We've all seen the Bobcats' stands during games. Photos, videos, stills grabbed from video; there's no lack of evidence of turnout.
And judging by these pictures, I think it's a teeeeeny bit misleading to think the reported estimated 15,000+ home attendance average is factual.
Why? Because they're blatantly misleading and it's not just the Bobcats that are doing it. Forbes contributor Maury Brown notes this in his 2011 piece, "How Sports Attendance Figures Speak Lies." The numbers noted in box scores is no longer a measurement of butts through turnstiles but now a measurement of pure ticket butts sold, used or not. That's why we see mildly encouraging "attendance" statistics. These are simply tickets moved, not people moved.
In terms of ticket sales, this sure as hell isn't good. Consider the fact that Bobcats have given tickets away for a player simply hitting a three-pointer. Consider the fact that the Bobcats had a promotion to "pay the pick" or in essence $2 per game (because they got the No. 2 overall pick, you see). Consider the fact they also had a season ticket deal where if you buy season tickets for this season, you get next year's for free. Of course I don't have the actual attendance figures, but when you watch a Bobcats game do you see 80.7 percent of that arena's seats filled? This means other streams of revenue are hurting from this poor actual attendance, too.
We can see this doesn't reflect a fanbase perfectly. The Sacramento Kings are dead last in attendance, but I think you can see they have some amazing fans and can support a team. But like many franchises, they can't support a team run inconsistently by farcical ownership. The difference is that they're not even willing to buy in. Would you consistently put money towards ownership that has tried to relocate the team and inconsistently fumbled away arena deals?
Bobcats' rising attendance may be a mirage
Rufus On Fire | Jan 17