Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league has cut ticket prices by 50 per cent for the remainder of the 2019 season after attendances fell by approximately 3,000 fans per event.
The league is also closely working with Ticketmaster and host arenas to offer half-price off all ticket-related service fees. Apparel partner adidas is helping to pay for this initiative.
“If a Dad or Mom wants to bring a family of four, you’re looking at $200 before parking, merchandise, food,” Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz told Forbes. “We don’t want people to not be able to participate. And for the long run of the sport, it’s also good business.”
He added: “For the long term of the league, we need people to see it. If we get a lot of people saying they can’t go because they can’t afford it, then that’s not good for the league long-term.”
The attendance drop – from around 13,000 fans per event to 10,000 year-on-year – has also been attributed to the fact that games are now played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons this year compared with evenings last year.
The schedule change followed a switch in broadcast partners from Fox to CBS. Kwatinetz told Forbes that Big3 chose to partner with CBS due to its reach – although ratings are down from last year – and could have signed a more lucrative deal with a streaming platform.
“For any young sport, the key is exposure,” he said. “This gives us the widest exposure. If we had just gone for the money, we’d be making more money, but we’d be seen by a lot less people. We’re not in this to make some quick bucks and sell.”