They did it at the All Star game and no one noticed !

Much has been written about the leagues curiousity about whether or not the majority of fans at an NBA game prefer music to be played while the ball is in play.

The NBA has from time to time mentioned that they would like to experiment with “silent nights” to find out for themselves. When this topic has come up, without any exceptions that I have seen, the media has fully endorsed the concept.

Rather than waiting for a proclamation from the NBA to experiment, I decided to try a “silent night” or two at Mavs home games. We tried playing no music , no only while the ball was in play, but also during stoppages. We did however play music during timeouts. The response was that there was a noticable decline in energy in the building and I got several emails asking what happened to the “show” at the games.

So i decided to try it again, because honestly, I hoped the concept would work. If the fans could lead the cheers and create the energy, my job got a lot easier. Our goal at any Mavs game is to make it an experience. We often liken it to a great wedding where everyone from Grandma and Grandpa to the 15 year old with blue hair and pierced everything all have a great time dancing, singing and interacting. Playing orchestrator as I often do at home games isnt always the easiest job.

So we added microphones to the floor so the entire arena could hear the sneakers squeaking on the court. We turned up the mics on the rim, so the arena could hear the grunts and guys talking on the defensive side. We brought in the Maniaacs to clap and cheer and encourage the fans to get involved. It didnt work. The energy wasnt there. We got far more complaints than compliments.

So we shelved the experiment. We went back to music, prompting and energy and the feedback improved considerably.

Which brings me back to the All Star game. I had a box along with my family, and friends. Some of whom were from Dallas, some who werent. Someone asked me why, with the exception of when the non basketball acts were on the court, or when they were throwing baby basketballs, there was no energy in the building. These were the best players in the universe. Where was the buzz.

It took me about 1 minute to realize what was going on . It was a “Silent Night” . No music while the game was in progress. Some organ prompts. Some limited music during breaks in play. No mics on the rims. No energy in the building until the final few minutes.

I applaud the NBA for taking the chance and seeing what happens. The All Star game is a great place to experiment. But thats not the point of this entry.

The point here is that NO ONE NOTICED.

The media response I got when we did our version was that it was noticably better to them. That they really enjoyed it. That it was the way “games were supposed to be” . Yet, at the game where there were more media members in attendance than any other game pre Finals…. not a word was spoken or written about the fact that it was a silent game.

I did hear commentary on the radio about the lack of energy in the building, but again, not a word about the lack of music , prompts, mics.

I guess we have our answer on “silent nights”

104 thoughts on “They did it at the All Star game and no one noticed !

  1. There has got to be a middle ground. Yes music can bring energy, but it can be too loud also. I do not want to bring my kids to a basketball game and worry about them going deaf; and not be able to talk over the music. There is a compromise. Play the music, but at acceptable levels that will not cause damage to ears. And do it before you get sued in a class action lawsuit.

    Comment by Hospedagem -

  2. Since I already started commenting.

    The college kids care , vs pros dont has to be THE STUPIDEST argument ever.

    Not only is it wrong, you cant even find a basis to pretend its right.

    Look at graduation rates at the biggest schools. They care so much they dont want to graduate ? Particularly given that most college players will never play pro. Look at transfer rates. They care so much they dont want to honor their committment to their school ?

    And of course, given that most players in the NBA did play in college, why is it that they stopped caring ? Do you really think that any given player in the NBA played harder in college than they do in the pros ? That has to be the stupidest perspective ever.

    Sorry to be so direct. But the competition is better. Whats at stake is higher. A college coach cant make a trade, wont replace a player mid season. He has what he has. He may ask a player to leave, but thats pretty much it.
    Then there are all the ridiculous NCAA rules that must be followed that limit what players can do.

    Anyone who believes that the college game is tougher than the pro game today has never talked to anyone in the NBA today who has played in both.

    its that simple.

    And for those people who like to talk about the isolation game in the NBA.. You definitely watched an NBA game in a lot of years. I know Im prejudiced on this, but 99pct of college games are 5 passes around the perimeter to use up the too long shot clock. Then set some picks, try to get an open shot for a 3 point shooter. If thats not there, drive and throw it up.

