Isaac
Last year

NBL breaks opening round attendance record

The National Basketball League has smashed the record for the highest attendance for an opening round of the season.

A total of 48,820 fans watched round one of the 2018/19 season, breaking the previous record of 48,007 set in 1995. It was the third highest attendance for a round since the NBL started in 1979.
Attendances for Opening Round:

New Zealand v Brisbane - 5,157

Adelaide v Perth – 5,836

Illawarra v Melbourne – 2,688

Sydney v Adelaide – 10,761

Brisbane v Cairns – 3,196

Melbourne v NZ – 8,329

Perth v Illawarra – 12,853

Total: 48,820
Probably most important that there were big crowds in Sydney and Melbourne. Perth's a given. Hopefully Brisbane improves a bit.

Game night in NZ looked pretty dull. Can't see how Illawarra lasts with numbers like that. And incredible to think one of the all-time games had such a weak crowd.

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Greggo  
Last year

Everyone has a tendency to be negative about almost everything- so here's something I thought over the weekend- The NBL is obviously creating buzz, becoming more popular in the main stream, doing a good job of piggy backing on Australia's international bball success and LK is a god send for the league.

Yes i agree first ever is cringe worthy, I think some courts/uniforms look tacky and a few other small annoyances, but I'm pretty excited about how bball in Australia is going.

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Vodka 63  
Last year

It will be very interesting to see what happens to numbers in Perth over the next few weeks with tip off at noon on a Saturday

Reply #708814 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Brisbane was a sell out, although lots of empty seats.

Reply #708816 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Sellout... empty seats...How does that work?

Reply #708819 | Report this post


Jasmine  
Last year

Tickets be sold but some ticket-holders be no-show.

Reply #708824 | Report this post


Jasmine  
Last year

Or some tickets be given away for free but some ticket-holders be no show.

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Anonymous  
Last year

How small is the Brisbane stadium? 4000?

Reply #708827 | Report this post


PeterJohn  
Last year

that's a pretty good result. Haven't yet checked how many games were played in 1995 opening round but I reckon it'd be more than 7.

So well done NBL. The leadup to the season was good, with lots of positive announcements, promotion of NBA games and even decent press coverage of pre-season games. There was a real sense of visible buildup and excitement leading into the season this year, on tv and in the media generally.

Let's hope the crowds keep coming back and bring their friends. The quadruple overtime was fantastic and maybe *that* will get a few more in the crowd at the next Hawks' game.

Some people have posted that quality might have dropped, based on that first round. I only saw Adelaide-Sydney and thought it was very entertaining. Alley-oops, athletic drives and dunks (or almost dunks in the case of Bowen's effort), blocked shots, fast pace and fairly steady flow of scoring. Then again, I did fast forward through time-outs and free throws, so that may have affected my impressions.

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UseTaHoop  
Last year

ADELAide home crowd down on some games from last couple of seasons too.

The smaller venues (Ill, Cairns, Bris) really need to be mostly full to add to atmosphere.



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ME  
Last year

Yeah there's a bit of hyperbole in the numbers and the way they're boasted about, but to be fair, the second highest season was 1995 and there were nine games in that round.

Illawarra and Brisbane's attendance were flat out garbage and are nothing to celebrate. But I assume in 1995 a few of the teams were going that way as well.

And yes, some courts and uniforms look tacky. The NBL actually needs to give effort to this area. It is not enough to say the talent is good (and I'd argue it isn't as good as last year). This is a visual medium. It has to be attractive, or at least inoffensive to the optic nerve. But we have multiple stadiums, courts, camera angles and uniforms which have no place in professional basketball STILL.

The NBL does a lot of things very well but they still seem oblivious to the obvious and easy fixes they could make. Some color in the keys please? Maybe something on the court that denotes the home team? Not forcing every away team to wear white? Camera angles that don't give the view equivalent of bronze seating? All of this would be cheaper to do than sending teams to play against the NBA, and arguably more effective in the long run when it comes to people actually watching the game.

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ME  
Last year

"Some people have posted that quality might have dropped, based on that first round. I only saw Adelaide-Sydney and thought it was very entertaining. Alley-oops, athletic drives and dunks (or almost dunks in the case of Bowen's effort), blocked shots, fast pace and fairly steady flow of scoring. Then again, I did fast forward through time-outs and free throws, so that may have affected my impressions."

