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Gotta Support the Team . . . .

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Published: June 25, 2010

This is a post I made edited into my first journal entry.  Enjoy. 

Writers have been saying for years that New Orleans is not a pro sports town, and that we won’t keep the Saints or the Hornets.  Some even say we don’t deserve them.  I’m sick and tired of it. 

You know who can’t support professional sports? L.A.

They let 2 NFL teams walk (in the past 20 years), they have 2 basketball teams and a hockey team left. They only support the winning, however, not the sport.

(Regular season numbers in the following, and only considering what are generally understood to be major sports leagues)

The Lakers sell 99.7% of tickets and the Clippers sell 85.7% of tickets of which about 19,000 are available. The Hornets sold 88.5% of the about 18,000 per game available. Cleveland, Orlando, Dallas, and Portland sold 100% or more, for reference. (kudos to Portland; good town, that one.)

How about those Kings tickets? How are they moving post-Wayne? 93.6% of the about 18,500 tickets available were sold.

So L.A. averages 93% of tickets sold per game. At 41 games per season per sport, that’s about 2.1 million tickets sold, which is about 50% of the population getting 1 ticket to 1 event (attempting to normalize here, by population).

We sold about 620,000 tickets to the Hornets, which amounts to everyone in New Orleans proper getting a pair of tickets. Then we count the Bless You Boys, our beloved World Champs, whose parade was also spectacularly attended and was much better than L.A.’s. They sell 560,000 tickets a year, and they are more expensive than the basketball and hockey tickets, plus you have to shell out 25% more for preseason tickets compared to 5% more in basketball . So 7 times the support, tickets sold per capita, based on populations of the city, ignoring the metro area, of 4,000,000 and 325,000.

Without normalizing, we sell over 50% of the tickets L.A. does and they are over 12 times our size . . . and we do it with only 2 teams.

I DARE someone to step up to mic on this particular issue. All this stuff is post Katrina here, folks. Pre-Super Bowl. 2nd season after the `good’ one. Their suburbs are bigger than ours. They have the economic edge. They have the `super stars’, the titles, Hollywood, the weather, everything. Everything a superficial casual observer would want to generate support.

But not the love. And, frankly, not the honor.

We may not be much, and we may not have much, but we give what we have to our boys and they know it. That’s not hooey. We have an order of magnitude more love for our teams. That means it’s obvious. And it is. When you walk the streets, it’s clear. When you listen to the radio, it’s clear. And Lord help you when we win it all, because it’s clear.

Can I get an Amen?

I could go on for hours, but the numbers don’t lie.

I’m still daring you. There just isn’t a font size that truly captures my emphasis on my dare here. This is like way past double-dog dare.

You can’t win. Just sit down and take it. Just start insulting me or my city, because that’s all you can do in this matter. You’ve lost. Resort to the tactics of mouth-breathers. Or how about this: shut up and buy a ticket. Maybe you can cut our lead to 6 times next year. Hey, I think you can.

Still no takers? I thought not.

I feel much like I imagine Kid did after he battle-rapped Play in House Party. It feels good.

L.A. will probably lose a NASCAR race in the next couple of years if anyone counts that, the one that is closest at any rate.

http://espn.go.com/nba/attendance
http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance

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