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NBA

Which teams lead the NBA in ticket revenue? Warriors, Lakers, Celtics...

The NBA returned to normality last season after two campaigns that were heavily affected by COVID. The fans responded by packing stadium around the league.

Update:
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 05: Fans cheer as Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics shoots a free throw during the third quarter against the Golden State Warriors in Game Two of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center on June 05, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP
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EZRA SHAWAFP

The NBA returned to it’s originally scheduled 82 game regular season last year, and the fans showed up in huge volumes after having the two previous seasons affected by COVID.

The Bulls top the ticket charts

The NBA has always had a strong connection with its fans, and that relationship continues to grow. The attendance numbers from last season speak to how much fans were itching to get back to normality as the NBA lifted almost all in-stadium COVID protocols.

The list of the teams with the best attendance has been released, and the top sellers in the league might surprise you. It’s not the defending champion Golden State Warriors, or the star studded LA Lakers fans at Crypto.com that had the highest attendance last year. It was the Chicago Bulls who raked in the most ticket sales with 856,148 fans in throughout the 41 home games. That’s an average of 20,881 fans a game, which is accounts for 99.8% of the capacity at the United Center.

The Bulls have a solid team, but they aren’t the Chicago teams of the 1990s. Chicago is a basketball crazed city that is waiting for their team to get back to the glory days and will do anything and everything to help get the Bulls back in the Finals.

Luka and Mavs are the hottest ticket in Dallas

Philadelphia came in second in terms of total attendance with 846,867 total tickets sold in their 41 home games. With an MVP caliber center in Joel Embiid, and James Harden joining in the middle of the season excitement was at an all time high at the Wells Fargo Center.

Luka Magic and the Dallas Mavericks attracted the third most fans in the NBA last season with a total of 809,315 tickets sold. The Mavs ended up going to the Western Conference Finals on the shoulders of Luka Doncic and they had a packed American Airlines night in and night out. Mavs fans had more than 100% of the capacity as an average throughout the season. If it comes to capacity percentages, the Mavs are the league leaders with a stunning 102.8% over the course of the season.

The Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks are the only other teams who had over 100% of their max capacity in attendance throughout the year. The Bucks had a 100.6% average attendance and the Heat had a 100.1% average, but because Miami had a bigger stadium, but Heat played in front of 804,761 people while the Bucks sold a total of 715,581 tickets.

Raptors numbers affected by COVID restrictions

The defending champion Golden State Warriors sold out every game and had a perfect 100% attendance, but their total tickets sold was more than 100,000 less than Chicago’s because of the max capacity at the Chase Center. The Warriors sold a total of 740,624 tickets last season.

Not surprisingly, some of the bottom teams in the league last year had the lowest attendance percentages. The bottom seven teams on the attendance list in terms of percentage of tickets sold all missed the playoffs. The Kings, Spurs, Thunder, Magic, Pacers, Pistons and Wizards all had less than 83% attendance over the course of the season, with the Washington Wizards bottoming out the list at 75.4%. It was the Indiana Pacers who bottomed out the league in average fan turn out, with 14,359 tickets sold per night.

What may surprise you is the team that sold the least amount of tickets last season. The Toronto Raptors were a playoff team last year and won it all in 2019 but they had the least total attendance of all 30 teams last season, with 547,343 tickets sold in 41 games. Their average was 95.3% which was great, but the Scotiabank Arena was limited to 50% capacity until the beginning of March, which hurt the Raptors numbers.

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