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#1 DeadlySwarm Posted 29 November 2018 - 06:56 PM

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 I am a from Texas and a fan of the Hornets so I can not say much about the city of Charlotte and surrounding areas. However when I first became a fan it was the year Charlotte got a basketball team. I was excited about expansion and followed the team mostly on the radio I had that picked up Hornets radio broadcast. Ocassionally I would catch a game on cable tv. It was so cool to support the Hornets. The fans were loud and proud and it didn't seem to matter who the team played. The place was always packed. Also the team uniforms were among the most sold of any in the NBA. Here in Texas it was nothing to find another fan wearing a Hornets uniform and or showcasing other Hornets merchandise.

I realize that time changes everything and the newness of having the Hornets represent the city of Charlotte and the state of Carolina would for sure die down.

 

   With the original Hornets leaving to NOLA I could understand the feelings that led to a big drop off of fans once the city got back an NBA franchise. However the city obviously did all that was needed to bring the NBA back to Charlotte so I still find the lack of enthusiasm hard to understand. The Bobcats were a team that had some good moments and it's own identity in Charlotte and yet it felt that the Bobcats did not belong in Charlotte. Then there seemed to be a resurgence of enthusiasm in Charlotte and all of Carolina in bringing back the name and history of the Hornets while retiring the Bobcats. Now the Hornets have an established and dedicated owner in  Michael Jordan. Michael has had some struggles getting the Hornets to become an established playoff contender but at this exact point in time we have a team with some promising young talent that seems to be headed in the right direction. Most of the time they play hard and that has lead them to a respectable record. I see light at the end of the tunnel and find the future looking bright. I read recently that the Hornets are rated 27nth in the NBA among fan attendance. That sucks and just won't cut it. I guess the team will have to make the playoffs as a top  seed and at least advance past the first round to regain Hornets mania. I have seen a few games this season and from my eyes view it seems there are more fans in the arena than the stats seem to state that there are. So who knows what gives. I have noticed the energy level does not come close to matching the energy of the early years. That sucks and needs to get better.

 

I was happy for the Golden State Warriors fans when the Warriors became legit not too long ago. That organization suffered years of great fan turnout and energy while the team mostly struggled. Another city that had among the best fans is the Seattle Supersonics. It really sucked seeing them taken and relocated to OKC. However OKC fans have done well with their support of the now Thunder. I could mention some other cities that have similar energy and support like the Hornets once did but I will end this by saying I hope the Hornets fans will again rise to the loud and proud and second to none fans that they had. People wanted the Hornets back and they now have that so a little more enthusiasm shouldn't be too hard.    

 

 


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#2 cltblkhscoach Posted 29 November 2018 - 08:28 PM

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Lot of transplants here since 1988. So yes, Charlotte has changed a TON. Nothing is ever like the first time. When they left, there were maybe 10,000 in the coliseum in the 2nd round of the playoffs in 2002 against New Jersey. I was one of them.

The George Shinn scandal killed the original Hornets. If they won that 2001 2nd round series against Milwaukee though, I dont think they leave in all honesty. The Eastern Finals against Iverson and Philly would have had this city on fire and I think things could have been forgiven.

The Hornets to get to the Top 15 in attendance need to win. The city supports a winner, we have seen that with the Panthers. And consistent winning, a one off year of 48 wins isnt going to bring back 1988. The base is strong, but to move up the casual fans have to get on board. Winning is the only thing to do that in this market now.

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#3 Adam42R Posted 29 November 2018 - 09:50 PM

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It's remarkable to think that we add the Spectrum Center packed fully to Charlotte's population every year now :)  I think most things fell apart around the greater divorce of Charlotte from Shinn before the departure. That patina wore off and I know that I went from a guy that wanted to go to games to largely not giving a flip.  By the time the team was in the throws of the move, it had come after a complete shitshow of unbelievably bad community moves that fell one after another after another and never seemed to hit bottom just made the final throws more of a GTFO than Oh please don't go!  I think that's why the rocky start with Bob Johnson was more like oh shit, not again rather than welcome!  But to me, while I felt the Shinn/Woolridge stuff was done manipulatively out of the book of what they could get away with, Johnson's was more just incredibly tone deaf and unaware of the optics. So to me, there's many different camps around why the Bobcats were not welcomed and truth be told, they were downright hard to be able to view in the first year or two.  I don't mean unwatchable, but nearly untelevised (or just to a small set).  And so you have folks that were not tuned in because they sucked, those that didn't because they didn't even know we had a team, those still pissed off at Shinn/Woolridge's moving trucks, those pissed that they did try tune in and we were so so inept, and this large group that were pissed that we built an arena despite a public referendum failing to fund it (though that was a bit more murky than some make it out in hindsight imo).  

