Rainmen Want to Draw 5,500 Fans Per Game Next Year

No one can ever say that Andre Levingston lacks ambition.  He told Chris Cochrane of the Herald that he wants the team to average 5,500 fans per game next year.  That’s ambitious.

This year saw a jump from 1800 fans per game to 2800 fans per game a 67% increase in just one year, which is huge.  If they can somehow get a similar increase over the next off season we’d be looking at about 4,700 fans per game which seems to be a more realistic goal.  That said, Andre isn’t just assuming people will show up, he’s a smart enough business man to know he has to work for it and he mentions hiring experts in ticket sales and more staff to try to increase attendance.

I think a first step would be a decrease in ticket prices, but not to the level of absurdity that the Rochester Razor Sharks have done it.  $5 tickets for children 12 and under should be the norm.  Slight decreases in other tickets might not be a bad idea, but the kids tickets are crucial.  It’s just too expensive to bring a family to a game, and if kids go then you know their parents are too.  They need to be more aggressive on group sales and actively seek out groups to sell to.  The season tickets should be advertised as including the extra events they hosted this year.   They also need to decide what exactly they want to do with special event nights – “big name” performers before games haven’t delivered and the only promotion nights that really work are kids night (the first time) and two for one night.  Military Families night in the first year was successful despite short lead time, and I think nights like that which target specific groups should be the goal for next year.  I also think that the graphic design of newspaper ads needs to improve greatly.

The article has lots of other little bits of info including Andre saying that he hopes to have a coach in place by the start of June and that Berry is his first choice.

In other news:  The Black Basketball Association is running its annual tournament starting on May 18.  The quality is often uneven but there are occasional high level pros – guys playing in the first division in Germany, second division players in Spain, PBL/CBA/DLeague/ABA guys, NCAA guys on summer vacation and even NBA guys from time to time.  There isn’t an established Pro-Am league in Canada so tournaments like this are as close as we get.  I ran into Eric yesterday and he said he’s playing in the tournament on a team with Strick.  Watching Strick in a situation which is a bit closer to streetball is an opportunity I don’t think I can afford to miss.  I’ve run into Eric a few times and he will be in the city all summer (minus a short trip home to Oakland) and is doing summer camps and promotional work for the sponsors he has (Coke and Rogers for the most part).  Athletes always talk about how much they love the city they’re playing in, with Eric I actually believe it.

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17 thoughts on “Rainmen Want to Draw 5,500 Fans Per Game Next Year

  1. I am positive that kid’s tickets will be $5 next year. They were made like that for the last three games of the year and Andre said it was a permanent thing.

    Oh, and nice article and I agree 100% on your post. Things are looking good.

  2. When I read the article in the Herald I did think that this was very ambitious of Andre. Then I thought about a comment someone else made how they will need to start paying the players better to keep them here. I have no guess at how much these guys get paid, but I’m guessing it’s very little. However, I’m pretty sure they’re not treating these guys right when they’re living here. They all live in one house which, I’m guessing the owners are too cheap to pay for cleaners and there was an article about they had a cook but it was difficult for her to please 12 guys and so she was trying her best. Can you say quit and isn’t going back? I do remember when I talked to a player at the end of the first season that he couldn’t wait to get home to get to his own bed. I made a joke about how it’s nice to get home to your own bed and it made me think they probably just have matteresses thrown on the floor.

    A note about the more staff? Good luck. The first season was run into a mess by a couple of ‘big’ PR companies that ended up quitting, wasn’t it? Then the Nancy woman took over and you can see the difference. They if anything are the reasons that the team has more attendance this year. Commercials, bill boards, signage – that’s how people get the word out. Now they just need a bus to be driving around town. Let’s not forget all the PR nightmares this year that this lady had to deal with (EC suspension for example, Rick Lewis on a daily basis it seemed). Chad Lucas seemed to think a lot of these people too from reading his stuff. Anyone else notice that the Rainmen have all but disappeared in the reputable press with a random silly article being popped out once in a while with big talking quotes from Andre? Game production went up too – at least this year the game people had uniforms and the contests seemed to be fair. They looked a little stiff and formal in the uniforms and it must have been hot in those vests but they did a better job running all those games and things than the first year when it was a bunch of kids running around doing it all. But they looked like they worked hard – they were always taking stuff down after the games and cleaning up the benches and everything.

  3. Hi KD. Glad to see you are still checking in, even after halifaxfin giving you such a hard time a while back 😉

    Anyone hear anything about ticket prices and how many home games for next season?

  4. yo.. I heard floor tix went from 1000 to 1500 bucks and we can expect similar raises in our pricing.. if it goes up to much mroe than it is now.. I will eb at threshold!

  5. yikes! Season tickets were already far too expensive in comparison to buying singles. I assume $1k to $1.5k corresponds to a an increase in the number of home games but a 50% increase in price, even with more games, is waaaay too steep given the fact that the packages were overpriced as is. If there are 50% more games I’d like to see a 20%-25% increase in ticket prices would be appropriate.

  6. ok ok, here is the scoop as I know it:

    yes, the floor seats went from 1k 1.5k, but we are also getting 4 more regular season games, in addition to our “pre-season” games (which frankly I find a bit of a kick in the nuts since last year they were at the tower and cost $5. I am paying regular season prices for a $5 seat at the tower? eeesh…).

    Also, I caught wind of a bid for the PBL all-star game, which I didnt know they had one! – but it would seem that if this comes through, the ticket is included in your season tix package, which would certainly be a really cool “extra”.

    All that being said, 1.5k for 14games + pre-season + (maybe) AS game is still pretty steep – I have renewed, but really need to be impressed with next season if they expect (and I’m sure they do) to raise them again next year….but I would recommend that prices remain fixed for the following season….

  7. I don’t have a huge problem with an increase in the cost of floor seats, but I really hope they don’t increase the cost of tickets in the bowl.

  8. Floor seats behind the front row were usually not close to being filled. They should make those seats cheaper. It looks bad to have empty sets by the court.

  9. As a matter of fact, 2nd row floor seats are cheaper than the first row (1100 for the 2nd row this year).

  10. What is crazy is that it was cheaper last year to buy baseline seats for all the games for half the price of “vip” floor seats. I love the floor but that price is too high. It may be lower bowl seasons for me this year. Mabye with you monstors in 23

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