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September 02, 2008

Marketing officer's release fits Bobcats pattern

I'm using up my time off before training camp starts, but I wanted to chime in on the Bobcats' management shift.

1. I'm not surprised chief marketing officer Greg Economou left the franchise, but I'm not surprised when any business-side executive is let go by the Bobcats.

From the day Ed Tapscott was ousted several years ago, there's been an obvious pattern to each season: First, majority owner Bob Johnson sets revenue goals that are somewhere between optimistic and delusional. Then the staff fails to reach those goals. And then some high-ranking executive is removed in something like an off-season ritual sacrifice.

What's that expression? A sure sign of insanity is repeating the same act and expecting a different result.

2. The net effect of these changes is widening the authority of CEO Fred Whitfield. This is not surprising because of his close relationship to Michael Jordan. At this point, it's hard to hold a major role with the Bobcats without being a friend of Michael.

3. Based on the minimum of resources spent these days on marketing and community relations, the Bobcats are betting everything on basketball results as the way to sell this team to Charlotte.

That would be good news to fans if it meant spending whatever it took to reach the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. But other than hiring coach Larry Brown, there's nothing they've done to make them better than they were last season.

Posted by Observer Sports on September 2, 2008 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

Comments

When does training camp start?

Posted by: Will Parker | Sep 3, 2008 12:06:16 AM

Bobcats.com, which re-launched in Feb with a new look, is a nice way to bring in fans. They are doing a good job of introducing news and a behind-the-scenes look.

Posted by: Website | Sep 3, 2008 12:12:51 AM

The only thing they have done to make themselves better is have two former lottery picks return from injuries. If Morrison turns into half the player they thought he would be when they drafted him #3 overall (ahead of Roy and Gay) then I would argue that this team has improved. The addition of a healthy May (it would be nice to get a few updates on his rehab) will also improve rebounding and post scoring, two huge needs for the Bobcats. Plus they drafted Augustin to vill the void at backup/potential starting PG. So while they haven't gone out and signed anybody, this team should be better.

Posted by: Mason | Sep 3, 2008 9:22:15 AM

the main need for this team is low post players. not french-bread stiffs, not athletic track-stars, not nbdl potentials, not dough-boy slackers, and you all know each one of these is referencing. hell even the top paid big guy is bland. where's the change is right?

Posted by: brendan | Sep 3, 2008 9:55:23 AM

I wonder who will be canned at the end of next season? They're kinda running out of execs.

Posted by: apauldds | Sep 3, 2008 10:18:41 AM

You are right Ricky - Fred is only there because of Michael. He is OBVIOUSLY not qualified. Does he have any experience managing people? Of course not. Hard to be a president when the only experience you have is "running with MJ".

Now Higgins has to report to Whitfield? What an insult to Rod.

I imagine Economou is gone because he intimidated Whitfield. He was too smart and knew too much. It's a sad day for Charlotte.

Posted by: Crazy | Sep 3, 2008 11:37:27 AM

"You are right Ricky - Fred is only there because of Michael. He is OBVIOUSLY not qualified. Does he have any experience managing people? Of course not. Hard to be a president when the only experience you have is "running with MJ"."

I can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not, but if you are not then you are very wrong. Whitfield is a friend of Michael, but look at everything he has done. Google him or go to his bio on the Bobcats page. HE IS DEFINITELY QUALIFIED well beyond his relationship with MJ!

Posted by: Yeah? | Sep 3, 2008 11:47:37 AM

YEAH. In what way is he qualified? I just read his bio as you suggested and

1.started career at Fame - MJ's agent?

2.Player personel at Nike - MJ's shoe company. "Hi I am MJ's friend, do you want to wear Nikes?"

3.player personel for Wizards - reports to MJ? "MJ what do you want for lunch today?"

4.business affairs at Brand Jordan - MJ's company. what is business affairs? "MJ where are we going out tonight?"

5.bobcats - MJ buys part of Bobcats and brings fred as President.

How does that make him qualified?

Posted by: Crazy | Sep 3, 2008 12:04:53 PM

Rick,

Great analysis. It's always seemed like there was a revolving door within the Bobcats organization.

