Guys I had posted this piece earlier this morning on the Nets fan website (netsdaily thru SB Nation) and was interested in hearing your views/responses. While this was more geared towards the NBA the question really entails all US Sports leagues - NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. I would say that the NHL and the NFL would most likely be less affected by the advances in technology than the NBA and MLB would be. As the NHL is apparently much better in person than watching on TV (disclaimer I have never been to a hockey game or seen it on TV before) due to the speed of the puck and the atmosphere in the arena and the NFL is a weekly schedule with 8 home games and the tradition of tailgating is as much a part of the event as is the actual game. Anyways, I have posted this piece below, and would be interested in hearing your views.
On Thanksgiving I was discussing the price of my Nets season tickets and was asked about my rationale for buying tickets to the Nets or any other sporting event when technology makes it a much better vantage point just watching at home.
And I had to agree - that with the advances in technology the ability to watch a game on a 60 inch HDTV in your living room without having to wait on security lines, pay exorbiant prices for concessions, listen to the annoying fan behind you, have people continually walking in front of you, etc really has started to take away the magic of watching games live. And considering that within 3 years we will be able to see all games in 3D - that becomes an even bigger advantage to watching at home.
I wonder what happens when this reality really starts to dawn on the majority of fans and the owners are left holding the bag for exorbiant player salaries when the games are played in front of half empty arenas (all of which are financed and left with large debt obligations)?
Instead of seeing expansion across leagues - do we actually see a contraction? Do we see more teams end up in bankruptcy - however due to a decline in revenues across the league - the league is actually unable to afford to bail them out?
As the latest NetsDaily news post on Proky shows - he views this as a business and nothing more, nothing less. This is just an investment for him, and is as much about the real estate revenue as it is about seeing the Nets win a title. That is the sad reality in sports - from players to owners - it is a business and all about the money.
What happens when the experience is better at home and fans opt to spend that ticket revenue on new home theater setups, vacations, bills, savings, etc? What does the future hold?
Disclaimer - I used to purchase Jets season tickets from a ticketholder while waiting for mine on waitlist - once I had to start paying for waitlist I dropped out. I have had Nets season tickets since 2001 - and will not be renewing after this season. And my Yankee game attendance has dwindled from maybe a game a week to 3 games max per year - with 2 of those games being free tickets from work.