“A major disappointment,” said the source, who works for the NBA and is attending the game. “Lots of empty seats.”
The game tipped off at 5 p.m. Eastern but just 2 p.m. locally. In the middle of the week, that apparently is too tough a time to get people in the doors. While the Pacers and Bucks are big tickets in their home cities and have plenty to be proud of in the early season, they don’t have large national followings.
So that may explain the lack of a crowd during what the NBA had hoped would be considered a major event for fans.
But it’s hard to know if this tournament is bringing in new fans or strictly appeals to the people who were already following the league.
On the bright side for the NBA, LeBron James and the Lakers face the Pelicans in the second game and they’re a big draw wherever they go. It also helps that Los Angeles is the closest NBA city to Las Vegas (about a four-hour drive).
The NBA had not announced the official attendance as of this writing.
Wonder if announcers will mention how many seats are empty for Vegas semis?
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) December 7, 2023