Previous Post:

Eff the Hornets Attendance Problem

Published: December 2, 2010

I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. Not because I’m worried about the team actually being moved, or because the seemingly arbitrary (although probably not) number of 14,735 is particularly meaningful to me. No, it’s because I’m sick of playing defense. I’m sick of having to defend New Orleans as a basketball city. I’m sick of having to defend the Hornets as a good basketball team. It’s like just when the fire from the team’s awful preseason and Paul wanting to leave finally died down, this comes along.

In a matter of two days my position on the attendance matter has gone from blaming the fans to blaming the ownership and everywhere in between. The reality of this situation is that nobody is to blame, but so is everybody. To distribute said blame accordingly I’ve put everyone into groups, and then given a brief explanation of their placement.

Stop being so awesome

The city and people of New Orleans- You try and deal with having constant stream of entertainment that (let’s be honest) rivals that of Hornets games for a huge number of people. It’s said that this is a football town, but the truth is that it’s more of a music town than anything. On Wednesday night there were 48 different live music acts listed on the WWOZ (best radio station ever). Insane Clown Posse was less than a mile away from the Arena, and they were listed as starting at 7pm. Oh, this was a Wednesday night. Other events that have taken place during this season include Voodoofest, film festivals, and a little event called nighttime on Bourbon or Frenchman.

The Saints- Superbowl champs say Who Dat!?! Yes, it was a thrilling Lombardi Gras to say the least, and they are looking pretty good this year. For a city that has waited so long for a championship, and suffered through so many years of ineptitude, it’s hardly surprising that the locals are more into the Saints than ever before. We might be experiencing a bit of the Superbowl hangover at the Arena. There is room for more than one team in the hearts of every New Orleanian, but football will always come first for most, and especially after a title. Even non-Saints games prove to be a problem. Tons of people stayed home this most recent Sunday to watch the Falcons game on TV.

LSU Football- I’m not a college football guy, and I didn’t go to LSU, but I still can’t help but watch when they’re playing. They’re just fun. How many fourth down conversions and last second trick plays can you have in a season? Answer- a lot. Fans that went to the game against the Trailblazers on 11/13 had to choose between one sport and the other. That choice isn’t hard for many people, even when LSU is playing a division 3 school.

This is why you keep your mouth closed

Chris Paul-  Yes, Chris Paul. Whether you feel this way or not, a lot of people were a bit put off after the summer of speculation surrounding CP3. Everyone knows he does a lot of good for the community, and single-handedly kept basketball viable in New Orleans after the storm. Unfortunately everyone also knows that he wanted out this summer, and was making comments about leaving us. Some of you know what it’s like to commit to a relationship and then find out secondhand that the other person doesn’t feel the same way. That’s what it felt like when New Orleanians heard that Chris wasn’t happy here. We sort of knew he was frustrated, we kind of understood, but we still didn’t like it. The timing (following an injury riddled season) was horrible. I remember hearing one friend remark “Didn’t they just pay him 14 million dollars for like 40 games? Poor guy.” upon hearing that he was unhappy in New Orleans. Understandably some feelings were hurt, and it’s going to take some time to get over it.

*Note- I don’t really feel this way, but a some people do.

Gary Chouest and George Shinn- Guess how many people would have asked/questioned/reported on/made up stories about the sale if it was never mentioned originally? Zero. This was something that didn’t need to come out until it was done. It’s been over eight months now since the “impending” sale was announced and we have yet to hear anything. Frankly, I don’t care since Shinn has always done a solid job of putting a competitive team out there and I doubt that Chouest was going to be drastically different in his first year of majority ownership. There are some, though, who feel a lot of uncertainty about the team’s future here. The attendance issue compounds this, and the lack of information about ownership has only further snowballed the concern in certain minds.

Billy Hunter (NBA players’ association executive director)- This guy is the worst. I understand that negotiations are  delicate subject and that you want to get the best for those that you represent, but how about some common sense? You don’t go out and tell the world that there is a “99 percent chance” that the league will be locked out in less than a year. Guess what, Billy? The average person isn’t going to waste their time getting involved with the NBA since according to you, they won’t be able to watch it next year. For a franchise that needs to get new people involved, this is just unacceptable behavior from someone so high up.

Quit being stupid and get your heads in the game

This goes out to some combination of the Hornets, CST, and the NBA. I talked about the Hornets broadcasting problems a while ago, and we got some more detailed information from TopherPrice shortly afterward. This issue is so related to attendance it isn’t even funny. I’ve been watching away games at a friends house all year because out of principle I just won’t pay over 500 dollars just to watch 41 Hornets away games. There are a lot of people who won’t give up Sunday Ticket, many who simply won’t get Cox, and even more who watch all their television online. These are all potential ticket purchasers. Get something done.

