November 17, 2009: The New Jersey Nets, which this season have already offered jerseys from opposing players and are making players available for bar mitzvahs and other fan functions, offered free tickets to a game to stem eroding attendance figures and to get fans riled up to support the 0-10 team.
According to the Nets, the team is "asking fans to rally behind them for their first win of the season" by attending the home game at the Izod Center against the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 17. The Nets reached 0-10 Nov. 14 when Dwyane Wade hit a buzzer-beater three-point shot to give the Miami Heat an 81-80 win.
The Nets did not come through, losing to the Pacers, 91-83. Fans did not seem to rally around the team's plea to fill Izod Center, either, as an announced attendance of 11,332 was on hand to see New Jersey remain the NBA's last winless team this season. That was several thousand less than the team has been averaging for home games in 2009.
The "10 Is Enough" promotion was offering to each season ticket holder two tickets for the game "to bring additional friends and family to produce a packed house of cheering Nets fans. For non-season ticket holders, the team is also offering the opportunity to purchase a select lower level or upper level ticket at the box office for that night’s game for just $10 while supply lasts.
"10 is Enough" was supported by local radio on WFAN and 1010 WINS and Internet on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 leading up to the game.
The Nets were averaging 14,919 per game through their first four home games, 23rd out of 30 teams, about 75% of capacity. The attendance figures have been tracking down for the Nets: 15,147 last season, 15,656 in 2007-08 and 16,925 in 2006-07, about 85% of capacity, per the NBA. The league average is about 17,500.
“Your team has played very hard this season, but with an unprecedented amount of injuries we just haven’t been able to attain a victory,” Brett Yormark, president and CEO for Nets Sports and Entertainment, said in a statement. “But even with the injuries, the entire team believes that ‘10 is Enough.’ That’s why we are asking you, our loyal fans, to rally around your team like never before at Tuesday night’s game. So bring your enthusiasm, show your support, and let’s get our first win.”
Earlier this season, New Jersey promoted a 10-game ticket plan by offering five complimentary reversible jerseys with a Nets' player on one side and one from among LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade or Kevin Garnett on the other.
Prior to the season, Yormark had a different perspective when he said in a Q&A at NJNets.com, "Our ticket sales versus this time last year are up approximately 10% in revenue. We just surpassed 1,000 new sales for full-season seats, and that’s before we head into our post-Labor Day advertising campaign. Given the economy, given the comps of other teams, we’re really pleased with where we are right now . . . For the most part, I’m pretty happy with ticket sales."
Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov is awaiting approval to buy an 80% majority stake in the Nets and a 45% stake in Barclays Center, the team's to-be-built arena in Brooklyn, NY, for $200 million. The move to Brooklyn is also waiting to clear final logistical and legal hurdles.