Everybody knows that the Charlotte Bobcats are really, really bad. They set a record for the lowest winning percentage in NBA history during this 66-game season, and the current roster doesn't seem to have many players capable of becoming solid NBA starters. It's going to take a while for things to improve.
Help could be on the way in the NBA Draft, though, especially if the Bobcats win the lottery and land a potential linchpin in Kentucky big man Anthony Davis. But winning the lottery wouldn't just make Charlotte a better team — it could also save their fans some money. Under a new promotion, the cost of each game in a Bobcats season-ticket package will be tied to their draft position. From Andrew Dunn of the Charlotte Observer (via SLAM):
The team started advertising a promotion Wednesday where the price for an upper-deck seat will equal the draft pick the team wins in the lottery later this month. Should the NBA-worst Bobcats get the top pick, the season ticket would be $1 per game, or $43 for the season.
It's meant to drum up interest in the potentially lucrative draft position and ease the traditional May ticket sales lull.
The Bobcats are guaranteed one of the top four picks after their dismal season, with a 25 percent chance of winning the right to draft consensus No. 1 Anthony Davis. Even if the team falls to No. 4, the seats are $4 per game, or $172 for the season.
About 500 seats are eligible for the "Pay the Pick" promotion, which runs through the draft lottery on May 30. Each person can buy up to four seats, and ticketholders will not have the same benefits that regular season ticket purchasers receive. You won't be able to trade in your tickets, and you won't get an invite to the off-the-court events.
According to the team's website, the cheapest traditional season ticket package runs $344.
Any of those prices is pretty darn cheap for an NBA season ticket, even if fans just go to games to watch the Bobcats' opponents. And if the team adds an exciting rookie — which they're likely to do even in a worst-case scenario — that's an added incentive.
I'm not trying to sell tickets for the Bobcats. It's just that, with rates like these, it's a hard deal to pass up, almost to the point where it might not even be a particularly positive for their bottom line. This isn't exactly the best thing for business, but it's necessary given the context. When a team is historically terrible, they have to make it up to their fans somehow.
That's all to say that this promotion isn't really a sign of things to come in other cities, or even something that the Bobcats might continue in the future. It's a reaction to a horrible season, and when that happens the usual standards and practices don't apply.