Popular sports website Deadspin couldn’t help but notice the scores of empty seats at Little Caesars Arena for the Pistons’ first home game back in the city of Detroit in three decades.
But rather than talk about the actual issue, they decided to be unoriginal and take a shot at the arena instead. The article they put out was titled, “The Pistons Couldn’t Give Tickets To Their First Game At Detroit’s Dumb New Arena Away.” It also included the mocking of the venue’s name as being named for “cheap pizza.”
We’re not sure if one of their writers had a pet that was accidentally run over by a truck at the construction of the new building, but of course, the anti-Detroit moniker that remains rampant in media today got another stale log to put on their dying fire.
However, behind the silliness of the article mocking the fantastic new venue, a critical issue was raised about last night’s attendance.
The rationale was that fans would fill the seats to watch the Pistons play in downtown, rather than in Auburn Hills. But if the first regular season home game in the city of Detroit in three decades was any indication, there could be more of the same problems to come.
The Pistons defeated the Charlotte Hornets by a final score of 102-90 to start the season on the right foot. Although the team announced a sellout crowd of 20,491, there were plenty of open seats throughout the evening, even just before the opening tip-off.
Uhhhh there is no one at Pistons opening night pic.twitter.com/35UJ4DGklW
— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) October 18, 2017
Of course, to be fair, the Red Wings had the same issue with their regular season home opener. The Pistons will likely use the same line of reasoning the Red Wings did – most fans in attendance were likely there for the first time and were simply checking out the new state-of-the-art building.
However, an alleged email from Quicken Loans revealed that there were plenty of seats to be bought right until tip-off. Not exactly the best look.
Pistons forward Tobias Harris made sure to thank the fans who were in attendance.
“We needed to get our first win, for us as a team, but also for the fans that came out to support us,” Harris said. “From the bottom of my heart I can’t thank the fans enough for the support they gave us tonight. The energy they brought to our team, it was amazing.
“We came into the locker room and were talking about it, ‘When’s our next game at home’ because we need to get back out here. It was real vibrant out here. We enjoyed it.”
Head coach Stan Van Gundy said that a good start to the season will hopefully bring in more fans to home games.
“That would be great, but it’s always important to win early, late, middle of the season,” he said. “We need as many wins as we can get,” he said. “We got one, we got to keep climbing. We’d love to get off to a great start to the season and get our crowd into it.”