Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
When the Boston Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett & Ray Allen in 2007, season ticket sales obviously went through the roof. Now that Garnett, Allen & Paul Pierce have left Boston, will season ticket holders turn their backs on the team? The Boston Herald’s Tom Layman writes:
There’s been a lot to digest for Celtics fans since the end of the season. Two weeks ago, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers were all still part of the organization. Now, all three are gone, and the new voice of the Celtics, Brad Stevens, was introduced as the 17th head coach of the team Friday at a press conference.
Changes were bound to happen for an aging roster, and with the potential for a lean year or two for the Celtics, the real test in a business sense will be if the season ticket-holders and fan base continue to support the team by going to games.
“I have no intentions of giving up my seats,” said Lyle Core, 40, of Medway, a season ticket-holder for seven years. “We’ve been through some bad seasons and I’m prepared to weather the storm.”
Now if only all Celtics season-ticket holders felt like that. I’ve been to quite a few games over the past few years, and have met many season ticket holders. I truly believe that most are very dedicated, and will remain loyal to the this team through it’s “rebuild”. However there will most certainly be those that will give up their seats and that’s fine. More available tickets for me. It was very tough & very expensive to score C’s tickets during the KG/PP/RA years. Opening Night vs Miami, two Finals, Banner raising night, and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I would have rather spent my money on, but it’ll be nice if it’s a bit easier & less expensive to get tickets this year.
The Celtics have made the playoffs each of the last six seasons and ranked 10th leaguewide in attendance a year ago, selling out all 40 home dates with an average of 18,624 fans per game. During a 24-win campaign in 2006-07 — the season before Garnett and Ray Allen were acquired — the Celtics ranked 20th and averaged about 2,000 fewer fans per game. Season ticket-holders had to make the decision whether to renew before the 2013 playoffs began and before the moves of the past two weeks.
“I was on the fence until renewal day,” said Bill Zeoli, 47, who said he bought season tickets from his car when the Garnett trade was announced in 2007. “I actually asked some people for their thoughts and they said it’s still a good take on a Friday night. That, and the fact that I can resell them on a league-approved resale website.
Celtics president Rich Gotham says the team is nowhere near panic button level as far as season ticket sales/renewal goes. Some of the resellers, such as ACE Ticket, however are not quite as confident.
According to team president Rich Gotham, season-ticket retention is a little above 90 percent at present, which is down from 95 percent the season before. During the 2006-07 season, the season-ticket base was roughly 6,500, but ballooned to more than 13,000 before being capped to allow for single-game and 10-game packaged tickets to be sold when Garnett and Allen came aboard, according to team management.
Gotham doesn’t see those numbers taking a major hit even with a roster in flux.
“The last couple of seasons, even though we’ve had success, I think people could kind of see the writing on the wall that change would be coming,” said Gotham. “I think fans accept that and I think they expected it to happen this offseason.”
Diehard fans in any sport are going to return to the seats, but retaining the average fan looking for a night out will be the issue, according to Jim Holzman, the CEO and founder of Ace Tickets. Holzman said some playoff tickets on his website went for thousands and even upwards of $10,000 for courtside seats at times during the Celtics playoff runs.
But he is expecting there will be nights ahead when fans searching on his site will be able to buy tickets for face value or even lower. The early plan, he said, is to keep supplying the tickets at any price, as a quick turnaround by the Celtics organization could trend the ticket prices upward if the team is back in the winning column.
“Historically we’ve seen ebbs and flows with the Celtics for the last 30 years that I’ve been doing this,” Holzman said. “It’s really early, seats aren’t even out. . . . It’s really early in the process.”
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston-Olynyk Eyes Future With Stevens | MWDN-Can’t Help But Root For Stevens | Herald- Wyc: For The Record Doc Left Us, Period|Wyc Has Faith In C’s Evolution|Notebook: Fab Melo Excited For New Shot|Teaching Point| MassLive.com- Brad Stevens And The Analytics Movement| USA Today- NBA Free Agent Diary|