the tickets not selling but did you see all the empty seats at the last Lakers game? Not even any B list celebs showed up!

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      The last Lakers game was played in Denver.

      • topdawg4ever - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        I was talking about the last home game obviously

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        I saw a few celebrities in attendance against the Pelicans, or at least they showed a few on TV.

      • basedrum777 - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        And there are no celebrities in denver…

  6. chicitybulls - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Ahh, the bandwagon fan. Something pbt has a familiarity with.

  7. deeballer - Nov 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    I wish Cantonbound13 would come here and call the Laker fan base a bunch of bandwagoners. So, can we conclude that if your team sucks, you’re not going to sell out the joint? Ok, there might be some exceptions, but how could a storied franchise like the Lakers not sell out? Pigs are prepping the runway as we speak.

    • jimeejohnson - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      Careful what pea brain you wish for.

  8. sageandjudahsdad - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Why wouldn’t the lakers just buy the seats and keep the streak going and avoid any negative press?!?!

    • detectivejimmymcnulty - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      Since when is not selling out a game “bad press?”

  9. basedrum777 - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Took them long enough considering they’ve sucked for 5…

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:08 PM

      The Lakers have sucked for five years? If winning 2 championships within 5 years is considered sucking, they they can suck for the rest of time.

      • jimeejohnson - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        They might.,

    • Anoesis - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      They won their last title three years ago.

  10. sageandjudahsdad - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    It’s not good press. It’s telling the world if they didn’t already know it , that there product is no good and even the loyals are not supporting them.
    That to me is bad press.

  11. losanginsight - Nov 14, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    18,426 is about what the Lakers average on the road. 18,426 is DC’s,Orlando, and the pelicans total attendance this season

  12. lakerade - Nov 15, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Now if cp3 was a Laker then Pau would be a Pelican and this game would’ve sold out on Pau returning alone. Thanks for killing the streak, Stern.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      If CP3 was a Laker, then Pau would be a Rocket. Odom went to the Pelicans.

  13. jimsjam33 - Nov 15, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    Get used to it !

  14. bizieman - Nov 15, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Gotta look at the competition as well. The Pelicans? Scalpers day off.

  15. unxpexted1 - Nov 15, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    I love how just because they didnt sell out people making it seem like the fans were a no show. They only missed it by 500 seats. Calm down. I went to an Atlanta game this passed weekend and the stadium was less than half full, especially down in the lower bowl.

  16. jerdogthompson - Nov 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Jesus h, when will you whiners get over the failed CP3 trade? Kobe almost became a Clipper, do you see Clipper fans whining daily about WHAT NEVER WAS?

    Last I checked in the Laker forum, Love, Melo, Lebron, Durant and Bledsoe will all be willing to take league min contracts for the privilege to play for the Lakers. Looks like your future is a lot brighter than previously thought.

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