Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Why pointing at Kings attendance as a reason the team should be out of Sacramento is a ridiculous strawman.
We'll get the disclosure out of the way first, though I don't think it will matter. I was born and raised in Seattle and am a fan of the city's sports teams. That includes the Sonics, and I'd be happy if the NBA made a return. That said, I want to see Sacramento get its fair shot to keep the Kings.
Now onto the present topic. Here's a tweet:
That's a photo of a relatively empty Sleep Train Arena early in the first quarter tonight's game. And the tweet is one hell of a strawman.
The photo was taken right as the game was beginning, meaning we didn't yet know how the arena was going to fill in (late arrivals are a common thing). Using it to further a narrative that Kings fans simply don't care and should lose their team is, in a word, bullshit.
It's true that attendance at Sacramento Kings games has been slipping. But trying to hammer down a reason is a bit more difficult. For instance, attendance is heavily correlated to performance. This happens everywhere: Bad teams don't draw because the product is awful. The Kings are a bad team, and have been for some time.
But, you say, Kings fans should be supporting their team and sending a message to the NBA as a last-ditch effort to keep the team! This is where it gets more complicated. When it became clear the Sonics were probably leaving Seattle, attendance dropped. Fans no longer wanted to support an owner with one foot out the door. Say what you will about revenue that's tied to the gate, but in the mind of the fans there was no reason to put more money in the pockets of owners that screwed them.
Which brings us back to Sacramento. The Maloofs have screwed the city, fans and team for too long. The fans are tired of it. Instead of showing up and, theoretically, lining the pockets of the Maloofs, fans are using other avenues to voice their support -- rallies, social media, the Internet, showing up at press conferences, for example.
Drawing a conclusion from the attendance at games as the Maloofs are busy punching fans in the gut is misleading at best. Don't fall into this trap. Think a little more critically.