Whoever said that contraction was possible- What’s the fastest way to get a local fan base to lose interest? Leak that they are on the list for possible contractions. MORON!

Give it a chance

NBA Haters- For this one I’m looking right at all those football die-hards who feel threatened that another sports team is in town. And more specifically, all the fools who have never been to a basketball game in their lives, but still trash it. Whenever I meet one of these clowns  in person I give them a piece of my mind, so I won’t hold back here either. It’s pathetic, to say the least, to pass judgment on an event you have never even been to. They should be ashamed of themselves for discouraging others from doing something that they have never even tried themselves.

I don’t get it, but I still blame you

High School Football- Apparently it’s is really big around here. Maybe I just don’t get it because I grew up in a a town where high school football was about as important as women’s soccer, but the locals here love it. Fortunately the season is almost over so all those Friday night games won’t have as much competition.

You there, in the Arena

Oh, you thought you were getting off scott free? Absolutely not. Do you bring a friend to every game? Do you have seats for your business that you give away to customers or associates? Do you donate to charities that allow underprivileged youth to attend games? Do you tell your friends about Hornets247? I’ve met more people who have answered the question “Why are you a Hornets fan?”, with “Well, I went to a game and I was hooked”, than I have any other kind of Hornets fan. All it takes is one game to get someone new on board. If we all make a concerted effort to get more new faces at games, we can and will make a difference going forward.

Anyway, during the second half of the season a bunch of these problems will go away, and I’m fairly sure that attendance will shoot up drastically, just like it did in 2007-2008 once people realized the team was good. Let’s hope that happens before it’s too late to meet the attendance benchmarks.

Check out 42’s post on attendance for more early season numbers.


  1. thechosenuno

    December 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    In response to the “You there, in the arena…” the Hornets need to do a much better job marketing themselves in the area. They just seem sloppy. As I said in a comment to another post, they need a reboot on the non-basketball side of things just like they did in the last 6 months on the ball side of the organization. Get rid of them and start fresh. A new team name wouldn’t be bad, either.

    I mean, really, do we need commercials about tickets during a CST broadcast of a Hornets game? I’m going to venture to say that those who watch a Hornets game on an obscure Cox channel probably know about the team and where to buy tickets. They need to be reaching out to new potential fans, not trying to convince current fans to buy more tickets.

  2. ticktock6

    December 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    It’s actually much worse than “‘out of principle I just won’t pay over 500 dollars just to watch 41 Hornets away games.”


    This year has been the worst since I’ve been a fan. There have already been, what, 3 or 4 games that Cox decided not to televise because of some garbage-y football game from some random high school elsewhere in Louisiana. And it’s only December 2nd. I mean, really? Really? I find this completely unacceptable. It is really hard to ask people to get invested in a local team when they have zero way of seeing road games.

    Bottom line, every game should be televised. On every television. On every cable provider. In Louisiana and probably Mississippi too.

    • Cam504

      December 2, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      there has been more than what you said, on the 4 game west road trip, only one was shown on tv. this usually happens during football season and then in the spring all the games are on tv. but i agree, every game should be shown on at least one channel.

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      The Cox contract is for 65 games. I think it’s been that way for years, that is, since the beginning of their time in New Orleans.

      I talked to Bob Licht about it and he said they try to pick the games to line up favorably with other things, so less broadcasts during football and more after that season ends.

      It is sad and something that will hopefully be changed in the future.

      It is my understanding that the remaining 17-(# of national games) games could be picked up by another network, but who’s going to set up a broadcast shop for probably fewer than 17 games?

      I suppose I could get a wireless laptop and sling it over the internet if the Hornets would sell me the rights for $1/game . . .

      • ticktock6

        December 3, 2010 at 6:55 am

        Here is my question then: Are more of the games they aren’t covering ROAD games? B/c anecdotally I really cannot remember not being able to watch more than 3-4 all year, and we’ve already had that many. As a season ticketholder I wouldn’t notice them not televising home games. I think that’s much more acceptable. To see it, you could just go.

      • 42

        December 3, 2010 at 7:09 am

        I’ll see if I can find the old schedule magnets… U may have one at work… That’ll be more fun than work anyway…

        One variable here, though is national games. If ESPN had snagged some games, CST eould have avoided them, lessening the ‘dark’ games from our knothole. CST picks up dark games as others go national, if you remember any of their chest-beating about how they were happy add games for us, the viewers later in seasons.

      • ticktock6

        December 3, 2010 at 9:05 am

        Alas, I pitched my schedule magnets. LOL.

