Halifax Rainmen owner Andre Levingston says he won’t be satisfied until he sells out the Metro Centre. But he can’t hide his happiness with the franchise’s rising attendance.
With just two home games left in their second season, the Rainmen are averaging crowds of 2,811. That’s an increase of 1,000 fans per game — more than a 55 per cent jump — from their inaugural campaign, when they averaged 1,811.
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“It’s definitely a good sign, a step in the right direction,” says Levingston. “We want to keep building on what we’re doing and the way we do that is winning games.”
It’s important to note Halifax’s totals have the benefit of two buy-one-get-one-free promotions and a $5 kids’ night, as well as the detriment of a winter storm and a Thursday game.
The Premier Basketball League did not respond to numerous requests from Metro Halifax over the past two weeks for attendance figures, nor did it give a reason for the lack of data. It is not clear if the PBL even tracks it.
But various reports indicate the Rainmen could be second to the defending champion Rochester RazorSharks in the 13-team circuit. The RazorSharks average 4,265 a night.
The Rainmen’s current average attendance would rank them seventh in the 16-team NBA D-League.
“A lot of it has to do with the quality of the league, the quality of the basketball and the quality of the entertainment,” Levingston says. “It’s great entertainment for your dollar.”
The Rainmen have generated plenty of buzz this season, but now face a big challenge with no home games until March 22 — a full 30 days away from the Metro Centre. Levingston says he isn’t worried the team will lose momentum.
“We just have to do a lot of things in the community and keep our name out there,” Levingston says.
Levingston says the Rainmen are taking a long look at offering permanent promotions to draw in fans, and $5 kids’ tickets is something they’ll “potentially stick with.”