View Full Version : Status of league and teams in league

11-18-2007, 11:44 PM
I'm board so I thought to express my opinions on status of the league and teams in the league

Albuquerque ThunderBirds-- This team has been good on the court during there history in the dleague but the reports of a few hundred in attendance makes me think if this team isn't either bought by a pro team or turns it around that this will be there last year in Albuquerque just my opinion though.

Anaheim Arsenal-- This team struggled with attendance in its first year however from what I know about the owner I think this team will stay in Anaheim and try to work its problems out...

Austin Toro's-- property of the Spurs I think they plan on using it more to develop players because that is what they will do there, they hired former skyforce coach Mo to run the development process... This team could actually have pretty good attendance figures.

Bakersfield Jam-- This team was towards the top in attendance figures had a pretty good team on the field and seems to be knowing what they are doing... Like the name like the whole concept of the team I expect this team to call Bakersfield home for years to come....

Colorado 14ers-- I really like this team seem to have been doing everything right even in suburban Denver they drew well and had a great on the court team...

Dakota Wizards--- Great team defending champs averaged 3rd or 4th in attendance, are a house hold name in the Dakota's and seem to be one of the corner stones for the Dleague as it grows.

Fort Wayne Mad Ants--- This team I wonder about they play in a huge venue and are new Fort Wayne hasn't been a great minor league sports town in the past.... The Pistons affiliation should help this team however is a wait and see for me.. Has anybody heard how there ticket sales have been?

Idaho Stampede--- One of the cherry picked CBA teams seems to be established well and should be a long term Dleague team... Wish the Dleague would get a team or 2 in the area. The somewhat local affiliations with the Blazers and Sonics should help if the teams actually assign anybody.

Iowa Energy--- I like this team they signed Iowa legend Jeff Horner and seem to be doing things right so far... supposedly ticket sales have been good. I read that there is ownership groups in similar city sizes looking to see how they do if they make money sell tickets expect the Dleague to expand to cities like Omaha, Kansas City, Saint Louis and maybe another Iowa city.

LA Defenders--- I hate this team, first they play there home games before Laker games nobody shows up the only advantage is they can have the Dleague players available at all times.... I heard that they may move the team I sure hope they do... Have always thought that minor league teams need a minor league atmosphere.

RGV Vipers--- I really wonder this team could draw big, the CBA team sold out there first games so I either think that the Vipers attendance will either be really good or really bad...

Sioux Falls Skyforce--- Great team great organization thrived before the Isiah Thomas years and seem to have returned in the past year... led league in attendance average by near 1000 per game... affiliations may help may hurt this year... A cornerstone for the league in the future....

Tulsa 66ers--- Don't know much if any on this team.... can't even bs on this team

Utah Flash--- really like this team may lead the league in attendance or be up there rumors are they sold a ton of season tickets. Owner announced plans to build a new arena for the team....

Overall I think this years teams in the league are good... There is still some weak spots but overall the league is strong... I hope they continue to grow and don't get tempted to go to the Northeast (it just won't work) and continue to establish themselves in the midwest, mountain west, south, southwest and in the future the northwest....

11-19-2007, 02:58 AM
Albuquerque and Tulsa are owned by Southwest Basketball. They also own the Fort Worth franchise that may move to Reno next season and just sold the Toros to the Spurs. Their MO seemed to be to try to run teams on the cheap in underutilized venues with low rents. It seems to have worked in Austin, Tulsa and Albuquerque but not in Fort Worth. Both the 66ers and T-Birds might benefit from playing in the newer venues in their towns, but they might also be more expensive.

Anaheim's attendance has been dismal, but they seem to have enough sponsorships to not worry about it for a little while.

Austin. Well, hopefully the Spurs' purchase will be a shot in the arm to raise attendance above a break even level. The Spurs really didn't change anything in the front office or seem to have put the marketing muscle of SS&E behind any new campaigns. The basketball operations side has grown enormously however. Part of me thinks that the Spurs see the Toros as a nice beachhead in the Austin area, but another part thinks they don't care all that much and could just as soon have the Toros play in the Freeman Coliseum across the breezeway from the AT&T Center. Time will tell.

Bakersfield ownership thinks they underachieved last season; they had six-figure losses. They want to stay in Bakersfield though, and got a new president to get profitable. They have a new headquarters but I don't know if it is supposed to include the practice facility they talked about building.

Colorado. From what I've seen they want to boost attendance as well.

Dakota/Sioux Falls/Idaho. I'll lump them all together because they seem to be doing fine on and off the court.

Fort Wayne. I have the same questions about the huge venue and the saturated sports market there. They extended their season ticket specials and had a second "find your seat" open house. I don't think teams that meet their sales goals have to do that.

Iowa. Reports are that the area is pretty excited about the team and ticket sales are reflecting that. Of course the Wells Fargo arena is way too big for a D-League team. The Energy would be better off playing in "The Barn" the Dragons used to play in and still exists next door. But Des Moines built the place, so I imagine they are anxious to have tenants. As long as they realize the Energy are probably going to draw pretty much like their hockey team does, they should be fine.

LA. I believe this is the final year they play games in the Staples Center. They will be moving into an 11,000 seat arena in Ontario about 40 miles up I-10. We'll get to see if fans care about them then. Regular Laker ticket holders sure haven't.

RGV - The Silverados sure did get a jump on them, but the Vipers pulled off some huge sponsorship deals that will help them as they get established. Having lived there for a time, I personally think the valley can handle two teams, just not five miles from one another. It's just another by-product of the parochial p***ing matches that go on between cities and counties down there that keep that area from reaching its full potential in just about any endeavor. I'll let you know how opening night goes.

