For years, many presumed that if Golden State ever fielded a winner, Warriors fans who were loyal through lean years would show up in droves. Well, after one winning season, the Bay Area is doing just that.
Golden State has sold 2,900 new season tickets this summer — second only to the Sacramento Kings, who recently got new ownership and kept the franchise from moving to Seattle.
The Warriors now have 13,600 season-ticket holders, the most in franchise history and the second-largest STH base in the league. (Most teams shoot for 10,000 as a goal.)
This surge in ticket sales for Golden State is despite a 20 percent average increase in ticket prices.
“Joe (Lacob) and Peter (Guber) knew it would happen,” said Warriors president Rick Welts. “But I think they both would be hard-pressed to see it happen so quickly.”
The latest data was revealed by the NBA to the group of 30 ownership groups at the Board of Governors meetings this week in Las Vegas. Golden State’s fan support, powered by last season’s playoff run, proved to be one of the highlights of the annual review.
- Since this time last year, the Warriors have sold 4,771 season tickets, the most in the NBA.
- 92 percent of season ticket holders renewed, the fourth highest rate in the NBA. Last season, 84 percent renewed coming off Golden State’s 23-win season.
- The Warriors have sold out 38 consecutive home games, the longest streak since Oracle was expanded in 1997
- Golden State’s average home attendance last season was 19,371, fifth in the NBA behind Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Portland.
- “We’ve had a phenomenal year-long run,” Welts said. “It does show that we, over the last couple years, have put together the type of business operation Joe and Peter promised. … Joe was receiving a lot of pats on the back (at the meeting).”
The Warriors’ season-ticket success leaves the business side of the front office with a “good” problem: Golden State is running out of season tickets.
Welts said the Warriors would like to cap season-ticket sales at 15,000. That would leave some 5,000 tickets per game for group sales and those who can only afford to buy season tickets.
They are kicking around plans for a waitlist if they reach that mark and brainstorming perks for those end up on the list.
Welts said the Warriors are preparing for an even more raucous environment next season by making more investments in Oracle Arena. Last season the Warriors added a new video board and digital signage throughout the arena. This season, Welts hinted at amenity upgrades and other improvements he didn’t want to reveal.
“We aren’t just sitting and waiting for a new arena,” Welts said. “Oracle Arena is our giant beta test.”
According to a Yahoo! Sports report, the NBA is expected to release the 2013-14 schedule in August. That event usually leads to an uptick in season-ticket sales.
Interest in the Warriors is as high as its been in recent memory. The Warriors reached the playoffs for the first time in six years last season, then upset Denver in the first round and pushed San Antonio to six games. The addition of Andre Iguodala has raised the expectations for Golden State on the court.
It’s all resulting in record numbers in tickets. The Warriors fan base is turning out to be every bit as rabid as expected.
“Results like this make life better and easier,” Welts said. “This fan base is everything and more that I observed from a distance.”