Thunder Insider: OKC ranks high in ticket sales, lower in filled seats
MIKE BALDWIN •
Published: August 10, 2009
/articleid/3391661/1/pictures/642827"> Oklahoma City ranks high in ticket sales, but is lower in actual attendance. PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN
Last season, the Thunder generated $46.0 million, an average of $1.12 million per game.
"I wouldn’t call them a savior,” Jim Grinstead, publisher of Revenues from Sports Values magazine, was quoted by CBSSports.com. "But I would say (Oklahoma City) made this (past) year a lot better for the league than it would have been otherwise.”
OKC’s league-best $27.2 million increase at the gate offset huge ticket revenue losses in Toronto (down $9.1 million), Detroit ($7.7 million), the Los Angeles Clippers ($6.8 million) and Miami ($5.3 million).
Fans, for some reason, are enamored by attendance figures. That’s why two months before the 2009-10 season begins, Thunder fans need to be forewarned that Oklahoma City is guaranteed to fall in most attendance categories.
With loge seating added on both ends, Ford Center capacity will be reduced to 18,203, nearly 1,000 less seats than last season.
Even if the Thunder sold out all 41 home games, it can’t match last year’s attendance total.
It will be impossible for Oklahoma City to rank in the top 15 in the customary "overall” attendance charts.
But with more weekend games, and an expected improvement in the standings, one attendance stat should improve — percentage of seats filled.