The New York Knicks may be in the midst of a miserable NBA season, but that doesn’t seem to have fans avoiding their games at Madison Square Garden.
Indeed, the story this season for the Knicks may be how the team still draws well at Madison Square Garden despite the team’s terrible record and seeming lack of hope for next season as well. The team officially sells out every game — some 19,812 fans per game, good for fourth in the NBA and the same as the 2013-2014 season — and have registered 177 consecutive sellouts. How does such a poor-performing team still attract the fans? Two reason: Madison Square Garden is still the hot place to be seen in Manhattan, and Garden officials have worked awfully hard to upgrade the fan experience in recent years. From The New York Times:
The celebrity buzz continues, with, a Garden spokesman said, Taylor Swift, Dustin Hoffman, Edie Falco, John McEnroe, Tom Hanks, Chris Rock, Emmy Rossum, Howard Stern, Cedric the Entertainer and Odell Beckham Jr. among those who have shown up this season. An occasional presence on celebrity row who was there on Friday, the singer Phil Collins, said he was not frustrated by the Knicks’ poor first half.
“I know what it’s like to have some good ones and bad ones,” Collins said. “Sometimes, a changeover takes some time to execute.”…
The Knicks still have enough fans to keep the Garden packed, even in a miserable season that looks as if it can only get worse.
Signing Phil Jackson to overhaul the Knicks roster was a financially savvy move: it kept hardcore fans interested, even if TV ratings this season are down. Whether the poor on-court record will eat into gate revenues is a big question: the Garden will always be the place to be for many.