    If a game of too short 3 pointers is a game of effort and skill to you, thats your call.

    If you want to tell yourself you dont watch the pros because of effort, feel free. If you dont want to watch the NBA for whatever reason, thats your call. But at least dont lie to yourself.

    Comment by Mark Cuban -

  3. Maybe it’s not Roman Gladiators killing each other, but it’s still grown men fighting it out on the court. I think everyone has a little Roman in them and that should be encouraged with a little AC/DC.

    Comment by Dirty Muffin -

  4. Mark, It is all about the basketball. I am from Boston where we have NO cheerleaders and NO music, and up until recently we played in an old dingy arena, the Boston Garden.

    Back in the 80’s every single home game was a sell out. I think the Celtics had the longest running sell out streak in professional sports.

    The crowd was into the game every night. The fans understood the game, understood good defense, rebounding, passing, picks and screens. I was at a Celtics game where Orlando Woolridge playing for the Denver Nuggets scored his 10,000th point. The Celtics fans gave him a standing ovation.

    The atmosphere has changed considerably now, but there are still no cheerleaders and no music, except for TV timeouts. And the crowd is always into the game. Personally, I find the loud music distracting and annoying.

    Dallas has great players, a great arena, and a great ownership / management team. You shouldn’t need music or cheerleaders to make the GAME interesting. Are your fans there for the game or for a three ring circus?

    Don Dodge

    Comment by Don Dodge -

  5. Mark, It is all about the basketball. I am from Boston where we have NO cheerleaders and NO music, and up until recently we played in an old dingy arena, the Boston Garden.

    Back in the 80’s every single home game was a sell out. I think the Celtics had the longest running sell out streak in professional sports.

    The crowd was into the game every night. The fans understood the game, understood good defense, rebounding, passing, picks and screens. I was at a Celtics game where Orlando Woolridge playing for the Denver Nuggets scored his 10,000th point. The Celtics fans gave him a standing ovation.

    The atmosphere has changed considerably now, but there are still no cheerleaders and no music, except for TV timeouts. And the crowd is always into the game. Personally, I find the loud music distracting and annoying.

    Dallas has great players, a great arena, and a great ownership / management team. You shouldn’t need music or cheerleaders to make the GAME interesting. Are your fans there for the game or for a three ring circus?

    Don Dodge

    Comment by Don Dodge -

  6. I have always found the “piped-in” noise at NBA games to be a severe annoyance.

    It feels like a contrived and desperate attempt to get a large number of higher social economic status people involved in a game that they have little or no personal connection with. NBA and NCAABB are completely different entertainment products and both are big business, but the primary difference is that the college kids seem to care where the NBA is choked by bloated, guaranteed contracts.

    Championships and winning are incentives, but the NBA players aren’t playing for their lives – they already have millions of reasons to not care and play without passion. This is similar to most college vs pro arguments.

    The professional product is a technically more skilled game and has players with amazing talent, but the desire and passion is dampened by the money involved. The college product has less talent, but far more desire and passion b/c for 99% of them, this is as far as they will go and I would prefer to see someone with less talent putting in 110% than an amazing talent mailing it in every night.

    The fans and the crowd feeds off of what is going on – college feeds off of team players playing for something and the NBA’s distorted 1on1 isolation game inspires little if any passion, desire or a reason for people to care.

    Comment by jason -

  7. Mark.

    I seem to remember that you would sometimes sit in the “cheap” seats with the real fans. Do you still do that? If you would take a walk all the way up to section 300 or so, you would realize that the energy is always there. It never wains.

    Look, I have been a recipient of those corporate tickets with the great lower bowl tickets and have also had the privilege of sitting in the upper deck with the real fans.

    There is no comparison. The fans in the upper deck could care less about the music. They are just happy to be sipping one of your $10 beers and enjoying their hometown team play.

    On the flip side, the so-called good seats are filled with the wealthy and stuffy people who seem to think it is beneath them to generate their own energy. To Buffy and Biff and their three spoiled rotten kids it is about being seen sitting in the good seats, not about creating an energizing atmosphere.

    Trust me, I have tried to be a leader in the good seats and it just doesn’t work. Sorry, your problem is not the music, but your clientele.