 

I personally don't think we'll ever get back to 1988 attendance percentages and I am ok with that. I don't think there's any realistic threat that we'll lose the team but in a selfish way, that we don't have a 20 year wait list means that my tickets don't spike 20% per year.  I found a chart for average ticket prices in the NBA in 2012-13 when the Knicks were king at an average ticket price of $123.  At that time, just 2012-13, Golden State's average ticket was $35.70, a whopping $6.50 greater than our average tickets (cheapest then in the NBA).  Today, that success and multiple MVPs and Larry O'Briens has the Warriors with the highest AVERAGE ticket price of $322.  I don't know that the success has a overflow effect down to us. Or moreso, I am totally happy if we never hit "that" kind of success here but there's a ton of successes that would keep me happy for years - just making the Conference Finals would be tremendous and would likely get you a few years worth of near sellouts (and only double our ST prices :)).


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#4 Hornets686 Posted 29 November 2018 - 10:55 PM

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If they only had a legit SG that could have guarded Ray Allen! Or if David Wesley was taller! Or if Bobby Phills never crashed!

Lot of transplants here since 1988. So yes, Charlotte has changed a TON. Nothing is ever like the first time. When they left, there were maybe 10,000 in the coliseum in the 2nd round of the playoffs in 2002 against New Jersey. I was one of them.

The George Shinn scandal killed the original Hornets. If they won that 2001 2nd round series against Milwaukee though, I dont think they leave in all honesty. The Eastern Finals against Iverson and Philly would have had this city on fire and I think things could have been forgiven.

The Hornets to get to the Top 15 in attendance need to win. The city supports a winner, we have seen that with the Panthers. And consistent winning, a one off year of 48 wins isnt going to bring back 1988. The base is strong, but to move up the casual fans have to get on board. Winning is the only thing to do that in this market now.


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#5 DeadlySwarm Posted 29 November 2018 - 10:55 PM

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Thanks for the feedback fellas. Enjoyed reading both your takes and see good reasoning in all of your comments.


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#6 spaceshoes Posted 29 November 2018 - 11:39 PM

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One of the things that happened too was the Panthers. When the Hornets first came, they were the king of the Queen City. Then the Panthers came in town. The Hornets leave with all the drama mentioned. Meanwhile, the Panthers get good. Football is a bigger sport in the South, so when basketball returns, it is immediately second fiddle. Hornets won't even be on some people's radar until January.
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#7 GeraldWallaceMVP Posted 30 November 2018 - 08:27 AM

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I just think Hornets culture doesn’t run deep in Charlotte but it can obviously change. In my college I’d say maybe 35% of people who are NBA fans are Hornets fans. When you ask them why it’s always “because the Hornets suck.” Winning cures everything though you see it with the Panthers. When we’re good everyone’s a Panthers fan and people are telling everyone that Cam is an elite QB. When we’re not it’s Cam sucks and you will hardly see a Panthers jersey for miles.


Id look back at the way the city supported the Hornets in the playoffs against the Heat as what we could be, I think that series could’ve been a major turning point for this franchise if it won. The whole city was pretty much tuned in and behind the Hornets for the first time in over ten plus years.
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#8 cltblkhscoach Posted 30 November 2018 - 09:43 AM

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Charlotte always supports in the playoffs, but for regular attendance to improve in the regular season, consistent winning is the only thing that will bring some semblance of the Hive back. Jordan's goal of a Top 4 seed in the East consistently supports bringing that back, and they know it. 

 

If this team ever had a season like Atlanta did a couple years ago winning 60 games and making the Eastern Finals, you would see a groundswell of support. They need that one breakthrough, and then I think you can build from there. 


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#9 Mustachio Posted 30 November 2018 - 01:32 PM

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simple as that, these days. 


Into the crevasse!

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