Adelaide vs. Sydney and Melbourne vs. Illawarra were very good games, but the rest I probably could have slept on. There is a noticeable lack of athleticism for most teams in the league and it will make for an uglier product than we had last year.

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D2.0  
Last year

Not sure that an increase of 1.67& equates to "smashing."

I'd also say that there is more cause for alarm that anything else. That the Hawks and Bullets can only get 3k to their opening game is pathetic and must be worrying

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Hogwash  
Last year

Good point Dazz.
Brisbane's crowd figures are just as concerning as Illawarra's especially after they were let back into the league.

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Anonymous  
Last year

Pretty sure a lot of the venues are counting members + tickets sold, rather than the number of people in the building.

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Anonymous  
Last year

I think BCEC holds about 3600, maybe a bit more with the seats at the scoreboard end also.

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Anonymous  
Last year

Was Sydney selling walk-up tickets on Saturday? In the stadium it appeared every section was full (especially in the upper bowl), it is surprising they hadn't opened up more of the upper bowl for ticket sales.

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paul  
Last year

What's remarkable about this is the two smallest drawing teams had home games yet they still averaged just a tick under 7000 (the league record for average attendance in a season is something like 6400) and had the third largest round attendance in league history.

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MACDUB  
Last year

In 1995, I suspect people kept coming back/more people came the next week. i.e. numbers didn't head south after the first week. I'm speaking anecdotally here but I feel like in 1995, going to the game was a traditional thing.

The challenge for this year's NBL (as with any season recently) is making sure those numbers stay constant from week to week or increase. That will be interesting to see.

Breakers 5100 on Thursday is really concerning - Breakers didn't move from NSEC to Spark Arena for the sake of getting 900 more people. SA costs would blow the viability out of the water.

My personal view is that I fear the Breakers won't be around in 5 years. People may think that's a dramatic view but I've seen NZ teams come and go - it's a more challenging market than Australia IMO - and were struggling.

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LV  
Last year

This seems to be due to the Bogut factor in Sydney.

7 home games in one round. Sydney was the only one that was particularly impressive.

Melbourne's crowd isn't anything to rave about- opening day and raising the championship banner, but only 100 odd people above last year's average.

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Camel 31  
Last year

5836 in adelaide = probably about break even , approximately.....

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Anonymous  
Last year

"Pretty sure a lot of the venues are counting members + tickets sold, rather than the number of people in the building."

That has always been the case. Inventing numbers has always been the case to.

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NBL Fan  
Last year

Yes Brisbane was sold-out so there's nothing much more they could do.

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Isaac  
Last year

The NBL does a lot of things very well but they still seem oblivious to the obvious and easy fixes they could make. Some color in the keys please? Maybe something on the court that denotes the home team? Not forcing every away team to wear white? Camera angles that don't give the view equivalent of bronze seating? All of this would be cheaper to do than sending teams to play against the NBA, and arguably more effective in the long run when it comes to people actually watching the game.
Sure, but a counterpoint is that we've had coloured keys and so on in the past and things hardly boomed. People don't discover the game because there's a coloured key. The people with huge money on the line think the NBA games, and teams in particular markets, are really important and I don't blame them.

That's not to say they couldn't achieve the cheaper things as well.

I've always laughed that when the Sixers win, in the absence of something to complain about, people will pick on cheerleaders or something minor. What have we had this round? First Ever ads, Hungry Jacks ad, game entertainment, white singlets, FTA in SD, crowd chants and courts, and a great comment of "The Breakers jerseys aren't blue, they're cyan." League is doing pretty well if those are the points of criticism.

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ME  
Last year

I think we've also had the athleticism of imports drawn into question, losing many of the league's marquee players (the Rotnei Clarkes, Prathers, etc) among other things. I realize all that stuff sounds like nit picking but all these things do detract from the potential of the product.

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KET  
Last year

A forum naturally draws the little details into discussion. Especially the first week.

It's a little hard to understand the reasoning behind white away singlets, surely it's an easy improvement and not that expensive to have coloured away singlets too.