        I bet if NBA TV picks us up, that doesn’t affect their schedule. They pick up the local feed, and they pick games up sort of late. So CST has already committed to the travel plans, they are probably going to cover it, even if NBA TV decides to go with the other team’s feed.

        Even in 07-08 when we didn’t have a lot of national games, the only one I can remember not being able to see on CST was at Toronto at like 11 AM. I remember when I saw the CST schedule this year I got mad because I thought they were cost-cutting. But without having taken notes on previous years’ untelevised road games, I really am just guessing…

      • 42

        December 3, 2010 at 9:24 am

        I think this is true for many NBATv games, but not all. Some are planned early, away, and use the bad-guy-feed, at least based on me watching a Portland game at Fox and Hound (too loud). In meeting hell… I’ll see about schedule… Any
        Other folks have prior schedules to do a count on?

      • 42

        December 3, 2010 at 11:35 am

        This is zero fun.

        Going through October+November Regular season games last year and this year we have, based on the schedule magnets that don’t update as the games are picked up and dropped by the networks (lack up update is a sign of mutant revolt?):

        Last year: 4 ESPN or TNT games, 2 home, 2 away. 3 non-televised-here games, 1 home, 2 away.

        This year: 0 ESPN or TNT games. Don’t count NBATv since it uses local guys in some fashion, regardless of whose, to be conservative. 3 non-televised games, 1 home, 2 away.

        The 4 nationally televised games last year may have reduced the `dark’ games later, but we suffered the exact same way last year as this.

        I’ll do a more thorough analysis later if you promise to give a good rant, positive, negative, or otherwise in December . . .

  3. ticktock6

    December 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Oh, except the one time it was, like, community college football. We had it on the 40″ flatscreen on mute while we watched the game on an illegal internet feed on a tiny laptop, and kept glancing over at it every once in a while just to laugh at how #*$&ing ridiculous it was.

    This just is not acceptable in most pro-sports markets.

  4. CD

    December 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I have NBA League Pass in Jacksonville solely so I can watch my New Orleans Hornets. If I worked and slept in New Orleans, I’d definitely be at the Arena. I wish my subscription package could count towards the Hornets’ attendance benchmark since I ONLY got it for the Hornets.

    However, I think it’s ridiculous that I can see every single Hornets games and my family in New Orleans can not–even though I had to pay for the privlege.)


  5. usufruct

    December 2, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Since it’s relevant and informative, I’ll repost my response to another thread:

    To calculate announced attendance, the NBA uses “the number of tickets distributed, adding complimentary tickets — for players’ families, league officials, sponsors and such — to the number of tickets sold.” So the announced attendance is as inflated as it can possibly be. It has nothing to do with butts in the seats.

    The only number I could come up with that illustrates the “drop count,” or actual number of people in the seats, came from a study of the Hornets when they were in OKC. (Apparently, the drop count is a pretty well-guarded secret for obvious reasons.) Anyway, that study showed that warm bodies in the seats accounted for 74% of the announced attendance. In other words, to calculate physical attendance, take 74% of the announced attendance, and there you have it. Is this guaranteed accurate? No, but it’s the only way to calculate physical attendance that I’ve been able to find, because the actual drop count is not released by anyone – apart from the study I mentioned.

    Here’s an excerpt of that study:

    “The Hornets had an average posted attendance of 17,833 this season at the 19,163-seat Ford Center, but the filing shows that the average drop count, or actual turnstile count, was 13,269, or 74 percent of the reported average attendance.”


  6. Go Blue

    December 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I don’t know what the problem is down there in Nola, since I’m way up here in Michigan. But up here even though the Pistons suck, they promote ALOT. At one of the major department stores, if you buy like $30-50 worth of goods (food, clothes, etc.) you get two free Pistons tickets. And you can use the tickets the following week or so. Also, the Pistons arena is almost an hour and a half outside of Detroit. We have UofM(ichigan) and Michigan State games, and those draws thousands of people. So maybe the problem is mainly the promotion of the Hornets.

    Since people aren’t buy, maybe they could give away the tickets. Or do something, I wish you all had more support down there. >_<

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      Detroit is a huge city with 4 sports, with only the Palace outside there in Auburn Hill, north of Pontiac, right? I’ve been up there. New Orleans is smaller by about 10 times. It’s apples and orange seeds.

      • Go Blue

        December 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm

        Oh, well I have never been down there, so forgive me. I thought Nola was larger than that. I assumed it wouldn’t be such a differences, since both teams are considered to be in small markets. Either way, I hope you all get more fans in the seats, the Hornets deserve it.