    Comment by Thomas -

  8. Another reason the energy is different between pros and college may have to do with the age factor.

    In college, the majority of fans going to games are in a tighter 18-22 demo, (with some older boosters thrown in of course).

    The pros have a much broader demo made up of couples, older people and families with younger kids.

    College groups can go nuts and stand for a whole game just because they don’t have to worry about their 2.4 kids next to them spilling their soda.

    As far as music goes, it seems the Silent Night experiment has shown it to become essential white noise in the background.

    I’d rather see the leagues experiment more with Silent Broadasters. NBC did it for one game years ago with the Jets, where all they broadcast was ambient stadium noise and the stadium announcer’s voice.

    I’d love the NBA to try it for one night, although Charles Barkley might have a stroke trying to be quiet.

    ;-p

    Comment by timeout -

  9. For those who want to compare what happens at a college game vs pro, and think its about pricing or student sections. You
    arent paying attention

    Sure, at many , but not all, the college section is packed, crazy and loud and the prices are cheap. Only because they force alumni to make donations to the school in order to get good season tickets. The price on the ticket may not be a big number, but for the biggest programs, football or basketball, the price of the donation is. The cheap seats are subsidized by alums. Directly or indirectly

    And if you look at the other side of the arena, where the alums and all the businesspeople sit. They arent quite so loud and boistrous.

    in fact, many are ducking their heads and hiding their faces when they hear what the student sections are chanting or yelling.

    College sports is just as big a business as the pro game. The primary difference is that schools put the money in their coaches and own pockets instead of the players, and, worst yet, they sell influence to alumni

    Make a big enough donation and your name can be where ever you want it and you have the right to call up the AD and complain as loud as you want. Make the big donation every year so that the school is your “bucket boy”, and you probably can have influence on the selection of coach, and more.

    Neither game is perfect. For the fan its just entertainment. For those behind the scenes its a business.

    Schools dont have to sell the in game experience to make money. The pros do. We have thousands and thousands of fans who live and die by the Mavs. They would come to every game if they could. The difference is that they have jobs and families. They dont live “on campus”.

    If anything, our fans are far more committed to our team than most college teams. Our fans have to make a far greater committment in terms of time, effort and scheduling.

    Kids at any school with a large on campus student base dont. They just walk to the arena and walk home afterwards

    Its a completely different world.

    Comment by Mark Cuban -

  10. To the college hoops fans out there, the reasons you cannot replicate that atmosphere are….fewer games, so each one means more, and there is true passion among students and other followers of the team.

    The mere fact that you need external “boosters” like music, sound effects etc at NBA games tells me the fan base just isn’t passionate enough about the sport or their team. The NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR and Soccer (except in the US) don’t have that problem.

    Mark, you’re a smart guy, and you’ve probably got a better grip on how to make the business of the NBA work than most, but the bottom line is if people were passionate enough about the product, that external stuff wouldn’t be necessary.

    The NBA makes money because they market personalities and play to the hip hop culture. It’s cool to wear NBA gear. But as far as passion for the individual teams and living and dying with how they do on the court — forget about it. It’s not there.

    So to generate excitement in the arena’s, you need a slick “presentation” of the game. That tells me the NBA still has an awful lot of work to do.

    Comment by Scotbo -

  11. There has been some discussion about why the NBA does not replicate the excitement of a college basketball game. Why do you see more people going crazy and college basketball games? How can a school like Arkansas pack a gym with 18,000 (other than there is nothing else to do in Arkansas)? One key is the fan base. Student season tickets for basketball at a Big 10 university run in the $60 range, yes $60 for the SEASON (roughly 13 games). Greater accessibility for 18-25 year olds to attend games drives a more enthusiastic crowd. Additionally, these students get great seats with their $60 season pass. In most NBA arenas it is $100+ for comparable student section seats for ONE NBA game. You don’t usually see the college crowd on TV during NBA games, because they are either a)in the upper deck go nuts with their friends just like they’re at a college game or b) 2 friends were lucky enough to score their dad’s good seats for a game but they are surrounded by a sea of passive fans. Eventually some of the college kids who were in the upper deck will get good jobs and “promote” themselves into the 10th row of the lower bowl. The question is how much spirit will they have by then? Even college kids who do not care that much about basketball get excited about the college game because of school spirit, etc. With this said, it is possible for the NBA to make the game more exciting despite the challenges of an older affluent audience (some people go to games just because it is fashionable, “in,” cool, or whatever–not because they want to rout for the home team). I agree Mark, silent nights are bad for the game. Technology can help bring the game closer to those without the best seats in the arena. Keep expanding the use of sound at Mavs games as I hope it will catch on throughout the NBA. As you mentioned grandma and grandpa have a great time dancing, etc. at weddings. More music at NBA games can drive this further.