I really want to believe this team will be good, but Michael Jordan's history as anything but a basketball player is not good.

I think as long as he is in charge and we have a cheap/delusional owner, the cats will be stuck in mediocrity.

Posted by: worriedcatsfan | Sep 3, 2008 12:14:42 PM

I don't care who the marketing guy is he IS NOT going to be able to sell a lower bowl ticket for $150. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Nobody is going to pay that to see a losing team and sit alone because you are the only one at the game.

Posted by: Jimmy | Sep 3, 2008 12:24:03 PM

Just wanted to clarify something: I wasn't suggesting in this blog that Fred Whitfield is unqualified to do his job. My point was simply that the franchise becomes more Jordan-centric all the time.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 3, 2008 12:32:51 PM

What's with the clarification Rick? Did you get a testy call from the Bobcats?

Posted by: Slam | Sep 3, 2008 2:06:59 PM

I'm a little surprised by this move. The organization seemed to get more of the screw ups fixed while Economou was in power...TWC Arena naming rights, new logo, new uniforms to debut this season if I'm not mistaken, new TV deal...seems like he actually got some stuff done but they're obviously not going to be hitting Bob Johnson's financial "goals" while the team is only winning 30 or so games a season.

Posted by: Smitty | Sep 3, 2008 2:59:55 PM

When you take a marketing class in college the first thing the professor teaches you is to "know your market". The Bobcats market the team only to the Hip Hop/ BET crowd and then set ticket prices so high only the top level executives in town can afford a good seat. Make sense? No. The big money guys in town don't want Snoop Dog type guys sitting next to them and they surely don't want their kids around that mess. Sorry but it's the truth. Know your market! Until the Bobcats figure out who has the money in this town to buy those overpriced tickets they will fail and fail big!

Oh and a note to the new marketing guy. Do some damage control and get the "big banks" on board right away. Remember this is a banking town...know your market.

Posted by: Big Banking | Sep 3, 2008 3:08:39 PM

You set goals for a reason, if you don't meet them there are consequences. Now if you want to be fair about it, if players don't meet goals then lets fire them, and release the team from having to pay their future salary. It would be fun watching the Bobcats every night, even if they lost, because the players would play like there was no tomorrow, because if they didn't there wouldn't be! I guess thats why the NFL is so popular!

Posted by: fred_flinstone | Sep 3, 2008 3:19:51 PM

Best marketing plan? WIN!

Posted by: Bobscats | Sep 3, 2008 3:21:57 PM

(1) Oh, Bonnell...it's cute how you pretend to know things. Considering you've shown to be a complete outsider on the basketball side of operations, I highly you know any more about the more secretive inner-workings on the business side of things.

(2) In reference to some of the posts, I don't think you can have it both ways; you can't bitch and moan about the problems of the organization, then talk about the virtues of someone they got rid of. If they were such great exec's, what have you all been whining about over the past few years? And if they're not great exec's, they shouldn't be kept around.

As a side note, I've never even heard of the guy they parted ways with, and I'm a lot bigger fan of the Bobcats than most around here. It reminds me of how 99% of America had no clue about Sarah Palin two weeks ago, and now you have a bunch of idiots acting as if they're her biographical author.

(3) Whining about marketing to "hip hop?" That's soooooo 2006. I figured you racist bumpkins would have come up with a new schtick by now. You should actually attend a game so you can catch up with the times.

Posted by: Will | Sep 3, 2008 3:24:27 PM

If you want to ask Whitfield a question about the team just get to one of the local bars about 4:30pm. He will be in the corner smoking a cigar and trying to pick up girls with the rest of the MJ posse.

But I'm sure they are all talking about how to make the Bobcats better.

Posted by: MJcats | Sep 3, 2008 3:59:59 PM

Will you are funny! You must be one of MJ's guys that hang around the arena...I mean work for the Bobcats.

Posted by: Bill | Sep 3, 2008 4:08:46 PM

Greg Economou got fired because he is a white man. Plain and simple. I smell a lawsuit brewing here folks. Mark it down. You heard it here first. It is well known Bob Johnson hates having white people in the front office. Hates it! Mark it down.

