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Report: Pistons lead in biggest 10-year attendance drop

The Detroit News

The Pistons not only have lost out on the playoffs the past six season, they’ve also lost fans, according to a report released Tuesday.

According to 24/7 Wall St., no franchise among the four professional leagues has seen a bigger drop in attendance over the last 10 seasons than the Pistons.

Attendance has declined 30.8 percent over the past 10 years, according to the report, with an average filled capacity of 69.2 percent. The Philadelphia Phillies were second on the list, at 29.5 percent.

“... During the 2004-2005 season, Detroit was coming off an excellent year culminating in a five-game championship win over the Lakers,” Michael B. Sauter and Sam Stebbins wrote. “The team filled its home arena — The Palace of Auburn Hills — 22,076 capacity every game that season, which was the highest average attendance in the NBA that year. Just 10 years later, the average attendance of a Pistons home game was just 15,266, the fifth lowest average attendance that year among NBA teams and less than 70% of stadium capacity.

“Only one other team — the abysmal 76ers — had a lower average share of seats filled than Detroit. The attendance drop may be due in part to the team’s current seven-year playoff drought, the longest in the team’s career.”

The Pistons, who are 22-19 and in the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, are averaging 16,067 fans in 19 homes games this season, ranking 25th out of 30 teams, according to ESPN.