    Comment by Dave -

  12. Mark

    You if you go to a good college basketball program where the fan base is out of sight like Arkansas. You would realize there is no music during the game and the crowd is going nuts like last night’s games vs. Alabama. You have the band and the cheerleaders but that is it. Arkansas even has a fancy scoreboard, but it doesn’t distract too much. For a team like Arkansas who has struggled so much the last couple of years to still pack out 18,000 + like last night is very impressive!!

    Why can’t pro teams find way to create the excitement like so many college teams can? That is a question you should analyze?

    Comment by Aaron -

  13. Another reason All-Star games are dead. They’re celebrity get togethers. The tickets are too expensive for real fans so you have models and movie stars chatting on their cellphones waiting to get on TV for being at an event. The other half are corporate comps and sponsor tickets given to execs or those they’re trying to woo.

    Celebs and camera whores make awful fans at live games.

    Comment by Scott Griffith -

  14. Multiple Choice Question: The whole “lack of energy” could have been because:
    A) The seats were full of corporate suits.
    B) The game was the most sloppy thing I’ve seen since the “Under 10 all-star game” I saw at American Airlines Arena played at halftime of a Heat game.
    C) There was no true rooting interest by the audience at large.
    D) No Music

    Point being – there are probably a lot of different variables to consider. The lack of music is one of many in this case.

    Comment by Brett Goffin -

  15. Did you keep the floor mikes? I wish the TV broadcasts included more game noise, likewise if I’m in the nosebleed seats.

    Comment by Seth Anderson -

  16. You can’t really just take the external stimulation away and expect the crowd to pick up the slack. At a lot of American soccer stadiums, there’s a section or two dedicated almost solely to this purpose, and usually with the blessing of the front office. And still, it’s hard getting sections beyond these designated “supporters’ sections” involved.

    Comment by notabbott -

  17. So it sounds like there are at least two audiences at games, fans and media. They are there for different reasons and have different appreciations of the game. As you have noted, the fans are there for a fun night out (they may not even enjoy basketball), and it is obvious why the media is there. For me it is always the little things that might not be totally obvious that make a big difference and music at the games seems to make a subliminal difference to the fans. The fans are paying to be there, and since they are the paying customer they should get what they want, a high energy, mind blowing, “where did the three hours go”, night out.

    I have to get my family to a Mavs game to see the show you put on.

    Comment by marc -

  18. You might be experimenting with too much here – and thus making it impossible to see the effect of not playing music during games.

    For example, you noticed lower energy. Ok. But was that lower energy caused by the fact that you didn’t play music while the ball was in play? Or was it caused by the fact that you didn’t play music during stoppages?

    Or was it both?

    You’re reading far, far too much into the results of your experiment than the experiment itself actually justifies. According to your description of events, there’s no way to tell which of the three questions above you should be answered with a “yes” – but you’re acting like you’ve got an ironclad scientific proof.

    One more thing: anytime there’s a change, you’ll get a non-trivial number of complaints simply because things are different – regardless of whether the new situation is better or not. You had a bunch of people expecting music, and they got squeaks and grunts, and they complained. That doesn’t mean they’d complain once they got used to squeaks and grunts. (Music didn’t take over NBA arenas in a single day, after all. How many complaints do you think you’d get if you’d never played music during a game before and then one night had a “music night” where it was blaring the whole game?) The only way to really know which more people prefer is to do both for a long enough time that they become “normal” – and THEN compare fan reactions.