Posted by: Bobscats | Sep 3, 2008 5:23:45 PM

As a small business owner I will not spend my money on the Bobcats for the following.

1. The NBA game is boring.
2. My clients are not interested in going.
3. Even if they win it will not change.

There has always been this superior attitude by Johnson and Jordan that we should do things just because they are who they are - maybe that's why they don't live here. Don't lay the blame on someone else - look in the mirror.

Posted by: Kelso | Sep 3, 2008 8:43:11 PM

I think the real problem is that the rich people, the ones who can afford to go, the ones who only go to the game to be seen and to associate, the same people who used to go to Hornet games........are now meeting on Sundays at the Panthers games instead. I think the REAL death of the Hornets and the Bobcats started once the Panthers came to town. Charlotte is now a football town.

Posted by: martymcflyy | Sep 3, 2008 9:24:47 PM

The marketing of the Bobcats has been kinda weak. I don't know if it was this guy's fault that the marketing was weak. His hands may have been tied. Nevertheless, I hope this is a good move for the organization.

Posted by: Token | Sep 4, 2008 9:38:53 AM

as for the "death" of local pro basketball, dont bye it. the panthers were at 1/3 of a full house for home games in the early part of the decade and only had ticket success after '03... BECAUSE OF WINNING. look there are people who are not rich (like myself) who go to games because they love pro hoops, not to be seen and serve clients. i still love anf follow the hornets because i loved the team regardless of where they play, still rock an alonzo mourning jersey to this day that proudly says charlotte across the teal letters. i might be one of only a few left who is in charlotte who follows the hornets to this day, but the NBA game is not boring. i also rock an emeka okafor jersey with the orange proudly saying charlotte as well. i love the return of a local team to charlotte, even when they played the 1st season in a teal seated 80's coliseum with an atari scoreboard that hardly worked most home games. i spend money on home game tickets and a jersey or two for the love of the LOCAL team and the NBA. real fans of the NBA still exist here in charlotte, i saw it when people still showed up for home games to the hornets final season and to the bobcats first season. when the team wins i am happier then when they lose. the rest of the seats fill in when the winning increases and the "entertainment crowd" shows up AFTER THE WINS. wins will come, maybe not fast enough for the people who use tickets to entertain clients and sit in skyboxes. no advertising strategy will creat more wins, but more wins will benefit anybody they put in the marketing department with the bobcats. WINS=TICKETS SOLD..... PERIOD

Posted by: brendan | Sep 4, 2008 9:51:25 AM

A lot of morons posting here...

He wasn't fired because he was white and he didn't only market the team to the "hip-hop/BET crowd" you ignorant racists.

As a white man, I'm always ashamed to read these stupid posts by the local "fans" that only complain that the team is nothing but thugs, they only market to certain groups of people, everyone that works there is black, etc. etc. etc...

Is Family Fun night, a promotion that has been going on for years at more than half the games, a scheme to market to the "BET" crowd you racist prick? I didn't think so. How about the NASCAR Night that takes place every season you bigot? Or what about Asian Night when the Rockets are in town, or any of the other theme nights that have nothing to do with either BET or hip-hop. Either get a clue before you claim such things or crawl back into your backwoods hole.

Posted by: Smitty | Sep 4, 2008 3:55:06 PM

I love going to Bobcats games. I don't care if most of the fans are "BET" folks I still love going. The security is very good about throwing "those types" out when they get all crazy. Bob Johnson is very loyal to his race and he can do whatever he wants. The bottom line is that it is a very fun night out and you get to see some of the best athletes in the world.

I think Greg Economou did a good job considering the inflated ticket prices. Bob Johnson should have started the prices low until the team built up a fan base and became a playoff team. Then raised them. Instead he started way way above what this market can handle and rubbed people the wrong way. It was a real slap in the face after the city paid for the arena.

Posted by: Andy | Sep 4, 2008 5:38:18 PM

Rick,

Did you ask Rod Higgins for a comment on how he feels to be reporting to Whitfield? He cannot be happy. I thought he came on board because he would report directly to Michael and those two would have the say on basketball moves.

Posted by: GM | Sep 4, 2008 7:39:20 PM

Bobcats need to bring in Mac Everett to clean this place up. Just like the United Way did!

