According to Nick Faris of theScore, 23 of the NBA’s 30 teams are experiencing decreases in fan attendance. The Portland Trail Blazers, notably, are among the teams in thick of it as one of 12 teams to experience more than a 10 percent decrease in comparison to 2018-19.
Some of the reasons for that droppage — such as a global pandemic — are far more apparent. In theScore’s roundtable, they fielded observations from both Rodney Paul and Victor Matheson, sports economists from the University of Syracuse and Holy Cross respectively, as well as Alex Silverman, the Morning Consult’s sports survey data analyst. Together, they hit on a few reasons why the NBA, as well as the NHL, have struggled with ticket sales.
They were each in agreement on how some fans remain hesitant in places where vaccinations aren’t mandated. Silverman brought out one of Morning Consult’s surveys, noting that fans are much more likely to attend outdoor games as opposed to a closed-in area.
Here, there’s the chart of the Blazers’ attendance issues; they’ve seen an 11.4 percent decline since 2018-19, when they appeared in the Western Conference Finals. Though, according to ESPN’s tracking, they have averaged about 88 percent attendance during home games, where they’ve been remarkably successful at in 2021-22.
Matheson brought up an interesting point about how the year at home forced people to upgrade and improve their at-home conditions, and are now more likely to watch at home, where they don’t have to share a bathroom, pay unnecessarily for parking and concessions, among others. Paul doubled down, talking about how fans of sports discovered new hobbies and interests over that time period.
Over the rest of the article, which can be found above, the three hit on the Brooklyn Nets, the only team with more than a three percent increase in fan attendance. They also discuss the drawbacks of being a below average team particularly now, the economics, and the residual effects for if this problem remains, among much else.