The New York Knicks (9th, 12-12) have sold out fewer than half of their home games this season, but officials say they aren’t worried.
The attendance dip is unusual considering that entering the season, the team had sold out 277 of 278 regular-season home games (the lone non-sellout happened in March 2016 during a blizzard), but granted, the team has seen four non-playoff seasons in a row.
However, Madison Square Garden officials say it is a natural symptom of a new marketing plan that they are confident will pay off in the long run, telling the The New York Post that they recently rolled back the amount of season tickets available to one purchaser to eight. The strategy aims to both limit the number of tickets resold on the secondary market, as well as to make more single-game tickets available to the public, from casual resident fans to tourists traveling from out-of-state or even across the world.
A Garden source said that there are a growing number of European visitors who attends Knicks games when in the Big Apple, noting that, “it’s becoming like the Yankees with all the tourists”.
Therefore, it can be speculated that the recent attendance dip is due to the fact that the news of new individual ticket inventory may not have yet reached the New York masses, who assume, as the case has been for years, that season ticket packages are the only way to purchase.
“Our new ticketing strategy has provided fans more options and availability to attend Knicks games throughout the season, and we’re seeing terrific individual ticket sales for every game,” Jordan Solomon, executive vice president of MSG Sports, said in a statement provided to The Post regarding the non-sellouts.
“By reducing the number of full season subscriptions, we opened up more individual and group tickets, as well as five-game holiday plans, allowing fans added opportunities to see this young and exciting Knicks team. So far this season, the Garden as usual has been electric.”
The Knicks still rank ninth in attendance, averaging 19,108, followed by the Lakers and Celtics at 10th and 11th.
Their next home is versus the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, 12/10 and on Tuesday, they host the Lakers.