Posted by: Helper | Sep 4, 2008 7:59:11 PM

Mac Everett??? That guy is the biggest extortionist in Charlotte. He gets paid "consultant" fees from so many companies to "help" and it is ridiculous.

He said that he was taking $20,000 per month from the united way because it is a full time job. Does that mean he won't take payment from Wachovia this year for the golf tournament or take consultant fees from other companies. Of course not, because he is an extortionist.

Posted by: WHAT!! | Sep 4, 2008 8:14:38 PM

This entire organization is a joke. The few season ticket holders they have should give their tickets to homeless people until their twisting your arm contracts are up.

Bob and Mike can take their black racist asses and go to Nevada.

Posted by: BJ&MJ/R/TRUE/NIGGS | Sep 4, 2008 10:33:09 PM

Why does everyone assume he was let go because of failure to do his job? This man has a long history and has worked with several teams in several sports. Maybe the NBA recommended him and he came in and did what needed to be done like changing the logo, unis, tv deal, etc. Who knows...

Posted by: joe hill | Sep 4, 2008 11:59:17 PM

Bob, Michael and Fred hate the white man but they sure love the white women.

Posted by: Bobscats | Sep 5, 2008 12:48:18 AM

Do you think Obama will follow the same hiring patterns for his staff that Bob Johnson did when he is elected president and gets full power?

Posted by: Randy Rogers | Sep 5, 2008 6:35:22 AM

This has nothing to do with Mike and more to do with the way Bob Johnson has run this team from day one. He wants a minority in EVERY position. This started from day one with the hiring of the coaches and staff and goes all the way from the team President down to the ballboys to Tone X. I like Bernie and thought he did a good job, but there were other more qualified candidates who didn't even get a shot...because they're not black. The same can be said for most of the administrative positions with the team...a concerted effort was made to fill spots with minorities. This marketing guy was one of the few white guys in the organization, and while I don't think his skin color played a part in his departure, I firmly believe that he will likely be replaced by a minority (if the position is ever filled...they got a brother doing it now...woo hoo!) regardless of who the most qualified candidate is. Bob Johnson seems to be confused; he seems to think the Bobcats are BET. Well, if the quality of the end product is to be compared, which is crap in both cases...BET's terrible production vs. the Bobcats terrible decision making, I can see why Bob is so confused. Please god, sell this team and go back to DC.

Posted by: Jeremy | Sep 5, 2008 9:28:45 AM

Did someone seriously just compare Obama to Bob Johnson? I hope that was a joke...

Posted by: Smitty | Sep 5, 2008 2:44:24 PM

Any truth to the rumors that Bob Johnson is going to start an "all black" basketball league? It's going to be call "BEB" for Black Entertainment Basketball. All black owners, all black players, all black executives, all black cheerleaders and all black spectators. No crackers allowed. I heard it is in the process and will start in 12 major US cities. If Obama doesn't get president he is going to be head of the whole league.

Posted by: Bobscats | Sep 5, 2008 7:42:41 PM

Did you know he openly endorsed Hilary, not Obama, during the Democratic primaries?

I repeat what I said earlier...some of you people, the ignorant racists, really embarrass this team/community/city/etc. I'm surprised you actually have an internet access and electricity at your homes. BTW, I hope bad and terrible things happen to you and your families...and I mean that from the heart.

Posted by: Smitty | Sep 5, 2008 8:05:07 PM

I have never attended a Bobcat game. I do think I will try and go to the game against the Charlotte Hornets.

Bob would never hire all black cheerleaders. He needs all the white girl ass he can find. That's why he and mj are so tight.

I bet Bob's ex-wife doesn't miss him, especially after that 1 Billion Dollars she received. YOU GO GIRL.

Mike had the refs in his pocket when he played. He traveled on every drive to the basket. I guess he was paying off some of the dirty refs we have been hearing about.

Bob Johnson wants to hire black management because they are cheaper, and hire white players because they are slower and will work cheaper.

Charlotte didn't want this team to start with. The mayor forced the arena to be built. I hope he loses his election.

I sat in the upper level for the NCAA's and believe me if you buy a ticket up there you need to ask for a parachute. If you slip and fall you will not stop until you hit the court.