      • 42

        December 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm

        We are like 300k in the city, 1m total with suburbs added, under 2m with outlying areas. Louisiana has like 4m total.

        Detroit metro may be more populated than the state, counting Windsor, over to Ann Arbor, getting down to Toledo, and up to Saginaw. Yeah?

      • 42

        December 2, 2010 at 6:55 pm

        1.2m metro for us, 4.4m for you.

        Our 2m number would be parallel for you adding in all those other folks.

        I had a cocky journal I’ll link to about doing well in a sense similar to what you present here.

      • Go Blue

        December 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm

        Just counting metro Detroit, not even Windsor and Ann Arbor and such, has over 4mil. Well now that I have a better sense of the size of Nola, it doesn’t seem that bad. With a small population, the amount of people attending game doesn’t seem as bad. Maybe the NBA should go by the percentage of the population in terms of the attendance at the game. You have 12-14k people going to the games, and there’s only 2mil people in Nola’s metro area, verse other areas that have 4-8mil+ and they have 18k people going to the games. Stats can be misleading when you factor in everything. Anyway, that’s just another way to look at things.

      • 42

        December 3, 2010 at 5:31 pm

        I just did an update and repost of a journal I did a few months ago that was eaten during the site upgrade.

        It’s about the sports marketplace in Los Angeles versus New Orleans, but `support’ is at it’s heart. This is on the lines of what you were talking about I think.

  7. usufruct

    December 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Oh, and I think that attendance will be irrelevant if/when Schouest buys the team.

    Also, I think folks have a reason to be leery of the team because of three years of decline, chris’ shennanigans, ownership issues, etc. Just like in 07-08, attendance was terrible, but people ended up coming out in spades after the All Star break. They came out at the beginning of the next year, too. But unfortunately we just kept getting worse and attendance fell. Now we’re on the way back up, hopefully, and it’ll take a little while for folks to catch on. If we were consistently good, without all these distractions, I think attendance would be consistently good as well. IMO, it’s as easy as that.

    • TopherPrice

      December 2, 2010 at 4:14 pm

      You said shennanigans, and I love you for it.

  8. TopherPrice

    December 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I too am losing my desire to defend the situation. I think a lot of the problem for the Hornets is high school football. For those who didn’t grow up in Louisiana you just can’t possibly understand. Residence of Texas, Miss, Alabama, and maybe Florida possibly…

    It just is all consuming for those families with high school age boys and girls who are on the cheerleading and dance team squads. For the boys who play, it is not just a friday night thing. It is a every day but Sunday thing. Most schools have “Athletic P.E” basically where their last hour of the school day is scheduled their P.E. so they can get around the rules on hours of sports practice in a week. So from around 2pm until 5:30 these kids practice during the week. Lets give the average kid an hour to get home and shower and eat… 6:30 pm. We all know that is a bit tight especially with traffic times in NOLA around 5:30, but whatever. Then as they are high school kids, they have to do their actual homework and studies. So lets say they are good and can cram that into 2 hours a night. So as a responsible parent, how rare is it going to be that you can bring your family to a Hornets game on a week night during the football season?

    The girls that are a part of the cheerleaders and dance team are practicing daily during this time as well. Members of the band practice daily also during football season, as this is the only time they have a major event EVERY week to perform.

    It will start to get better beginning next week because there are only two weeks left of the playoffs but that puts us in the Holidays. I was on record as thinking that we could see sellouts by the Spurs game last week. FAIL! I don’t see the swing up until January now because of football, and for all the other reasons you listed above.

    I too am just tired of playing Defense. #ThingsMarcusThorntonThinksDaily

    • Stefan

      December 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm

      “I too am just tired of playing Defense. #ThingsMarcusThorntonThinksDaily”


    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      We had that PE thing at my school. Yup. Bands are huge here, too, some of the best high school and college bands in the world. Xavier, Mac, St. Aug . . . all primo. Southern is just awesome. Keep the Golden Band, the Million Dollar Band, etc.

    • Ron

      December 3, 2010 at 7:24 pm

      Residence of Texas, Miss, Alabama, and maybe Florida possibly…

      They definitely understand.

      What I don’t understand is a city-wide obsession with girls soccer. Must be a Seattle thing.

  9. Gaiking

    December 2, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    This may be a little off topic but sort of related, I’m not near the NOLA area but I’m a huge Hornets fan. I’ve been lucky to attend all Hornets games when they’ve visited the local team the Mavs (although I’ve yet to see them win ugh). I’m very interested on attending the Hornets first round home playoff games with my wife, I figure we could either drive over or fly for those games but what I wanted to know is: where can I pre-purchase tickets for the playoff games?

