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NBA teams continue to sell tickets despite tough economy
While it's impossible to avoid completely the economic pinch these days, it seems certain NBA fans aren't pinching their own pennies when it comes to buying tickets to see their favored teams live in action. Last year, the NBA set its third highest attendance record of all time, with ten NBA teams reaching full-season ticket sales of at least 10,000.
One of those teams is the Oklahoma City Thunder, previously known as the Seattle Supersonics, who played their first season in Oklahoma last year. According to statistics published in the Oklahoman, the Thunder ranked third in the league in full-season tickets sold and ninth in percentage of seats sold. The team generated $46 million in ticket revenue.
This season, Thunder season ticket holders renewed their tickets at a rate of 83 percent, according to the Associated Press. Dan Mahoney, a Thunder representative, told TicketNews, "We're pleased in the second season with where we are on the season ticket side as well as the single game tickets."
The Thunder held two presales: one at the Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center for season tickets, and one at Homeland stores for single-game tickets for the first half of the season. After that, the tickets were available by phone and online. Season tickets are still available on the team's Web site, for around $1,000 a seat. Single-game tickets went on sale to the general public two days ago. The team offers other packages, including a 10-pack available online and by phone.
And while the Thunder's renovation of their home, the Ford Center, will cut seats by at least 900, the Associated Press writes that the team, "expects to sell the same number of season tickets" as last year. At least 200 tickets are held back each game for game-day purchase.
Other NBA teams are mirroring, if not exceeding, the Thunder's sales record. The Houston Rockets are on target to sell more tickets than any year previous (or at least since they've been playing in the Toyota Center). The Atlanta Hawks' ticket sales growth is up 21 percent from last year, the best in the NBA, the Hawks' vice president of ticket sales and service, Brendan Donohue, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
While the bulk of NBA ticket sales happen between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, these teams seem to be enjoying the security of a loyal fan base.
"We recognize there are economic challenges nationwide and locally," Mahoney said. "We're pleased with how our fans have responded to what we have to offer."