Posted by: jason | Sep 5, 2008 8:41:47 PM

Some of people who blog on this website are simply ignorant. I stop reading the articles on this website b/c it seems Rick is actually feeding some of you guys material to spew your racist venom. Don't support this website until they clean this s#$% up.

If your a real Bobcats fan, then go to the official website at www.bobcats.com.

They posted some videos of Jason Richardson and Adam Morrison working out. Good Stuff! Adam is looking very good.

Posted by: BobcatsFan | Sep 5, 2008 11:39:16 PM

Smitty,
Not all the people on here are racist. We as fans just want to see Bob Johnson hire the best people available for the job. Not just the best available black people. That's all. We want the team to win and Bob Johnson needs to get better people in the front office even if it means hiring a white guy.

Posted by: Bobscats | Sep 6, 2008 12:44:11 AM

You little rednecks are sick little KKK'ers

Posted by: MJ | Sep 6, 2008 1:06:01 AM

I find it interesting, actually a little humorous that many posters are angry because of the racial makeup of the Bobcat's front office. I don't hear the same concern about the racial makeup of the Panther's front office. Could it be because it is as racially skewed as the Bobcat's, but on the other side of the meter? I would suggest that before some of you start throwing stones, make sure your house is not made of glass.

It doesn't matter to me what race the owner is, the front office execs are, the coaches are, the players are, the cheerleaders are (as long as they are fine), the ballboys are, or the Hype Man is (Tone X, Brotha Fred) as long as this team starts winning. When this starts happening, I'm sure I'll see you same racist Bobcat Bashers at the game pledging how you were always fans. See you soon.

Posted by: FuriousStyles | Sep 6, 2008 11:04:58 AM

Here's an interesting idea. Given the history of hiring practices in the NBA (or NFL, MLB, or just about anywhere else in this country) and that blacks have not been given the same opportunity as whites, and given that these practices have not been eradicated, and given that the majority of high level players in organized basketball (certainly professional basketball) are black, it seems to reason that there would be a huge pool of underutilized, undiscovered, and hungry aspiring black coaches and player/personnel people out there.
Hey racist idiots, what if the black coaches and execs being hired by the Bobcats were actually smarter, more experienced, and better qualified than their white counterparts? Mindblowing, huh?

Posted by: BustaCat | Sep 6, 2008 12:47:11 PM

Bobscats,
You actually say "Not all the people on here are racist. We as fans just want to see Bob Johnson hire the best people available for the job" after posting "Bob, Michael and Fred hate the white man but they sure love the white women"? It's true not all the people on here are racist, BUT YOU ARE A GENUINE BIGOT.

Posted by: BustaCat | Sep 6, 2008 12:55:53 PM

As long as Bob and Mike have anything to do with this organization it will fail.
Neither of these men know the first thing about running an nba organization.
David Stern only put Bob here because he is a rich black man. This team will not be accepted here. The sooner Bob Mike and David realize this the sooner they can move to another city.

Posted by: kevin | Sep 6, 2008 2:22:56 PM

Yes, all of these black men must be MORE than overqualified...that's why this franchise has been such a rousing success, on court and off.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Sep 6, 2008 6:08:33 PM

Why are so many people complaining about all the "BET" people at the games? You really shouldn't worry because when I went to a game they made people go through metal detectors. It's not like those dudes can bring knives and guns into the game. They might pick your pockets but just don't take a bunch of cash with you. Get a grip!

Posted by: Pat Migroine | Sep 6, 2008 8:51:43 PM

I am sitting here in Iowa reading a thread I just happened to look at. My first thought is a bunch of "PAMS" Piss and Moaners...., then I hear Morons and this also fits. This is Bob's and Mike's business. Remember 2nd sucks with these two guys.... They are the one's putting there money on the line, to enhance the life of people in the Charlotte area. They are doing this for YOU, but they also want to be successfull...This is why they are putting there money on the line...They get to call the shots just as I do in my business. Sit back let them run the business, think positive. Iowans wish we had someone who would invest money for a team here. You are the lucky ones and then you trash them. I googled whitfield.. you guys are the lucky ones to have him at the helm. Make a personal decision today to make things happen for your local team.

