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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Warriors Rolling Ticket Prices Back to 1976 Levels Tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 6:30 AM

click to enlarge Rick Barry was in his heyday the last time you could plink down eight bucks to watch the Warriors - J.D. MCCARTHY BASKETBALL CARD
  • J.D. McCarthy basketball card
  • Rick Barry was in his heyday the last time you could plink down eight bucks to watch the Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are losing two-thirds of their games, many of the team's most promising players are wearing business suits while sitting on the injured reserve, and it seems distinctively plausible that a fist fight between the team's bellicose coach and volatile superstar could be triggered by one taking offense to the other's tone when he says "hello."

This could describe pretty much any season for the Warriors between 1976 and the present. It certainly describes the current one. That being said, on Friday -- and again on Jan. 27 -- you can get into the game for 1976 prices. So Warriors fans will have one fewer thing to complain about.

For just eight bucks you can pick up an upper level ticket -- the same prices Oakland fans payed when Rick Barry, Phil Smith, and Jamaal Wilkes were leading the team. Unlike fans from that era, however, you'll have to go to this Web site to get such a deal.

Why price tickets like this? The obvious answer is that the team is hemorrhaging fans -- like the league in general -- and desperately needs to get warm bodies through the turnstiles. The Warriors, however, insist this isn't the case. 

Through 15 home games, the team was averaging 18,267 fans per contest -- good enough for 10th in the league (and not bad, considering the team's woeful record). Yes, those are tickets paid, not tickets redeemed -- but one team official told us that 16,000 or 17,000 people are still showing up.

He noted that, at a recent contest at Minnesota, meanwhile, you could have carried on a conversation by bellowing from one side of the stadium's upper deck to another; Minny is only drawing 14,552 fans per game (and, remember, those are tickets paid).

So why do this? Ben Shapiro, the team's vice president of ticket and premium sales, said it was an opportunity, given the "state of the economy to give everybody a chance to come, get away from their stresses, and enjoy Warriors basketball."

Well, okay then. No disrespect to Shapiro, but being a Warriors fan is hardly a stress-free proposition. When your humble narrator thinks of all the ways this team has delivered pain to its fan base since the 1980s -- Robert Parrish and Kevin McHale for Joe Barry Carrol; Chris Washburn; Billy Owens; Chris Webber; Tom Gugliotta; Latrell Sprewell; Todd Fuller; owner from Hell Chris Cohan appearing in a television commercial in which he dared the Lord to strike him dead -- oh God, I've got to stop now; I'm going to have nightmares. 

Anyhow, for eight bucks, all this can be yours. It's a great time out! 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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