    Comment by Ron Moss -

  19. One question about your experiment. What opponents were these “silent nights” conducted with?

    Did you do it during a close game with the Spurs, or possibly a blowout to the Knicks (I am a New Yorker, but they are lookin bad)?

    While I do this music can add to excitement, should the opponent also be considered?

    Comment by Matt Gerlach -

  20. Mr. Cuban,

    I was wondering what your thoughts are on why college games seem to have no lack of energy while NBA franchises battle this issue. This is a difference between the two games that I find perpexing. Does the NBA lack the number of emotionally invested consumers? Or do you believe it is a result of the sheer number of games played? Or is it some other reason?

    Thanks,
    Jack

    Comment by Jack Chou -

  21. All Star game is poor. I dont like to watch poor game

    Comment by matt -

  22. I think what happened is a Jordan effect. It effect is similar to how in the aftermath of Coltrane or Miles, jazz, everybody tried to be like them but nobody has the talent or ability to be them. Trying to be “like Mike” is evident in the play of almost every domestic star on the NBA.

    Comment by runescape money -

  23. I don’t mind music and noise, but playing the same sped up tracks over and over and the certain points of the game is insulting to my intelligence. I say this is a huge USC football fan, but at least we have a band that plays Fight On and Conquest and all that over and over! OK, so if no live band, maybe a rule that you don’t play music by artists facing death sentences for having sex with little boys in other countries. Is that a fair compromise?

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  24. It was an interesting experiment.We need music.I think you can concentrate yourself better while you are listening music,is like the brain can follow the rhythm of the sound.When is silence your mind blows everywhere or when you hear a lot of noise the one which is the strongest sweeps away all your thoughts.It was a lesson for all of us because we need to train ourself in order to get over in any situation.

    Comment by playgamers -

  25. This is a question as opposed to a comment. Please let me know the name and artist of the song played during the intros for the Mavs’ starters (not the Heat) when the games were played in DALLAS. It was instrumental (thus the difficulty in identifying it) and had sort of a techno feel to it…

    –JG

    Comment by Joe George -

  26. They’re too many corporate fans at such games. Look at playoff games for example. Many “fans” there cannot name the starting line-up, but because of their job and/or pocketbook, the fundamental law of supply and demand favors the corporate men and women. Since tickets cost more now than ever (not taking into account inflation), the fans who used to come and sit in the 300 level now cannot afford to even do that. Not only are you paying for the ticket, you are paying for the food, parking, and memoribillia. This takes away from the feel that everyone in the stadium is excited and knowledgable.

    P.S. Please buy the Cubs. Please.

    Comment by Jai -

  27. Its a completely different world.

    Comment by whales -

  28. Hi

    It’s like a lot of things now days, people don’t really want to take initiative, it’s an instant gratification world we now live in, and I want my mp3’s, TV, shopping now now now.

    So I think the lesson here is and don’t take this the wrong way but people need to be trained, yes it sounds cruel but they need to be trained because if you change the “program” out of nowhere they wont know what’s going on, but if it’s always been a certain way, they will become “trained” – Just my thoughts!!

    Comment by photos tatouages -

  29. It’s called supporters sections, and soccer’s been showing people how to do it forever. Designate a section of the arena that passionate fans know other passionate fans will be. It becomes a destination at some point.

    Their energy for the game and team will spread like a virus to other sections without cheesy canned music.

    Comment by the "duh" idea -

  30. Buy a soccer team Mark. Then we will beg you to shut off the music. BTW seen you on msnbc as a guest and you were great.

    Comment by Greg -

  31. very goooooood!!!

    Comment by aaabbb -

  32. very good!!@!!!

    Comment by 11nong -

  33. very good!!!!