Posted by: Iowa Boy | Sep 8, 2008 10:52:18 AM

Yeah...LOT of money they put on the line for the arena...oh, WAIT. They didn't put ANY.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Sep 8, 2008 11:21:06 PM

Procton, you've been disappointing me with these juvenile posts. Even though I disagree with 99.9% of what you normally have to say, at least your past posts have been entertaining. But lately??? Are you sick or something? Step it up man!

To discredit your last lame statement. Bob paid $300 million for the Bobcats, which is the highest amount EVER paid for a expansion NBA franchise. I think he should be able to do whatever or hire whoever he wants to. BTW, about half of NBA areans have been financed with public funds and are owned by cities or states.

Posted by: FuriousStyles | Sep 9, 2008 8:45:48 AM

It is quite funny to see all these people complaining about Bob Johnson hiring minorities. Maybe if Bank of America and other large corporations would hire more, then Bob would not have to hire so many. I have always said that qualifications are in the eye of the beholder and unfortunately that beholder has decided not to give minorities a chance. This man has paid 300 million for an NBA franchise, so if he wants to give his people a chance with that franchise, within the context of our discimination laws, then God Bless him. I have not heard or read of a successful discrimination lawsuit yet. Therefore, there is no rational basis for these attacks of Bob Johsnon. So for all those people out there that have a problem with Mr. Johson's hiring practices, you can continue doing what you have been doing for the past four years; boycotting the team and complaining from afar.

Posted by: Adcoop | Sep 9, 2008 2:44:58 PM

It wasn't a matter of putting the money up. SEVERAL groups had the money, if that was the only question. Johnson was given the franchise specifically because he is an African-American and David Stern thought it would be good for PR. Unfortunately, however, Johnson has proven to be anything but a good steward for the franchise, on-court or off. Nearly every business decision that has been made by this team, from C-SET to ridiculously high introductory season ticket prices and three-year contracts, has been a total flop. I want the team to do well in the standings, I want the arena full (I come as often as I can get down to Charlotte/afford it), and I want the city to care about them, but until the team embraces the city at the executive level (and that includes COMING TO THE GAMES AND SPENDING TIME HERE, M&B), it's just not gonna happen.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Sep 9, 2008 3:32:11 PM

I don't care if Bob Johnson hires all African-Americans to run HIS team. That's his business. The problem I have is that it's NOT WORKING! The franchise is a mess and he needs to win back the fans.

Message to Bob. Do whatever it takes to fill the arena and create an atmosphere! The ticket prices are DOUBLE what they should be. LOWER THEM! You got too greedy so admit your mistake and make it right. Get the good seat prices back in line with market value. Lower them to where people are excited to go and don't feel completely ripped off. Hire someone in the front office that can connect with Charlotte's corporate community. YOUR CUSTOMERS. Next, get this team in the playoffs THIS YEAR! This team will be bankrupt if you have another loosing season. No more excuses! You have had plenty of time and it's now or never!

Posted by: Jimmy | Sep 9, 2008 9:22:11 PM

Ticket prices are already the second lowest in the NBA at an average of $29.10, so I don't think they're "double what they should be". Market value? Our Fan Cost Index is also second lowest in the league at $196.90 (the total price for a family of 4 to attend a game with tickets, parking, food, drinks and merchandise). Both of those numbers are well below the league averages of $48.83 per ticket and $281.90 for FCI. In comparison to our market here in Charlotte, the average Panthers ticket (which is below the NFL average) is $60.44 and their FCI is $299.16 (also below their league average). In relation to getting "seat prices back in line with market value", we're already well below the league and market averages.

"You've had plenty of time"? Let's look at teams from similar market demographics (TV size and number of pro teams). The Pacers (Indianapolis - 26th largest market/2 pro teams) were born in 1967 and have been to the Finals once. The Bucks (Milwaukee - 34th/2) were born in 1968 and won a title with Kareem in '71. The Hornets (New Orleans - 53rd/2) were born in 1988 and just won their first ever 7-game series. The Bobcats just finished season #4, have worked through the cap restrictions that the NBA places on expansion franchises, and just set franchise records at the end of last season for wins in a month, consecutive wins, consecutive road wins, and posted a winning record at home for the first time. I'm not sure "plenty of time and it's now or never" is the most accurate description of the situation here.

