Tickets Rumors

That’s an easy way to describe the Pistons’ season-ticket situation in their first season after the move downtown to Little Caesars Arena. In many ways, ticket sales have been better than expected, Pistons officials say. One of their key measures, full-season equivalents — combinations of full-season, half-season and 10-game packs — increased by 3,500, a jump that ranked third in the NBA this season. Group-ticket sales have increased 52 percent over last year, a rise that ranks second in the league.
Those numbers are encouraging signs of an impending uptick, but they belie the eye test of the scores of empty seats during Pistons home games, which have been highlighted on nationally televised games because of the bright red seats. This week, the Pistons, in a corporate partnership with Art Van Furniture, added black seat-back covers to thousands of seats in the lower bowl, easing the visual impact of having empty seats during games, but it still doesn’t fill those seats with fans. Attendance at Pistons games is a complex issue, tied to building a winning team maybe even more so than the move to the $863-million new arena in a partnership with the Red Wings. As many fans and pundits argue that the Pistons are having trouble selling out the new arena, the reality is that it’s not a new issue.
“If you look at The Palace versus (LCA), year over year, we’re up 30 percent of people in the building,” Brad Lott, senior vice president of sales for the Pistons, told The Detroit News. “That’s an amazing stat. We’ve been excited by what we’re seeing.” The Pistons’ increases in attendance rank are among the best in the NBA, jumping from 25th to 19th — behind the Philadelphia 76ers (rose from 18th to third) and Denver Nuggets (30th to 21st). Location has helped, going to a more-populated downtown center. Gameday ticket sales are up 55 percent over last season, attributed to more fans who make impromptu decisions to attend games, shown in walk-up ticket sales increasing between three and four times the 2016-17 numbers.