    I presume season ticket holders have their tickets reserved or get priority for them, so what is the process for someone not from the area who’d be interested on attending those games and saving their seats beforehand?

    Thanks for any help or information you may give me!

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm

      Season ticket holders have first right of refusal and first dibs on extras.

      Write here, someone will help you.

  10. Cam504

    December 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I am at school out of the city, but when i come in town, i go to every game. Last year and the beginning of this year i thought about not attending games because the officiating. It makes me sick to my stomach to see a call go one way and something blatantly obvious the other way overlooked and not called. This year the officiating has gotten better but it still has its kinks. I am not the only one that feels this way, so to the NBA, train the officials better as well.

  11. stormsurgephoto

    December 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Ill add some fuel to this:

    FANS. Do you actively promote the team? I wear Hornets stuff as much as I can. I get stopped on the elevator at work by people asking me about the Hornets because Im wearing my Hornets hoodie. And I talk to them constantly. Im a booster. I believe in the team and badger people to go to games. And they do. I have my Fan Up lawnsign still up. I have a Hornets blue car flag and bumpersticker. I go the games when i can afford them and often when I cant. Money is tight, but I fight for those seats. Attitude is contagious. BE THE DISEASE!

    The Organization. You really arent trying hard enough. I buy what stuff I can, but like I said, I cant afford much. You could really do more to help us BE THE DISEASE. How about selling car flags that ARENT in Saints colors? How about selling Hornets-logo-ed clothes that are work-appropriate? How about some new giveaways? A new cool window decal that you give out at the gate to people who bought tickets so they can show off something that isnt 3 years old?

    Hornets employees. Yes, Im talking to you! I know its your job. I know its hard to be a fan when its your livelihood. I know how hard it is to fake excitement. But with the exception of the BuzzPatrol, you guys just look depressed. When there used to be game watches, you chatted about something else and ignored the game. Its hard to be excited when you, as representatives, arent actually excited.

    Hugh Weber. Yeah you. STOP calling the Hornets a product. in fact, stop thinking about the Hornets as a product. If im going to spend my hard earned money on an entertainment product, Im not going to risk that money on a product that has every possibility of sucking. Lucky for you, Im a FAN and think about the team as an extention of myself and all that is good in the world. Stop raining on my parade.

    Sorry for the rant.

    • Mikey

      December 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm

      I can reply to this. I’ve done this since being a season ticket holder. Every gameday I wear a Hornets hat, home or away. If you know me, and I’m wearing my Hornets hat, you know they have a game that day.

      Memo to Hornets organization…. Please, for the love of God, bring back the postgame show with Joe Block. That was an event for fans and staffers alike to congregate after the games and talk some roundball. For the Hornets employees, it gave them a real connection with real fans. For the fans, it made us feel like we had a genuine relationship with our investment.

  12. 42

    December 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    14735 is the average of the pre-Katrina attendance, which includes effects of multi-year commitments made early on to help bring the team here.

  13. Hornet Seantonio

    December 2, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    It took me only one Hornets game to get hooked on them, going to the hive is second only to saturday night games at death valley and thats a fact. NFL games are better from the couch and most die hards will even admit to this truth. Theres nothing like the excitement of live nba basketball its awesome.

    id say the biggest problem with hornets attendance is that the hornets are new orleans team not louisiana’s team and they are marketed as such. For most people in the state especially northshore (covington, mandeville, slidell) they dont even know we have a team (they may know but it certainly doesnt feel that way). and the cst issue is abysmal and that in itself id say with no exaggeration can take credit for 75% of the reason the hive is empty. Mandeville and covington people got money folks and lots of it and they got little turdlet kids who love sports you let these people watch this team on tv and they will be like “hey it would be fun to go to the hive sometime what you little turdlets think?” “yay daddy yay buy me a cp3 jersey!” But no thats not the case all we get spoon fed up here is the saints nonsense, and lord will someone tell that blonde chick who does the gametime thing before every game to stop saying “who dat” ugh….

    • Stew

      December 2, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      Britney says “Hoop Dat” not “Who Dat.”

      • Hornet Seantonio

        December 2, 2010 at 10:57 pm

        oh lord that is honestly probably worse…..pathetic

    • downtowndave

      December 3, 2010 at 8:15 am

      Chouest is going to take care of the marketing issue when he takes the reigns.

  14. Joe P

    December 2, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    The Chosenuno touched on it, but I think a major problem that Joe didn’t mention is that the in-arena presentation is pretty bad. I know that it’s similar around the league, but we have such a rich entertainment culture that the generic sounds and video seem extra annoying. New Orleans has the talent to put together 41 house bands a year and make the experience feel local. All that noise and distraction bothers me quite a bit.

