Gotta Support the Team . . .

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 2 baseball teams, and 2 hockey teams left.  They also lost one of the two NASCAR races from their track in Fontana.  That’s another 100,000+ tickets . . . poof!  We kept the Saints come Hell AND High Water, built an NBA Arena, and attracted a team twice in the past 12 years.  From a sports flux perspective, we are attractive, and Los Angeles is, well, repulsive. 

(Regular season numbers in the following, and only considering what are generally understood to be major sports leagues and NASCAR.  These are not 2010-2011 numbers. These are for seasons ending in 2010, the season the Saints were champs of for NFL.)

Let’s talk about teams in the cities today:

Los Angeles, metro population 15.2 million, 3, sports, 6 teams, 2 large races, 9,777,830 tickets sold, 0.6433 sales per capita

Team Tickets Sold Percent Capacity
Lakers 778,877 99.7
Clippers 670,063 85.7
Kings 709,853 93.6
Ducks 621,903 88.3
Dodgers 3,562,320 78.5
Angels 3,250,814 89.1
NASCAR (not a team) 92,000 *2 (no data, WAY conservative) 100


New Orleans, metro population 1.2 million, 2 sports, 2 teams, 1,180,366 tickets sold, 0.9836 sales per capita

Team Tickets Sold Percent Capacity
Hornets 620,366 88.5
Saints 560,000 100 (from Katrina forward, in fact)


In raw sales and revenue generated, Los Angeles wins.  They have 3 teams in Staples (Wow! I want to shake the schedule guy’s hand, the the guys that work that floor over).  The other teams have their own places.  Our 2 teams each have their own space.  In this fashion, LA is probably getting more return on investment, too.  From an economic perspective, Los Angeles is a great place to put a sports team, and this should make it clear why the NFL wants to get in there.  After all, their sales per capita is only 0.6433.  There’s lots of support left on the table compared to New Orleans’ 0.9836 sales per capita.  Of course, Los Angeles repeatedly fails to support the NFL with the dollars it needs.  Repulsive. 

Our sales per capita is 1.5291 times that of Los Angeles. 

So over 50% more support, tickets sold per capita, based on populations metro area. All this stuff is post-Katrina here, folks. If you want to argue that there’s a larger distance to travel, less private transpiration, etc. in LA . . . cry me a river.  Move to New Orleans if you want a nice commute. They have the economic edge, in boom times and in busts.  They haven’t had the natural disasters we’ve had to deal with (these are pre-BP numbers, not that that deal was in any way natural). 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.

I DARE someone to step up to mic on this particular issue. 

There’s plenty of room there to support your teams more.  In 2008-2009, we were at 98.7% capacity for the Hornets.  We were close to not being able to support the teams any more in terms of buying tickets.  Maxed out.  How’s that for support?  Who says we can’t and don’t support the team?

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. Those numbers means it’s obvious, and it is to the senses. 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 50%  next year. Hey, I think you can. And attend your championship parades.  75% of our population was at ours . . . Not so much for the Lakers.  And I don’t want to hear “Well, winning isn’t new here . . .” as the issue is support, not who is `better through history.’ Hang you hat on that if you want, but his doesn’t have anything to do with your head; this is about your heart. 

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.

5 responses to “Gotta Support the Team . . .”

  1. Great great post. This is what I was trying to say, but you explained it perfectly. I hope this gets some attention, and make those “haters” shut their mouths.

  2. Great post 42.

    Being that I’m from LA, and a VERY avid basketball fan who attends about 15-20 Laker games, an avid Hockey fan who attends 10 hockey games @ the Ducks Honda Center a season, and I have a GF who is obsessed with baseball, so I go to Angel games 10-15 times out of a season as well, there is one thing that I will tell you that disgusts me with all these sporting events.

    COST. These teams essentially RIP people off. The cost to go to games here is ridiculous. Did you know we pay $75 a SEAT for nose bleed seats if the Lakers play a decent team, like lets say… The Suns. Think about that. Thats 2 seats for $150. Plus $20 parking if you don’t want to walk 12 blocks to the game. Add another $30 for drinks and food. Thats $200 for a game where you sit in a seat that you can’t even see players faces from, and barely see their numbers. Honestly, I usually spend a lot more than that though because I want to see the game up closer. I went to their game against the Kings last night and it was (gasp) $1000 total for seats that were first row of the 2nd tier. I just went to Ticketmaster and looked at what I’d pay if I had went to a Hornet game and got similar seats and I’d pay $155 per seat.

    So think about what it’s like being a fan here man. It’s RIDICULOUSLY expensive. They rip people off and people keep paying. It’s why I decided that I WILL for a vacation in the spring, fly out to NO (a town i’ve ALWAYS wanted to explore and see) get Hornet tickets and watch a game and have fun. I guarantee that I’ll probably spend the same amount there in that weekend that I would at ONE BIG Laker game here.

    The problem here is that so many people are fake. They come here not as basketball fans, but to be near stars, flaunt money, and try to meet the players.

    Why do I come so much if it’s like this? I honestly get a big discount because I know a lot of the guys with the organization. Otherwise, I WOULD NEVER spend so much money. Its when I look at the ticket stubs and realize the costs that I feel guilty even being there and next to people who KNOWINGLY spent so much money.

    I completely understand that due to economic issues, people simply aren’t going to come to such luxuries as watching a basketball game in a town like NO due to Katrina. But KNOWING that their attendance was so high in 08-09 made comment as to why people weren’t attending games as much now when the team is obviously drastically upgraded, and they are winning as well.

    I get it. I’m not bashing fans what so ever. I am a sports fan and I support my local sports teams (although I can’t stand the Clippers what so ever and want nothing to do with them), and if I lived in NO, I would go to as many games as I possibly could. For me, its more that I WANT to see the team and town do well.

    • Let us know when you come for a game.

      You can take 2 of mine if I can swing it with my ticket-mates for my 4 seats. We have a nice 247 section, first row of the upper deck.

      That goes for any out-of-towners. Of course, I’d expect you’d want better seats than mine.

      • Thanks 42. Thats REALLY cool of you. Greatly appreciate your offer. I don’t know when I’ll be coming, but I will definitely let you all know. Was gonna wait til spring and let the weather warm up a bit.

  3. True DAT 42! There’s something special about New Orleans that can’t be captured anywhere else in the country. It’s like the “big cities” want to see us as a failure because they don’t understand how we can be happy without master planned communities in outlying suburbs, hour commutes to work, and overpriced entertainment options. Yet, we keep plugging along and doin our thang. I think the Hornets and the NBA know basketball can thrive here with the right ownership in place, hence all the rhetoric about finding ownership to keep them here. Hopefully, the Hornets stay.

    AgentZiko, $75 gets you lower bowl corner seats easy. Come on down and check out the Hive. Might not have the bells and whistles of Staples but its definitely a great time and after the Hornets win, you can keep celebrating all night long!

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