It was May 21 when the Charlotte Bobcats announced their application to change names to the Hornets. Less than two months later the NBA approved the bid to become the Charlotte Hornets once again. Without even taking the court as the Hornets—that won't happen until 2014—there has been an immediate impact on one of the NBA's most forlorn franchises. Pete Guelli the Bobcats' executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer shared some specifics with Sporting News on Friday. Most notably new ticket sales are up 59 percent from last year. "What's really encouraging about that is the vast majority of those people have taken advantage of the two-year season ticket program" Guelli said. The two-year plan involves buying tickets for the final season of the Bobcats the upcoming 2013-14 season and also the return of the Hornets in 2014-15. The price over two seasons is frozen. Although he did not have a specific figure Guelli said the number of fans signing up for the two-year plan accounted for more than 50 percent of new sales. The story is equally encouraging on the season ticket renewal side where the Bobcats are up 11 percent year-over-year already surpassing last year's renewal number with months to go until the preseason begins in October. Many of those fans renewing also have taken advantage of the two-year ticket plan offered to new season ticket buyers. The goal Guelli said is to hit more than 90 percent on renewals where most of the NBA's strongest franchises check in each offseason. The Bobcats won't reach that figure this season—they'll be closer to 85 percent—but it isn't out of reach as the Hornets' return in 2014-15.
Charlotte Hornets name change already making big impact on franchise
Sporting News | Aug 2