    • hewhorocks

      December 3, 2010 at 9:39 am

      Its funny but New Orleans actually is considered on of the better in house presentations across the NBA. Rob Nice the Hornet’s MC is actually an all-star.

      Considering how “There can be only one” MC it may be you dont care for the presentation but across the league Nola is considered a model to emulate.

    • 42

      December 3, 2010 at 9:59 am

      Every visiting fan I’ve talked to, about 25 indepedent groups, loves everything the Hornets do when the clock isn’t running compared to their home teams. Surveys of sports teams across the 4 biggies agree.

      As Joe points out, we have high standards due to the quality of our entertainment here. Could the 5-7m shows at halftime be better? Yes. Of course. But they are good.

    • Joe Gerrity

      December 3, 2010 at 10:16 am

      I actually think the presentation is pretty good, but you’re dead on about it being mostly generic.

    • thechosenuno

      December 3, 2010 at 11:35 am

      I actually don’t think the in-house entertainment is bad. Rob Nice and the announcer (who announces the players as they come out — don’t know his name)…I think the two of them are great.

      The halftime shows, on the other hand, are a joke.

      I was talking more about the promotions and marketing that the team does. It seems like it’s mostly aimed at people who are already Hornets fans, and that which they do aim at us is boring. They need ads that get your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping, like the new “swarm” video they play before they play highlights set to dramatic music before they announce the starting lineup. That’s the kind of stuff they need to have on TV…not “hornets, here we come…” That’ll put you to sleep. If anyone from the hornets org is reading, use Rob Nice and the in-arena announcer (you can’t help but get excited when he starts announcing…) into a commercial with some dramatic music, scenes from in the arena, and great highlights. I have no marketing background, but this all seems pretty basic to me!!!

  15. Chris

    December 2, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I’m in shreveport, can’t make it down to new Orleans to often, but when cst does air games I’m watching them. The pro game I’ve been to was the hornets first year in NO a playoff game against the sixers. We won. Been a fan since! Just can’t make it often enough 🙁

  16. Will Bennett

    December 2, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    OH SHIT! The family i live with just replaced their COX box with a DIRECT TV one. Does this mean i can’t watch games anymore?

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm

      When the games are on CST, yes.

    • TopherPrice

      December 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      Exchange family fail. Sorry dude.

  17. jib

    December 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Ironically I was watching Sportscenter and they said this is Cleveland’s 92nd consecutive sellout crowd, although most are probably with Bron, that is still around 14 or 15 Bron-less games they have sold out, while we can still fit like 4000 more people in the hive. It is sad to see because right now we have a good team, and it is hand in hand with Death Valley and IMO more fun than Saints games. I get to go to one game a year and I absolutely love it and can’t wait for it every year (Going tomorrow against the Knicks!)

    • TopherPrice

      December 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      a couple things about Cleveland’s situation. They did a whole push to lock season ticket holders into multi-year packages before LBJ left last season. They were hedging their bets. If he left, then people were already under contract to keep the tickets for this year if you bought tickets the year before. So they are still running off the LBJ, “We are all witness” fan fever.

      Also, the CST not covering all games is not uncommon. I was curious if Cleveland has all games being covered by their partner. The answer is yes. But again, I think this is just carry over from the contract signed during LBJ time. Quite a few other teams that are not perennial winners or in large markets have around 10-15 games not covered every year.

      • jib

        December 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm

        I thought about that with Cleveland, and I figured Lebron was the cause for the sellouts and all of that, but I just thought it was something of interest to point out. That brings me to a question though. Are we sold out on season tickets (I doubt it but I really do not know)? If so, would Cleveland have more season tickets than us and if not how much more would they have sold than us? Yes that makes a difference but season tickets can help fill an arena, but you need the non-season ticket holders to be around the area and willing to come, which even this year’s Cleveland is doing better than us.
        Of course I understand that this may tie into the whole football town, the Cavs being the best team (minus the Bengals once in like every 5 years) the Ohio has, and things of the like, but I’m just interested in hearing other ideas on it.

      • 42

        December 3, 2010 at 6:58 am

        They would sell every seat on a season ticket basis if they could.

        Few teams achieve this, I’m thinking. Tickets are still out there, of course, since as Go Blue says, the frocery gives you somr etc. So they aren’t sold sold, but they have corporate ties that guarantee their sale as those entities use them to make money. Rouse’s has a little version of this.

