Because of the way his team is floundering, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is fearful that the franchise’s consecutive home sellout streak could end at some point this season.
The Mavs have sold out an incredible 603 straight regular season games at home. It’s the longest active sellout streak among the top four North American professional sports organizations – the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball and National Hockey League.
The Portland Trailblazers own the all-time consecutive sellout streak for all pro major sports at 814 straight games, which started in 1977 and lasted until 1995. But that also includes playoff games.
By tacking on the 67 playoff games they’ve sold out during this streak, the Mavs have sold out 670 consecutive home games.
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The sellout streak started on Dec. 15, 2001 – before the explosion of Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets – when George W. Bush was in his first term as President of the United States of America.
The streak also coincided with the uprising rise of the Mavs, who went from having the worst winning percentage in pro sports in the 1990s to reaching the playoffs in 15 of the past 16 seasons. However, with this year’s Mavs off to a 3-15 start, Cuban knows if the losing continues, it could keep fans away from American Airlines Center.
“Fortunately we’ve got great season-ticket holders who renewed into the 90 percent, so that really helps us,” Cuban said. “It used to be we’d have to sell 150-200 tickets a game (to reach a sellout), or do a deal.
“Now it’s probably 400-500 tickets.”
Like any good businessman, Cuban has a plan in place to help the Mavs continue their sellout streak. Thus, if/when the streak is finally broken, it won’t be because the Mavs didn’t move heaven and earth to try and keep it going.
“Look, my attitude has always been put people in the seats,” Cuban said. “So if it means bringing in a bus full of kids to get it, then we’ll do it, because I don’t care about that money.
“I just care about having kids in the seats.”
The AAC capacity is 19,200. But because of attendance in the various suites, that number can be surpassed and has been on numerous occasions.
The Mavs have sold out all 41 regular season home games for the past 14 years and expect another sellout Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when they host the Chicago Bulls. With the Bulls having Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo on their roster – and this being a weekend game – Cuban knows the sellout streak will be safe this time regardless of the Mavs’ won-loss record.
Cuban doesn’t want to see a bunch of empty seats, a situation that became routine at Reunion Arena before he purchased the team on Jan. 4, 2000.
“I’m open to ideas on how to get people to show up, but that’s the reality when you’re crushing it and on a roll, then everybody shows up,” Cuban said. “But when you’re not, people don’t want to get rid of their tickets, which is good, but they don’t always show up.’’