The court, revenue is understandable so the logos are going to be there it's a "good problem" to have. Any way they can make the court look a bit more "home team" like without becoming messier would make for a polished product.

Bullets the NBL needs to work hard to get that attendance up, Illawarra if they keep this up won't be sustainable in a high quality and therefore high salaried NBL.

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Anonymous  
Last year

"I've always laughed that when the Sixers win, in the absence of something to complain about, people will pick on cheerleaders or something minor. What have we had this round? First Ever ads, Hungry Jacks ad, game entertainment, white singlets, FTA in SD, crowd chants and courts, and a great comment of "The Breakers jerseys aren't blue, they're cyan." League is doing pretty well if those are the points of criticism."


all of those pale into insignificance compared to the wildcats game clashing with some home opens though. sorry 36ers fans but your first world problems have been outdone.

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Isaac  
Last year

I think we've also had the athleticism of imports drawn into question, losing many of the league's marquee players (the Rotnei Clarkes, Prathers, etc) among other things.
But added Trimble, Long, Wiley. Kennedy could be fine. Richard had moments in Melbourne. Even complementary guys like White have started well.

In terms of marquees, Bogut is here and started pretty well. Bairstow back playing. Randle, Cotton, Ware and Boone still here.

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Anonymous  
Last year

NBL looking much better these days! Good work LK

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Jack Toft  
Last year

Great attendance with the average crowd just under 7,000.

Illawarra fans were given a treat and hopefully they can market that for their next home game to lift that crowd level. That should be a marketing dream and i98 and WIN should be hit from all sides.
Sydney have two on the road in R2, but would need to secure at least 1-1 to build momentum to show that first crowd wasn't there for the novelty factor.

I would expect R2 crowds to be pretty decent as well:

Adelaide-Sydney: Who doesn't want to see the Bogey man? Should see another +5,000 crowd even on a Friday night
Perth-Brisbane: Another good crowd should see Perth 3-0. What crazy Perth fan wouldn't go? (OK, I probably don't need the oxymoron of crazy Perth fan, just Perth fan)
New Zealand-Sydney: That should get some attention.
Melbourne-Adelaide: Should be another 8,000
Cairns-Illawarra: Probably only get 3,000, but that's good for a 5,300 seat stadium.

Don't be surprised if the average is around 6,500. I know I'll be going to the game, even if it is just so I don't see those "First Ever" adverts on Fox.....

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Luuuc  
Last year

I know I'll be going to the game, even if it is just so I don't see those "First Ever" adverts on Fox.....

That LK... he's even smarter than I thought!

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paul  
Last year

"In 1995, I suspect people kept coming back/more people came the next week. i.e. numbers didn't head south after the first week. I'm speaking anecdotally here but I feel like in 1995, going to the game was a traditional thing."

Last year the average attendance was the highest it's ever been in the NBL's history, and crowds grew throughout the season in a lot of places.

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koberulz  
Last year

But MACDUB is right, this year round two attendance thus far has been almost 50,000 people lower than round one.

I've always laughed that when the Sixers win, in the absence of something to complain about, people will pick on cheerleaders or something minor. What have we had this round? First Ever ads, Hungry Jacks ad, game entertainment, white singlets, FTA in SD, crowd chants and courts, and a great comment of "The Breakers jerseys aren't blue, they're cyan."
You missed "we need to sack DeLeon."

FWIW the First Ever ads were annoying the shit out of me by the end of the first commercial break of the NZ game to start the round, so hardly an "Adelaide needs to complain about something" issue. And my comment about jersey colours wasn't even a complaint!

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Anonymous  
Last year

"BUT THEY'RE CYAN" in a *LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE* tone

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UseTaHoop  
Last year

NBL is getting more traction in mainstream media than ever before.

The mainstream media is now more centralised than it's ever been. In the 80s and 90s, all capital cities had their own tv news broadcasts. How many news boroadcasts are made from Adelaide now? I think Channel 10 started going from Melbourne when they had George Donikian (sp?). Brisbane still seems to be local-sourced. Maybe LK should try to get Wally Lewis to visit a Bullets training or event to plug games.

This more centralised nature means it's harder for an individual team to grow their media profile independently of the league.

Anyway, I’m waiting to see the average crowds over the first month. That will give us a better idea.

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