  18. brazilian hornet

    December 2, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    For my nick name, you can see I’m not American. I am Brazilian and I live in Rio de Janeiro, my hometown. Let me say one thing for you: I’m 29 and I’m a fan of the Hornets since I was 14 years old. At that time I had hoped for Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson, Mugsy Bogues, Dell Curry … And I spent all those years while away, hoping for the Hornets. Passion is passion, as explained. When they came out of Charlotte and landed in New Orleans, I thought, “How cool! NOLA is one of the nicest cities of the USA.” And I appreciate even more the Hornets. Also, in March 2010, I was there in New Orleans (loved the city!) And realized the dream of attending the team’s three games at New Orleans Arena. I bought everything I could in the store’s official Hornets, tried to help my team loved the way I could. Until now commend products and Hornets try to give my little contribution. Therefore, it is possible that there are 15,000 people willing to help the team every night. Even more in New Orleans, a city where people are supportive for several reasons. The Hornets are a part of New Orleans. People need to understand that. Here in Brazil, we, fans of the Hornets, we have a community of more than 600 people attended the all the games and cheered the team as if it were our cities. I work early, and still watch all the games, which begin here later. Against the Clippers in Los Angeles, for example, the time the game is 2:00 AM here in Brazil. And yet, our community watches and cheers. This is passion … or you have or you do not. I hope the New Orleans’ fans do not miss the Hornets. Cheer for this team is pretty cool. I know, because I do it for 15 years, even from afar. And you can be sure: if I lived in New Orleans, going to every game the Hornets. I’d give you my way … GO Hornets!

    • downtowndave

      December 3, 2010 at 8:19 am

      Do you guys watch the games at a specific spot in Rio? I will be there in two weeks.

      • brazilian hornet

        December 3, 2010 at 8:55 am

        In fact, our community is all around Brazil. We watch the games via League Pass and communicate via orkut, msn, always talking, exchanging ideas and hoping for the team. And we do that every game without exception. On one Saturday per month, we held our national meeting of Brazilian fans Hornets. Sometimes it is in Rio de Janeiro, sometimes in Sao Paulo and other in Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul. These meetings, the Hornets’ fans team swap items, watch the unforgettable games (the last was Rice v. Jordan, 96/97) and the main, have fun, have a beer and talk for hours and hours. It is a true family of men and women. All the Hornets’ fans. It’s pretty cool. Our next meeting will be held on January 8, in Sao Paulo. If any of you are there and want to go, just tell me.

    • thechosenuno

      December 3, 2010 at 11:37 am

      I was just in Ipanema and couldn’t find a damn place to watch any of the games!

      • brazilian hornet

        December 3, 2010 at 11:57 am

        Here in Brazil, NBA games only come on TV closed or cable. ESPN broadcasts games only on Wednesdays and Fridays. And TNT only on Thursdays. However, it is very difficult these channels transmitting Hornets’ games for Brazil. Just sent one so far: Hornets vs. Heat. The Brazilian fans of the Hornets pay for League Pass can watch the matches of the team. And who can not pay the LP, opts for alternative links: Atdhe, Channel Surfing … they do not always work. Here in Brazil, the teams that appear most on TV are Heat, Magic, Celtics, Lakers, Spurs and Thunder. The Hornets next game will be broadcast to Brazil will be against the Lakers, after Christmas. But believe me: the Hornets have loyal fans throughout Brazil. They pay the League Pass just for the team and attend all games. And some still wake up early for work the next day. I am one of those. In Rio de Janeiro, people are passionate about soccer, but there are basketball fans who love the NBA. Hornets have more fans here than you realize … hehe

      • thechosenuno

        December 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm

        Yeah, I saw Orlando and I think Boston play down there at a bar in Ipanema on ESPN International. ESPN International also showed every Thanksgiving game BUT the Saints game. The most annoying part is that neither I nor the concierges could find a schedule for what ESPN International was showing…

    • Downtowndave

      December 3, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      That is really cool to know. My wife is from Minas and I love the Brazilian culture. It is very similar to south Louisiana in some regards. I’ll keep your Hornets community do Brasil in mind during my future travels.


  19. Jake

    December 2, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Does anyone know the source for the Times Picayune article on the benchmarks? Who was the person who admitted that the benchmarks are still in play? Does anyone know?

    • QueenBee

      December 2, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      Supposedly Doug Thornton said the benchmarks are still in place. I don’t see any quotes from him in the article though. Only quotes from Hugh Weber.

      And now get this, TP Hornets beat writer John Reid is now trying to stir the pot about the CP toast in NY. CP said it’s over and done with but our beat writers (particularly John Reid) can’t just go with that, so he has to keep up with the same old questions.

      • QueenBee

        December 2, 2010 at 10:11 pm

        Ok so, maybe, I’m not sure but maybe, Knicks beat writer Alan Hahn was allowed to interview CP3 after Thursdays practice and perhaps it was him that decided to ask CP3 about the Melo wedding toast. If that’s the case I apologize to John Reid saying he’s stirring the pot.

