A while back I asked our readers to snap some shots of the games they were attending - but not of the on-court action.
No, what I was looking for was what it looked like in the arena. Sure, the teams are announcing attendance which makes it look as though things are rosy in the NBA, but are those announced numbers even close to being accurate? With the overwhelming number of digital cameras and cameraphones, there's really no excuse for the public to start being reporters.
Well, Jason Ferguson was at last Monday's Rockets-Bucks tilt in Milwaukee, and was nice enough to forward some photos to me. Bear in mind that announced attendance was 13,904, and that the Bradley Center holds 18,717, which means that the arena was supposedly 75% full. These pictures were taken during the middle of the second quarter.
First, the lower level:
Then, center court, upper deck:
Finally, the upper deck endzone:
From the looks of it, the Bradley Center's upper deck is about as populated as the surface of Mars these days.
Jason apologized for the quality of the pictures, but considering what he was paid to do this (that's nothing, in case you're wondering), I don't think it's necessary. I'm just glad someone took me up on my offer, so much thanks to Jason for the effort.
Now, does this offer irrefutable evidence that the NBA is on the verge of collapse? Of course not - even a cranky old Sonic fan such as myself wouldn't go that far.
Does this indicate that maybe the NBA is doing worse than it is letting on, and that while the Clevelands, Bostons, and LAs of the world are doing just fine, that the smaller markets are really caught in a tight spot between huge salaries and other expenses on the one side, and declining disposable income on the other?
You're darn right it does.
If you're going to be attending a game in the near future, do us a favor and pack your camera/phone with you, snap some shots, and email them to us at supersonicsoul AT hotmail DOT com. We'll be glad to post them.