    Comment by 11nong -

  34. I don’t care for too much of the hip hop, but your drumline rocks hard. Great choice there.

    Comment by Mat -

  35. i’ve caught on to this way late, but interesting concept here. i don’t know if you’re familiar with the new pro “BJ League” here in japan. i happen to teach and live in oita, one of the six cities that have teams in this inaugural season. early on, i spent some time as a volunteer with our home team, and found out a big trip was made to the states during early league development to study nba games and the show that’s put on. now, there’s obviously a lot that can be said for what is lacking in japanese pro basketball (before each game i’ve been to live, the crowd is actually instructed as to how to chant during a game, not to mention the poorly-conceived league moniker…), but one thing that really kills me is that the noise coming over the speakers during a japanese basketball game (or at least during oita games) is not simply overbearing — it’s frustratingly, oppressively constant. there is not a single moment of silence, whether it’s music or the m.c. bellowing or both. i have zero problem with some music while the ball is in play or generally with how things are done at a typical nba game (at least as i remember them). but given this as an alternative, i’d definitely take “silent nights.”

    Comment by Joel -

  36. i’ve caught on to this way late, but interesting concept here. i don’t know if you’re familiar with the new pro “BJ League” here in japan. i happen to teach and live in oita, one of the six cities that have teams in this inaugural season. early on, i spent some time as a volunteer with our home team, and found out a big trip was made to the states during early league development to study nba games and the show that’s put on. now, there’s obviously a lot that can be said for what is lacking in japanese pro basketball (before each game i’ve been to live, the crowd is actually instructed as to how to chant during a game, not to mention the poorly-conceived league moniker…), but one thing that really kills me is that the noise coming over the speakers during a japanese basketball game (or at least during oita games) is not simply overbearing — it’s frustratingly, oppressively constant. there is not a single moment of silence, whether it’s music or the m.c. bellowing or both. i have zero problem with some music while the ball is in play or generally with how things are done at a typical nba game (at least as i remember them). but given this as an alternative, i’d definitely take “silent nights.”

    Comment by Joel -

  37. You mentioned there were a lot of media members at the All Star Game. I’m guessing there were also a lot of corporate sponsors, team owners, and other assorted bigwigs. Who do you think cheers more during games, rich corporate guys (yourself excluded) and reporters, or normal NBA fans? I’m guessing that the lack of crowd interaction may have been due to the demographic attending the game.

    Comment by Erik Mellquist -

  38. I think a good mixture of all of the sounds would be good for the game atmosphere as long as they are not too overpowering.

    I would never ask the media’s opinion on anything. Although they ar not supposed to be, amny of the guys are biased. And besides, they are not paying customers. The fan’s views are far more important. They actually pay for their seats.

    On another note, I don’t go to the games anymore. I live more than three hours from the closest NBA team, but that’s not the reason I don’t go. Like everything else in life, the ticket prices are outrageous for the show I receive the view from my high def plasma is better, unobstructed and I don’t have to put up with unruly fans. Furthermore, with the NBA Package if the game I’m watching becomes a blow-out or the quality of play is just poor, I can switch the channel. I also get the sounds from the floor with my surround some system, I get statistics and stories about the players, and some of the announcers do a good job hyping the game’s play.

    Comment by Ronald -

  39. I think a good mixture of all of the sounds would be good for the game atmosphere as long as they are not too overpowering.

    I would never ask the media’s opinion on anything. Although they ar not supposed to be, amny of the guys are biased. And besides, they are not paying customers. The fan’s views are far more important. They actually pay for their seats.

    On another note, I don’t go to the games anymore. I live more than three hours from the closest NBA team, but that’s not the reason I don’t go. Like everything else in life, the ticket prices are outrageous for the show I receive the view from my high def plasma is better, unobstructed and I don’t have to put up with unruly fans. Furthermore, with the NBA Package if the game I’m watching becomes a blow-out or the quality of play is just poor, I can switch the channel. I also get the sounds from the floor with my surround some system, I get statistics and stories about the players, and some of the announcers do a good job hyping the game’s play.

    Comment by Ronald -

  40. Innovation that might change the stadium experience ….

    (As the content on the second link notes, the product is a device “which would give people at sporting events access to all kinds of data, ranging from player stats to concession prices to instant replays.”)

    http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/2006/02/09/instant-replay-and-jessica-simpson

    http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/2006/02/28/test-drive-a-skybox

    http://www.vividskyco.com/skyboxfreakonomics.html

    IIRC, Mr. Cuban considered something similar for Mavericks games.

