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October 29, 2008

Nets have plan to fan interest, turn to service to fill seats

NY Daily News
By Michael O'Keefe

The economy is souring and NJ Nets attendance historically sucks, but Bruce Ratner has a plan:

The Nets, longtime underachievers when it comes to attendance, are using a seat-filling service to draw potential ticket buyers to the Meadowlands for their home opener against Golden State on Saturday.

The team is using Play-by-Play, a New York company that fills unsold seats for sports and entertainment events, to generate leads for season-ticket sales, spokesman Barry Baum said.

Oh, and we forgot to mention that the team has just started its rebuilding in earnest (read: the team is gonna suck this year):

"We have a new team and we're trying to introduce fans in the area to our team," Baum said.

Despite playing in population-dense Northern New Jersey, the Nets have struggled to draw fans to their arena in East Rutherford. The team was 21st out of 30 NBA teams last year with 15,656 fans per game.

If you're wondering how the Nets are going to give away tickets, here's how:

Play-by-Play is a New York company that charges an annual $99 membership fee, plus an $8 processing fee. In return, members are offered almost complimentary tickets (there is a $3.50 per ticket handling fee) for Broadway shows, dance performances, concerts and ballgames - events that look better to TV and live audiences with a full house.

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NoLandGrab: We remember back in 2005, when the Nets laid claim to selling out the home opener, only to be called out on WFAN, where Mike Francesa noted, "there were so many empty seats it was a joke."

How much you wanna bet that Baum has already written the press release claiming that the 2008 home opener is "sold out?"

Posted by lumi at October 29, 2008 6:00 AM