THe Cavs have one of the greatest players on the planet. They have ventured far into the NBA Playoffs the past couple of seasons, including a trip to the NBA Finals. For all that success, give Dan Gilbert credit for one thing - the price of tickets hasn't risen along with the talent level and the success of the team.
According to a report, the Cavs average ticket price - $55.95 - is 11th in the NBA, falling close to the league average of $49.47. Not bad for a team that might possess the biggest draw in the game.
The problem, however, is the ecomomy is bad, especially in Northeast Ohio. Even with ticket prices that most would call down right cheap by NBA standards, and all the hooplah surrounding the team, tonight's home opener against Charlotte is not a sell out. Cleveland sports fans just don't have the money to spread around.
Cleveland will always be, first and foremost, a football town. If given the choice, Clevelanders will go to see the Browns play before the Cavs, even if the Cavs are closer to Championskip contention.
Jon Greenberg, Executive Editor of Team Marketing Report, the firm that tracks fan costs for the NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball, was surprised where the Cavs fell in the list -
"With LeBron, they're still a big ticket. They're a premier draw on the road," he said. "If they actually win a title, I think things would be different."
Perhaps, but would the fans come?
The firm also looks at something called the "Fan Cost Index", the total cost of a family of 4 to attend a game when taking into account parking, souveniers and concessions. For the Cavs, that figure is $294, compared to $292 league-wide and as much as $480 to catch a Lakers game.
The result is the Cavaliers are a solid value, when compared to other teams in the NBA.