    Comment by John -

  41. I was at one of the ‘silent nights’ – a Milwaukee game about a month ago, and I made the comment to my buddy at the game that it was a major downer that there was no music, very little cheerleader dances, just a ho-hum win by 20 points – big deal. NO ENERGY AT ALL IN THE ARENA!!

    You are dead-on Mark – we need music, not only during breaks, but even during play – if the players don’t object. Make it peppy on the home possessions, austere during the opponent’s possessions. Heck, we’re so used to hearing background music in our movies, our TV shows, we’re much happier at work with music in the background, and music on our MP3 players while in transit, it’s a logical choice. And music sets the mood wherever you go, whatever the situation.

    But ditch Billy’s urge to yell defense – better to have canned crowd-chants of DE-FENSE than Billy prodding us like we’re all idiots getting us to yell defense – that’s just pure annoying.

    JC

    Comment by Jeff -

  42. Mark,
    In the past you have said that all your time and energy will be directed towards one team -the Mavs. IU basketball is in clearly in need of some direction and leadership from the alumni (outside of the basketball family). With Mike Davis out at seasons end, any chance you will seize the opportunity to influence the future direction of the IU program?

    Comment by Wes -

  43. the problem is here is where business and fandom don’t intersect and college basketball beats the NBA

    your rabid fans can’t either afford to go to games or are in the nosebleeds

    meanwhile, your more docile fans have the 300 per night floor seats

    in college, the students generally get the good seats and the excitement is shown on the tv.

    Comment by Jeff Hawkins -

  44. I watched the “Silent game” on NBATV yesterday (Magic/Rockets), and it was AMAZING!! They had no commentators, but had enhanced audio. The PA Announcer could be heard, but that’s it. Then the ticker at the bottom showed who scored, fouled, etc. Very awesome setup!!! Maybe not for every game, but I found it enhanced the game, especially in HD, as it felt you were there (almost).

    Comment by Zach -

  45. I think it’s great that you decided to ditch the “silent night” experiment HOWEVER this is not the sole reason that the All-Star game lacked audience energy. Very few people who aren’t loaded with money can afford to buy tix to the All-Star game and those that can, spend the entire time chatting about firm business or talking on the cell with some friend. As for all the celebs in attendance, if you think they’re going to *act the fool* and cheer like crazy, fuggitaboutit! Anyway, I have sat in $10 seat and $150 seats in AAC but it’s the same deal. With the exception of a few loners going crazy down in the lower tier, the rowdy, loud and proud people are all in the upper tier screaming their lungs out. It’s my choice of preference these days, although someday I hope to be able to afford a courtside seat, just once…and against the Spurs so I can cheer when we win!

    Comment by ponky -

  46. The reason why Mavs games, not sure about all NBA basketball games, don’t possess much energy is that there is nothing vested for the fan to express any type of energy. Fans that go to the AAC to watch the Mavs just want to sit and be entertained. They like to see all the fun stuff that goes on around the basketball game. But most people aren’t the hardcore fans that would necesarilly take it personally if the Mavs lose. These people can go to a game, enjoy the theatrics, and could go home happy regardless of a Mavs win or loss. But fans like me, who live and die by each Mavs game, has a lot more vested in a game. If the Mavs lose, I can’t until the next game for a chance to redeem myself. So, for me, I yell “DE – FENSE” and “Let’s Go Mavs” all night long. Unfortunately, the people that actually make it out to the games aren’t fans like me. They are the rich people who are able to afford to go to be seen and be seen. These are the people that have nothing vested in a win/loss.

    Comment by John Lizaso -

  47. The reason why Mavs games, not sure about all NBA basketball games, don’t possess much energy is that there is nothing vested for the fan to express any type of energy. Fans that go to the AAC to watch the Mavs just want to sit and be entertained. They like to see all the fun stuff that goes on around the basketball game. But most people aren’t the hardcore fans that would necesarilly take it personally if the Mavs lose. These people can go to a game, enjoy the theatrics, and could go home happy regardless of a Mavs win or loss. But fans like me, who live and die by each Mavs game, has a lot more vested in a game. If the Mavs lose, I can’t until the next game for a chance to redeem myself. So, for me, I yell “DE – FENSE” and “Let’s Go Mavs” all night long. Unfortunately, the people that actually make it out to the games aren’t fans like me. They are the rich people who are able to afford to go to be seen and be seen. These are the people that have nothing vested in a win/loss.

