Last week on HoopSpeak Live, Ethan Sherwood Strauss called out Philadelphia fans for not showing up to games. As, according to ESPN.com, the team had the lowest average attendance based on percentage of seating capacity, at 72%. While not last in overall attendance (25th out of 30 there), the gulfs of open seats that are easily visible at the Wachovia Center are disconcerting.
Usually, when someone bashes Philly fans, they retort with heavy doses of insults. But not in this case. I imagine most agreed with him.
This was his argument: The Philadelphia metro area has one of the largest populations in the country (4th), yet no one shows up. And there’s really no excuse for that, especially considering the team was more fun to watch last year than in the previous 5.
So what are the problems? Well, I’ll break that down in parts throughout the week. It’s complicated, to say the least. But I’ll definitely try.
However, I cannot accuse Philadelphia of a lack of fandom without revealing first that I don’t go to nearly as many games as I should. I’ve been to 2 games in the past 4 seasons. I really should go much more often, considering what I do here. But whenever I do plan on going, things always seem to get in the way. This all sounds like a big excuse – and it pretty much is one. But I have my reasons.
Finding time to go is a problem for me – during semesters I generally have a good bit of work on my plate no matter what day I go, with working and managing this blog. Spending 4+ hours going to games isn’t always going to be feasible for me. During breaks in game action at the Wells Fargo Center, I can use the bathroom, get something to eat, and… that’s pretty much it. At home, I can get some homework done, do research for posts, and also do the above things. And if I don’t have homework or posts to work on (and that’s rare), I would switch to watch one of the national TV games that is on every single day of the week, which is still more entertaining than the halftime acts.
Another factor was the timing of Sixers games. The best opportunity for me to attend a game would be during Christmas Break, since I wouldn’t be working or attending classes. But every year, the Sixers take a 3-week long trip during that break to games on the West Coast.
Finally, maybe my biggest reason for not attending games is the cost. While tickets can be found cheaply (they sell $10 tickets in certain areas, plus they can be found even cheaper on Stub-Hub), the seats that accompany those tickets are horrendous. Spending more can still result in bad seating. For example, I paid $30 for what was considered a seat in the middle of the upper deck by the Sixers. Then, we got our tickets I was the last seat in section 215 towards the corner, as seen here:
The price one can spend for a bad seat is alarming. Note that this was one experience, though, and that usually you can find a better seat for the same price. The problem here was that I had no control over where I sat, and they put me in the worst seat for the highest price possible. Add in any concession prices and possible parking if I were to do that, and I could have easily spent $60. Not worth it to me. And many others, obviously.
Though my reasons differ from most, I would love to go to more games. Life and prices sometimes get in the way. But if there is a 2011-12 season, I guarantee you I will find a way to get to a game. Because I really should go more often to support my team. Others should as well.