Continuing the theme of the week, money, the preseason games between NBA teams is clearly a great chance for the league to expand their brand and get involved with locations that they wouldn’t normally play in. Not every city or state is ready to host a basketball team for an entire season but that isn’t to say that there is no demand in basketball in that area. This is where playing the right sort of preseason match in the right location can give fans what they are looking for, while adding a lot more excitement to preseason games.
These games are all about getting fitness levels up to a good standard, introducing new players into a certain style of play with their team and maybe even utilising new tactics. These are the important things for the team but if you have a lot of fans that don’t normally see teams play locally and are able to bring about a lot of atmosphere, you will find that the general standard of play will be better. It is only natural that players will respond to an atmosphere so it makes sense to move these games away from the regular supporters and into the arms of fans that will want the games a little bit more. The improvement in atmosphere also makes the games more attractive to TV because TV games are always more exciting when there is an atmosphere.
The NBA isn’t getting involved with the backing for these games
With all of this in mind, you would think that the NBA would be happy to get really behind these games but it seems as though all of the financial risk is being taken by the promoters, the arena owners and the local councils. When you think about the money the league rakes in, and the money that they will be raking in soon enough thanks to their new TV deal, it seems ludicrous that local authorities are faced with having to step in if the game sells a low number of tickets.
This is exactly the situation unfolding for the preseason game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans at the CenturyLink Centre. It has already been announced that the Shreveport Bossier Sports Commission and Bossier City have a Plan B in case they don’t sell enough tickets for the game which takes place on the 23rd of October.
The local council hope that tourism will receive a boost
Don Williams is a local councilman and he represents the Council with respect to the Sports Commission. He spoke to local media, saying;
If we lose money the Sports Commission will pick up the first $25,000.00 and the city will pick up the second $25,000.00. That is the ordinance we passed.
However, Williams thinks that they will be able to break even and with four thousand tickets already sold and 6,000 needed to break even, that isn’t too much of a boast. If the ticket sales meet the break-even mark, there is no cost to the city or the Sports Commission.
Williams continues by saying;
I think we will have at least six thousand, we hope it is full. The benefit is if we do have a good turnout, which we are hoping to have, they’ve kind of promised us a regular season game here next year. Since the same people who operate the Pelicans, operate the Saints, they have kind of hinted to us that they may get the Saints to stop by here and do a 3 or 4 hour practice.
This means that the incentive is there for basketball fans in the area to get out and buy tickets for the game. It is believed that 10,000 people will be considered a good crowd but the arena actually holds 16,000 people and this may be the sort of outcome that is needed to get more top class NBA action into the local area.