With roughly 12 hours to go before tip-off of the Miami Heat’s home opener—and Lebron James’ first home game with his new team—American Airlines Arena was still not sold out.
In fact, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported (via Twitter) last night that the Heat still had “several hundred tickets left.”
Last season, the Miami Heat averaged 17,730 tickets sold per game. That ranked 15th in the NBA and represented 90.5 per cent of capacity (19,600) for American Airlines Arena. In the off-season, all the Heat did was add LeBron James and Chris Bosh, essentially becoming the New York Yankees of the NBA.
Certainly this would mean 41 sellouts for Heat home games this season, right? RIGHT?!?
Ummm, not so much. Apparently not even one of the greatest collections of basketball talent in history can get South Beachians—a legendarily lackluster fanbase—into their seats. The team recently launched initiative designed to get fans to show up on time, but at this point, they’ll be lucky to get them to show up at all.
The first thought was that maybe the Heat were holding on to some tickets to try and entice people into season-ticket sales. But a check of Ticketmaster shows that indeed there are a lot of single-game tickets still available. Below is a screengrab. Sections in blue still have tickets available. Sections in dark blue have a lot of tickets still available.
Wow. The home opener. Friday night in Miami. The first home game for James and Bosh. The first chance for the hometown folks to see what many assume will be this year’s champions.
And while the cheapest of these seats is $180, one can find even cheaper options on StubHub. As of last night, there were about 90 tickets available for less than $100 each.
LeBron James may have taken his talents to South Beach. But he apparently left his drawing power in Cleveland.
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