NBA basks in record crowds as regular season wraps up
By Agence France-Presse
The 2017-2018 NBA regular season was the best-attended season in the history of the sport, with record numbers of fans pouring through the turnstiles across the year, figures showed Thursday.
The NBA said in a statement that the season which concluded on Wednesday set all-time records for total attendance, average attendance and highest number of sold-out games.
For the first time, more than 22 million fans bought tickets for games throughout the year, with the figure of 22,124,559 eclipsing the previous record of 21,997,412 set in 2016-2017.
In addition, crowds averaged at 17,987 per game, another year-on-year increase from the previous best mark of 17,884.
The NBA said the season was the first in which attendance averaged out at 95 percent of arena capacity. A total of 741 games were sold out, another record.
The numbers reflect years of steady growth for the world’s most successful basketball league.
NBA regular season total attendance has risen every year since the 2014-2015 season, along with average attendance, an era which has coincided with the emergence of the Golden State Warriors dynasty and the Californian franchise’s gripping rivalry with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The popularity of the league is also mirrored on social media, where video views had spiked by 43 percent to 11 billion. The NBA said 8.7 million new followers had begun tracking the league on social media since 2016-2017.
The numbers were released following the final round of regular season games on Wednesday. The playoffs get underway on Saturday. (AFP)