Utah. Looks like a model that Stern would love private owners to follow -- energetic ownership with vast amounts of money literally building the team into the community and completely accommodating the needs and desires of it's main NBA affiliate. If the owners claims about ticket sales are true, some sellouts could be possible -- they may have to move the kids zone at the arena to open up more seating. Strangely enough, single game tickets aren't going on sale until later this morning.

The only teams I could see moving or shutting down after this season would be the SW Basketball teams (ABQ and Tulsa) and Anaheim, though I think those chances are fairly low. There are still a few markets in the midwest that might be able to support D-League teams, but single-affiliate and/or NBA team-owned franchises are going to be the way of the future and probably the only way to get any teams back east. I would like to see Mark Cuban buy a franchise and see what he does with it. I like the Harlem/Knicks team idea, they should start on it as soon as Dolan and Thomas have nothing to do with the team anymore.

indy legend
11-19-2007, 03:55 AM
I think another posible solid east team in adition to the Harlem/Knicks affiliation would be a team playing out of the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut affiliated with the Celtics. The WNBA team there seems to do very well and I think as big as hoop are in that state (UConn men & women) plus a Celtics tie in would make this an extremly successful franchise.

#1 T-Birds Fan
11-19-2007, 09:13 AM
Idk where you are getting your stats from jj but Bakersfield has a very low attendance. Last year, through every radio game I listen to of theres the announced attendances of 350, 600, and 550. The Thunderbirds usuallly bring out around 1-2 thousand but I agree that we definitley need a newer venue as Chump stated. I'm not just saying this because I am a T-Bird Fan but if we get a newer venue and some more affiliates assigned, more people will talk. This is the same for Tulsa,Ft.Worth,Anaheim, etc.

11-19-2007, 11:21 AM
I can speak for ABQ now by saying...yes..we need more attendance. That is the key to keeping a minor league team. The reports of 800-1000 people per game are accurate. I believe this year will be better, as they lowered the price of getting int he door to $5 instead of $9. I believe season tickets are up also. I talked with some staff, and they said that this may be the last year they are at Tingley. There is a proposed new arena set to be built downtown, which would be beneficial, and I think would draw more people. Anyone who has been to Tingley knows...it is old. This year they also added a "VIP Lounge" and from what I saw, half of those are sold out throughout the year.

I had some concerns this year when there was rumors flying that some teams may be dissolved...ultimately it was Ft. Worth and Roanoke. I was assured that Albuquerque, whilst it may not seem like it makes money, is the best money maker in all of the "Southwest Basketball" family. that was encouraging. Also, after I talked to Michael Cooper last year after the last game of the season, he said that he was not leaving, but rather he told me he will be part owner of the franchise....well that set my mind at ease. He has a vested interest in ABQ, and literally, he is the one that built the franchise...as much as we do not want to admit...people came to see him coach...he was, and still is the face of the franchise (though I think Darvin Ham will soon become the face - with his player coach role this year).

So I think the state of the ABQ Tbirds is fine, and progressing. i think once we move to a new arena, you will see attendance rise, sponsorship rise, and finally the Tbirds will move out of the shadow of the Lobos, wom we all know own this town!

11-19-2007, 01:59 PM
Put it this way... Tingley is a barn. Literally. Been there for hockey.

Idaho lies through their teeth about attendance. Funny thing is that the courtside seats IMO have kept this franchise alive- they seem to do better with corporate than with the public (who also pretty much avoids Boise State basketball). I think I gave them 2 years with NBDL, so this is year 2.

So it's no surprise that former Gonzaga player Corey Violette (a Boise native) join a couple former Broncos (Jason Ellis and the very popular Roberto Bergersen) on the current Stampede roster. We'll see.

11-19-2007, 02:29 PM
I was thinking of attendance off the top of my head but I thought the top 4 were like this
Sioux Falls

I must of been wrong... sorry about that

11-19-2007, 03:26 PM
I was thinking of attendance off the top of my head but I thought the top 4 were like this
Sioux Falls

I must of been wrong... sorry about that

Colorado was that high? I always thought they averaged around 1000-2000. I thought the top two were Sioux Falls and Dakota, respectively. Dakota is usually somewhere in between 2000 and 3500. On rare occasions they might break 4000 (Reading Wizards Night, New Year's Eve) and very rarely break 5000 (championship games). I wish the D-League would keep better track of their attendance stats. The CBA was usually pretty good about doing that. But ever since the Skyforce, Stampede, and Wizards pulled out of there, everything about that league has gone down the hole - the website, the teams, the talent, etc.

11-19-2007, 04:19 PM
Here is what was posted on a previous post.... I swear I saw an updated one with Colorado higher but who knows.

Sioux Falls....19...72,453..3,813
Fort Worth.....18...25,282..1,405
Los Angeles.....0........0......0
League Total..178..408,879..2,297

The way I look at it is that Sioux Falls and Bismark (dakota) should support there teams well again they were a little hesitant at first with the Dleague but I wouuld expect them to improve a little on there attendance.

Idaho all what I have heard is they lie on there reported figures...

Colorado should continue to grow as it becomes more well known in the community.

Anaheim same thing if they can't get people there I think they will get them to return

The rest I don't know about... SW basketball teams really make me wonder I am thinking now that they sold the Toro's that they now are going to try to run the t-birds and 66ers as cheap as possible and then try to sell them...