The Sixers are broken.
Whether you want to blame Andrew Bynum’s lingering knee problem, or an overall lack of excitement on the court, the team hasn’t lived up to expectations this season.
Ownership sold fans the moon after the Bynum trade. Now, the best-case scenario appears to be the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
One fed-up fan, Marc Melfi, recently bought an entire row of seats (18 tickets) for $0.72 and gloated about it on Twitter. Melfi’s purchase went viral and he has a message for the Sixers.
“You hope that the point comes across to the ownership, that the way things are going and the way they are treating the fans is not acceptable,” said Melfi, admitting that the stunt was done partly as a joke. “[Sixers CEO] Adam Aron is pretty much just a hype man. You’re watching them get blown out and guys are getting hurt all the time. We got eyes. We’re not stupid. We know what’s going on.”
Aron, a master at using social media to engage fans, joked that Melfi paid too much for his four-cent seats Friday on the WIP Morning Show.
“You know, we did sell those tickets at full price,” Aron said. “So why somebody who bought those tickets from us, at full price, would turn around and resell them for four cents, is a ridiculous way to use his tickets.”
Maybe. But until the Sixers put together a lengthy winning streak, or until Bynum plays in an actual game, the frustration will continue in the stands high above the Wells Fargo Center floor.
“I recognize they are kind of in a tough position because I don’t want them to rush Bynum back, but you got to treat your fans with a certain level of respect,” Melfi said. “You can’t think they are so dumb to sell them with, ‘this team is young and exciting.’ Well, no they are not, so what is the return on the investment? There is none, and shooting confetti after games isn’t the answer. Stop trying to sucker people. Be honest.”
The Sixers’ attendance woes continued Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Despite an announced crowd of 15,048, the arena was a sea of empty, red seats. The Sixers have dropped all the way to No. 21 in the entire NBA in attendance figures, according to ESPN.
The team is drawing an average crowd of 16,210, a number that Sixers CEO Adam Aron called the sixth-biggest attendance increase in the NBA. Last year, the team ranked No. 14 (17,502) and boasted the largest increase in the league.
The Sixers don’t release information regarding attendance other than the announced attendance figures for each game, according to Lara Price, Sixers senior vice-president of business operations.