Are we witnessing the first real signs of a drop in attendance for the NBA?
Take a look closely at this snapshot from the TNT telecast of last week’s contest between the Golden State Warriors against the Houston Rockets.
A closeup of the picture shows several empty seats close to the court, including a block of 11 near the basket. Not visible in the picture, there were also a block of three empty seats in a row to the right of the visible basket. Several empty seats appear in the first few rows.
Now, yes not every game sells out, but the Houston Rockets currently have a stated home attendance rate of over 98%. A visible amount of empty seats may be indicative of an attendance issue.
The time on the clock was with 1:44 left in the first quarter. Usually it takes a few minutes after the quarter starts for the fans to make their way to their seats. Also, consider the game. These aren’t the Pacers on a Tuesday night. The Golden State Warriors are the defending champs and the reigning juggernaut of the league. The game featured a laundry list of stars including Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, James Harden and Chris Paul. Even with Kevin Durant out for the game, there was no lack of starpower in Houston. This was a nationally televised game between the #1 and #2 teams in the Western Conference, one that was highly anticipated, and rightfully so.
While the sight of that many empty seats in Houston for a marquee match-up could be a mere nothingburger. Or, it could be indicative of a greater trend. Are NBA fans becoming fed up with players incessant anti-Trump chatter? Are they tuning out because some stars heartily embrace social justice? Or because some iconic players display anti-White tendencies?
It will be interesting to see if the NBA will capitalize on the recent fan exodus from the NFL, or stupidly make the same mistakes and follow them to their eventual collapse.