What were Hornets Fans Doing Saturday?


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by Alejandro de los Rios

fans at the gates

Perhaps the better question is what the fans are going to do tomorrow.

This is a couple of days late, but it was lost in all the news surrounding the Hornets Game 1 victory. Deservedly so, because the game is played on the court and all credit and blame for its outcome falls on the players and coaches participating. But say the game was played in the seats and teams judged solely on their fans, can you guess where the New Orleans Hornets would be?

Dead last.

Here are the attendance numbers of all eight first-round openers (UPDATE: Because I wasn't familiar with the NBA's nonsensical seeding system, I had put down the numbers for Utah's arena when the series is being played in Houston. Apologies):

Detroit - 22,076

Cleveland - 20,562

Los Angeles - 18,997

San Antonio - 18,797

Boston 18,624

Utah Jazz Houston - 18,213

Orlando - 17,519

New Orleans - 17,446

Of course, New Orleans isn't benefited by also having one of the smallest stadiums in the league — 17,956 regularly and 18,500 including obstructed-view seats and standing room only — but even taking that into account, the Hornets didn't fare well. Check out how all the teams did based on their percentages of fans at games:

San Antonio - 101%

Detroit - 100%

Cleveland - 100%

Boston - 100%

Los Angeles - 99.6%

Houston - 99.5%

New Orleans - 97%

Orlando - 94.7%

Utah Jazz - 91%

Now, I hate to nitpick, 17,446 is a lot of people (and I did say at the time that it was loud in there), but the Hornets drew 18,280 against the Celtics a month ago. Moreover, the Hornets had announced that Game 1 was actually sold out, meaning people had tickets but still decided not to go.

Maybe people were thrown off by the early start time or maybe people bought into the negative hype. But really, is it too much to ask to at least meet the regular seating capacity for a playoff game?

Let's see what happens in Game 2 (tomorrow at 6 p.m.) and if people have better things to do on a Tuesday night.


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