Hornets still struggling to draw fansPosted by Inside Hoops
The Hornets are one of my favorite teams in the league to watch. And it isn’t just due to Chris Paul. The entire squad plays beautiful, intelligent basketball, and it’s pleasing to the eye. But the team had lousy fan support in New Orleans even before Katrina messed the city up, and now, even with increased effort from the team to put fans in the seats, Hornets home games are half empty. The New Orleans Times Picayune (John Reid) reports:
Despite the team’s asserted promotional push, a 26-12 record and an amended lease agreement that gives owner George Shinn an opt-out option if the team fails to draw an average of 14,735 fans a game through next season, only 9,882 showed for Wednesday night’s game against the Sonics. Hornets officials are not expecting to see a significant spike at the turnstile for tonight’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats at the New Orleans Arena. The low attendance has caught the attention of NBA Commissioner David Stern, who pushed for the team’s return to New Orleans after it played two seasons in Oklahoma City. “Given the play of the team on the court, I would hope that it would be rewarded by more fan support,” Stern said Thursday. “I’m disappointed in the number, but you know it may take a little time.” Wednesday’s crowd was the fourth-smallest to see a game at the Arena this season. But in the latest attendance count, the Hornets moved from last place to 29th with a 12,205-per-game average. Indiana now ranks last with an 11,960-per-game average after 18 games.
I think it’s safe to say that the Hornets will move again, eventually. Regardless, if I lived in N’awlins I’d see them live as often as I could.