EUROLEAGUE ATTENDANCE JUMPS FOR 4TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, INCREASING 45% FROM FIRST SEASON
6.18% Increase for 2003/04 indicates continued growth for top European Basketball League
March 1, 2004—For the fourth consecutive year, Euroleague Basketball attendance has increased, marking a 45% jump from the inaugural 2000/01 season.
Euroleague's average attendance for the recently-completed 2003/04 regular season has increased 6.18% when compared to the same period from the prior season. This comparison does not include Euroleague's three clubs from Athens, Greece due to renovations of their arenas for the upcoming Olympics. When the Greek teams are included, Euroleague's average attendance for 2003/04 has increased 4.73%.
"We are very pleased with these results," said Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu. "I think this indicates two factors that are critical for us - first, Euroleague is being embraced by fans throughout Europe, and second, we have been able to steadily improve our business results each year."
Highlights of the 2003/04 final regular season attendance report include:
- Attendance for 2003/04 is 45% higher than the inaugural year of Euroleague in 2000/01.
- The average of the top 8 teams in attendance increased by 8.74%.
- The average of the middle 8 teams in attendance increased by 7.35%.
- Next season (2004/05), all three of Euroleague's teams in Greece (Panathinaikos, Olympiacos, AEK), will move to new or remodeled arenas with substantially increased seating capacity. For the past two years, the Greek teams have been forced to play in sub-par arenas with capacity below 2500, while their regular home venues are being renovated for the upcoming Olympics.
- Next season (2004/05), Union Olimpija Ljubljana from Slovenia will play in the larger of the Tivoli arena complex, with a seating capacity in excess of 5000, after being forced to play in a smaller, sub-par arena for this season due to schedule conflicts at the larger venue.
- Because of the temporary relocations of Euroleague's teams in Greece and Slovenia (which included KRKA Novo Mesto, who cannot qualify for Euroleague next season), the average of the bottom 8 teams in attendance decreased 16.89%. If not for these special situations, overall Euroleague attendance would have increased even more.
- 7 of the top 15 teams in average attendance having winning percentages below 50%, including 4 of the top 8.
- Average attendance for Euroleague games is 26% higher than the averages for the same clubs during their national league games. The national league average for the Euroleague clubs is 3743, through games played by February 22, 2004.
- Overall regular season attendance, including the Greek teams, has increased in each year since the inception of Euroleague in 2000/01, as follows:
- 2000/01 3262
- 2001/02 4099 (25.66% increase)
- 2002/03 4506 (9.93% increase)
- 2003/04 4719 (4.73% increase)
Last season, the Euroleague Ticketing Program was introduced to provide its teams with in-depth training on the best ticket sales practices being used by professional sports and entertainment companies worldwide. Ten clubs are now participating in the program, which launched with 4 teams last season.
"The Euroleague Ticketing Program has been an effective way to promote ticket sales as the number one priority that our clubs should have," said Chief Marketing Officer Marshall Glickman.
"I like the trends that I am seeing," added Glickman. "With four of our teams in the bottom 8 moving into bigger and better arenas next year, I think we can look forward to continued growth. And, three of the teams in the bottom 8 (AEK, Efes Pilsen and Olimpija Ljubijana) have joined the Ticketing Program, so I know those teams will improve their ticket selling strategies."
Glickman continued, "I also like the fact that almost half of the teams with losing records rank in the top 16 in attendance, including 4 of the top 8. This tells me that Euroleague is beginning to establish itself as more than a basketball competition, but also as an excellent entertainment option, especially for families and businesses. I expect that Euroleague's future growth will increasingly come from people who just want to have fun."
Chief Marketing Officer
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