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.