    • 42

      December 3, 2010 at 7:03 am

      This was discussed vaguley when the benchmarks originally were met and was overlooked. It’s been going strong and will be a part of this team for the duration of the lease, though 2014. Of course, opting out the year of expiration does nothing, so we have this year, and 2 more to worry about.

      This year should be fine. Next should be as well. The following will be as long as we make the playoffs next seaso, if there is one. How that affects us, I don’t know.

  20. hewhorocks

    December 3, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Well I find it hard to “blame fans.” The whole if you built it.. they will come model doesnt seem to be working. Sure the CST partnership may be the best available to the Hornets but strategically it doesnt seem to place the Hornets in the market. One prime target market for lower bowl seats is the higher income families of the north shore who simply dont get the games. The Hornets have products to sell: tickets and merchandise. Games on TV are income streams but also advertisement for ticket sales. If Ticket sales arent meeting expectations its not the fault of the customers. Simply put the Hornets need to take advantage of the entire regional base including direct TV buyers and even over to Biloxi. Not to do is simply poor strategic planning.

    The problem isnt the product, the problem is the marketing. I’m a season ticket holder and I see the crowd size. My tickets to the game are pretty cheap maybe a bit more than a movie ticket and I can get a couple free beers before the game as a season ticket holder! Still, the crowd is family orientated one; of the premiere players in the league plays for the Hornets; and access and parking couldn’t be easier. If The Hornets organization cant market that product to the community it isnt the city’s fault.

  21. L_Reazy

    December 3, 2010 at 10:07 am

    …interesting article from the NY Times … enjoy!

    • 42

      December 3, 2010 at 10:22 am

      This is based on things that happen, but who takes that stuff seriously?

  22. James Online

    December 3, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Tremendous cumulative wisdom expressed by Joe and the Posters (new band name?) on this thread. Hope the Hornets’ management is reading it.

    I have seen all the Hornets games on DirecTV in the SF Bay Area, and attended the game at Sacramento (a franchise that also has huge problems, esp a terrible arena, but does draw fans when they win). In all the DirecTV feeds available here, the broadcast team is from the Hornets’ opponents. Not one game has featured the Hornets broadcasters. Wonder if this is because the Hornets don’t televize all the games in HD (every game I’ve seen, except for Portland, was in HD. Portland, also a small market, tries to save $ by not paying for HD quality cameras/truck). This has provided interesting insights about the Hornets from other broadcasters (though I am always amazed at how bad and uninformed they can be).

    Seems that the best way out of the dilemma for New Orleans fans who want to watch is the NBA League Pass, which will give you all the games, except for those that are available from your local cable provider. In theory, you’d see them all. It’s a bit expensive, but worth it to the dedicated fan. Plus with a digital recorder you can really analyze the game by reviewing key plays.

    I can’t wait to get to NOLA for the Philly and Golden State games the first week of January. Is the Arena nice? Looks a little funky with those blue seats.

    • Hornet

      December 3, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      I’m pretty sure Hornets games that are on CST over here get blacked out on League Pass.

    • Joe Gerrity

      December 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm

      few days late, but sweet band name! I’ve been looking for one.

      Hornet is right. Just about every Hornets game is blacked out on NBA league pass. I learned that the hard way a few years ago.

      I’m not sure why the Hornets announcers are never on the leaguepass broadcasts. I’ll ask around.

  23. James Online

    December 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    So you can watch those games and the others on DirecTV I would imagine? Wouldn’t that cover them all? Maybe a bit pricey, but at least there is access. That won’t help boost attendance, though, because the fan who will figure all this out is already buying tickets. More general exposure is needed for sure.

    • Joe Gerrity

      December 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm

      You can’t watch ANY of the CST broadcasts on DirecTV.

  24. kempleton

    December 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    I am sorry but I hate to see people watching the cardinals-49ers game instead of “New Orleans” Hornets. Come on people, it is not Kenner Cardinals vs Metairie 49ers. It is “Arizona” vs “San Francisco”. Now that is a clear indication of the ignorance of people for our own “New Orleans” Hornets. I even listen to the games on the radio when I cannot go to a game.
    If they can’t draw people to the stands even after a 8-0 start to the season I am not sure what will. Maybe we really need another star. Maybe we need to let people go in order to bring Carmelo Anthony or another superstar. (even if I don’t like him, and he doesn’t fit into the new system because he does not defend!)

    I hate hearing the possibility of our Hornets moving to Seattle on the radio! 🙁

    I hate it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.