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not so fast
02-10-2008, 11:00 PM
Well, it is so much talk about the two problem teams of the PBL. Well I saw the Rockford Quad cities game yesterday, and the Quad Cities/
Arkansas game today. Both were well played well officiated, and both had a spike in their attendance which is good, even though there is work still to do in that area.

Certainly there is work to be done, but if 7 or 8 teams out of ten, finish the season with little on no problems, then thats pretty good in an inaugural season.

Next season should only be better.

bdaly
02-11-2008, 08:09 AM
Agreed. Eight of ten games were extremely close this weekend, which continues to speak well to the parity in this league. It's great to hear that Rockford and Quad Cities are seeing a bump at the gate, and most teams certainly need to improve in that area (who doesn't in minor league basketball). This league was setup quickly, so issues were inevitable, but they are handling them pretty well.

Wilmington, Quad Cities, Rochester, and maybe Arkansas seem to be the cream of the crop. But, as the scores indicate, I think most teams are capable of getting hot and making things interesting. I was fairly impressed with Reading when they were in Rochester, so I've been surprised with their results; it'll be interesting to see if they can turn things around.

Ken, Steelheads fan
02-11-2008, 09:25 AM
Disagreed. If you aren't drawing your best crowds and putting on your best show during the first season, then you aren't likely to do so during later seasons (when the curiousity factor wears-off and the funding wears-off as well).

LightningMan
02-11-2008, 09:35 AM
If you aren't drawing your best crowds and putting on your best show during the first season, then you aren't likely to do so during later seasons (when the curiousity factor wears-off and the funding wears-off as well).
Interesting theory, Ken, but not borne out by the facts. As far as this town is concerned, Wilmington is in its second year and the crowds are up considerably. You have to build an audience (something television seems to forget). You have to generate enthusiasm, word of mouth, and for something like this a presence in the community.

Yes, at the beginning you get some novelty effect, but you'd be a fool to expect to be new forever or build your business model around it. With each game, Wilmington sells more and more merchandise. Wilmington is building a core fan base.

To commit emotionally to a team, you have to believe that they'll be here and that games will be played. I believe most teams in the PBL are doing it right.

bdaly
02-11-2008, 09:44 AM
It's certainly a lot easier to begin with strong crowds than it is to rebound from a slow start at the gate. But, as you've illustrated, it can be done. People are weary of minor league basketball because no one does it particularly well. But, a team like Wilmington did things right in their first year, and people have caught on. I think there will be some changeover in terms of teams in the off season, but it's obviously a lot easier to recruit quality teams with some history under your belt. If the PBL continues to play its games and show an ability to manage the weak links, it'll be easier to recruit great organizations and consequently increase standards. To make this season happen, they probably had to be less selective than they'd like to be. But, from a fan perspective, almost every game is extremely competitive, and they all happen. That's a solid foundation to build upon in the minor league basketball world.

LightningMan
02-11-2008, 09:57 AM
But, a team like Wilmington did things right in their first year, and people have caught on.
Which allows me to tell the story of how I became a Sea Dawg fan in the first place. I work for one of the larger companies in this town (of which there are several). To assure there would be something of a crowd presence for their playoff game against Zeke's Orlando Aces, they gave a mess of tickets to my company and had them invite anyone who wanted to go to pick them up. Orlando put on a great game which the Dawgs won. It was a fun show. I enjoyed it so much that I followed their playoff schedule and when Rochester forfeited I purchased a ticket to the playoff game against Mississippi. I met a couple guys at both games who had been to every game and hipped me to the red, white, and blue flying circus (since I only remembered the original ABA) and to OSC. At those playoff games it was easy to find those two guys. Now, if they still come I cannot find them in the large crowds

Every week, it seems Wilmington has some kind of promotion to get butts in the seats. Plus I believe it's a standing deal where ticket prices are cut if you arrive late to the game and there are still tickets to be had. A packed house energizes the team. Good play energizes the crowd. Energized crowds buy merchandise. I bought my first Sea Dawgs hat last week (before I have even picked one up for my alma mater [Akron]).

I believe the audience building approach is the right one and I believe for more of the PBL it is working.