The Washington Wizards have been putrid for a while now, but the backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal is going to be special, and I think that sustained winning and significance is around the corner for the Wiz (article on Wall is HERE and article on Beal is HERE). In the meantime, this organization is struggling to fill seats at the Verizon Center, and they have been so bad for so long at this point that they are not a draw as a road team either.
At home, the Wizards sell about 78% of their tickets, and only the Milwaukee Bucks, and Detroit Pistons are worse (the Sacramento Kings are too, but their fans know that the team is leaving so that is a helluva excuse for low ticket sales). For the past 1.5 seasons, the Wizards have played in front of more home and road empty seats than any other team in the NBA.
Since 2010 the Wiz have had just nine home sellouts, and they are only getting good crowds for the big draw teams like San Antonio Spurs (picture above is from when Spurs were in town), Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics.
2007 was the last time that the Wizards had strong crowds steadily, and the decline has seen the average game sell just over 15,000 tickets (Verizon holds 20,000). With their win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night the Wiz improved to 7-4 in games where Wall and Beal play, and they are the key to rejuvenating the interest in this franchise and in bringing the Wizards back to relevance.
Not only will winning bring in fans, but this young backcourt duo is going to provide a significantly more exciting brand of basketball than the nation’s capital has seen in seemingly ages. The rest of this season has to be spent getting this backcourt gelling so that going forward the Wizards are no longer an afterthought for NBA fans.