Posted by: Michael Thompson | Sep 10, 2008 9:39:14 AM

I just hope we get the Pistons Larry Brown and not the Knicks Larry Brown. Then we'll see real improvement with this team that might generate a little excitement.

Posted by: apauldds | Sep 10, 2008 10:37:53 AM

Thank you Michael Thompson for checking in and setting these no count opinionated folks straight. Keep up the good work.
Go Bobcats!!!!

Posted by: Dave | Sep 10, 2008 8:34:49 PM

Mr. Thompson it doesn't matter if we are the cheapest ticket, hotdog, beer, and rap cd.

The environment, team, ownership all suck.

I would love to see them move to Iowa for Iowa Boy to enjoy.

Don't even try and compare panther game day excitment with this load of crap you guys are selling.

Posted by: jay | Sep 10, 2008 9:40:52 PM

Michael Thompson, I agree the cheap seats are really cheap and if you are good at rock climbing you can get to your nosebleed seat alive. The bottom line is that it costs $150 for a good enough seat to make it worth going to the game. That's too high. It should be $75. Instead of selling 50% of the arena the bobcats should lower the prices to sellout and create an exciting environment for the fans. I took clients to several games last year where the arena was only 1/3 full and my out of town clients were laughing at me like I was some kind of idiot for paying $300 for two tickets. They paid LESS for two good tickets to see the Lakers in LA. That is not right. Price the tickets low enough to sellout. That's it. Market value.

Posted by: Jimmy | Sep 10, 2008 11:32:56 PM

Ahhh, yes. The "nosebleed seat" argument. Reviews of the Arena from NCAA people last March were unbelievable. They loved the building, the sightlines, the amenities and the Uptown location. So we must be on the road to hosting a Final Four, right?

Not even close. Why? Because the Arena doesn't seat 30,000 or more. I sat in the old Seattle Kingdome for 2 West Regionals in the early 90's. Those were nosebleed seats. I sat in the Louisiana Superdome for multiple events over the past 7 years, including a Final Four practice where I was technically in the lower bowl and still couldn't see the numbers on jerseys. They have nosebleed seats there. I sit upstairs in our arena on a regular basis and have no problem seeing anything. And neither do those around me.

But more to the point of your "bottom line", you can get lower bowl tickets here for $40. You can also sit in the front row on the baseline for $75. Is that close enough?

Posted by: Michael Thompson | Sep 11, 2008 10:10:44 AM

Mr. Thompson I was at the ACC Tournament and the NCAA games. I sat on the 5 row in the upper level behind the basket for one game and on the top row of the upper level between midcourt and the baseline.

You can see the color of the jerseys, that's it.

Why do you think Bob had the taxpayers buy such a big screen. I found myself having to watch the bigscreen in order to follow the game.

I sat in section 219 corner seats row M at the HIVE. My tickets were $7.00 per game. I could see much much better at the HIVE.
Parking was $3.00 in the beginning at the end it had rose to $5.00.

A word of caution if anyone is afraid of heights they better stay as far away as possible from this taxpayer paid for empty arena. PEACE

Posted by: rockclimber | Sep 11, 2008 6:35:44 PM

CONGRATS, MT! The Arena has better sightlines than football and baseball stadiums! Let's compare apples to apples here, chief.

And yes, I've sat in those $40 "lower bowl corners." You can see...half the game. Because when the players are going the other way, you might as well use that fancy scoreboard.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Sep 12, 2008 1:46:20 PM

Whoever posted that his clients paid less than $150 for a decent seat at a Lakers game is lying. I've paid $300 apiece for nosebleed seats for the Lakers at Staples. The tickets at Staples are outrageous, but that's OK, they sell out every game and regular fans get to pay ridiculous broker prices for tickets.

You guys don't appreciate how good you have it to be able to see NBA basketball so inexpensively in Charlotte.

What a bunch of whiners and losers.

Posted by: DBM LA | Sep 23, 2008 1:55:40 PM

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