    Comment by John Lizaso -

  48. Mark,
    I have season tickets and I love the music and the hype. I have been going to Mavs games since 1994. I look forward to every game I go to. The louder the better. I sit in the lower bowl and not sure why people sitting in upper levels think people in lower seats are not cheering but then again why would anyone want to search around to see who is not cheering instead of paying attention to the game. It’s exciting and I love my Mavs and will continue going to the games. Thank you Mark you have added so much to the Dallas area and to the experience of going to the games. Let this be the year of the MAVS.

    Comment by Nellie -

  49. also: fans attending would still have the regular arena announcer too.

    As for soccer and passionate fans? Hmm. You need to get the people growing up with a sport to be nuts about it like that. Aren’t most worldwide soccer fans rabid to begin with when it comes to their team/sport? I think the absence of any other major sports in soccer countries is what builds that following — nothing to distract from watching soccer.

    The indoor sound guy had a good point too. It comes down to a smaller space with a really loud PA system and a smaller crowd when compared to 70,000 at an NFL game or 60,000 at a baseball game who can outcheer the stadium announcer more easily.

    Comment by timeout -

  50. “But you can’t try and trick the fans who are there to be entertained. If you were to advertise it…”

    Silent night clarification:

    What I mean is that the people at home would not have announcers to listen to, just the ambient noise from the stadium, crowd, mics on the rim, etc.

    Fans attending the games wouldn’t be affected by this as nothing would change for them. Just the people at home watching.

    Comment by timeout -

  51. Mark, first off, I love the Mavs, $10 tickets, and your experimenting with silent nights. But how about kicking it up a notch, try something wild and crazy (which I know you love): without announcing it beforehand, reserve 10-15 court side or club seats in one game and after the first quarter, pick 10-15 people from the upper decks to come down to those seats.

    That way, 1) the already-delighted Mavs fans will be insanely happy (and possibly attract more attendance), 2) by putting them in after the game has started, there is less of a chance of having their attitude/game spirit affected by the people around them, and more importantly, the spirit will rub off on those around them (it’s easier to follow a crowd, than one or two people), 3) you can try a ‘silent night’ and probably fare off with better results than the last two games.

    Although, the first few times you will have to deal with issues such as lost revenue (balanced by future additional attendance?), negative media (if there’s a bad 1st quarter/half, they will point to the empty seats as some made-up indicator), and making sure the team isn’t distracted by the initial lack of people as it’s the first group of fans the players usually see on the floor.

    Baseball and football players all high-five enthusiastic first row fans after a good play, why not basketball?

    Comment by Omachonu Ogali -

  52. OT: What a great comeback versus the Raptors!

    Great heart and determination….

    The Mavs are playing like champions!

    Comment by SpiderWeblogs -

  53. Good job at beating them to it. Keep the energy high at the games.

    Hey here is an awesome NCAA post I woul dlike to hear from you on:
    http://sports.crimsonlight.com/2006/02/jj-redick-andor-adam-morrison-can-either-rule-the-nba-2/

    Comment by JT -

  54. You hear music everywhere: malls, restaurants, groceries, even gas stations. I assume there is a reason for that. The merchants would not bother installing the audio systems otherwise. Energizing music could only improve a basketball game, I would think.

    Comment by bland response -

  55. I doubt there has ever been more energy at a Mavs game than back in the 87-88 days, when the presentation was extremely scaled back compared to today.

    As others have pointed out, the all-star game didn’t have energy because the game was boring and poorly played(even for an all-star game) until the 4th quarter.

    An entertaining all-star game requires that both teams have a player who can push the ball, and make exciting things happen. The NBA has not had this since the Isiah/Magic Johnson days. There have been plenty of great point guards, I’m as big of a Steve Nash fan as you’re likely to find, but never have both sides had a player who could put on a show and push the ball the way Isiah and Magic could. Jason Kidd hadt hat, but there wasn’t someone on the other side to counter him. In this year’s all-star game, I don’t remember ever thinking, “Wow, what an amazing pass!”. I saw alley-oop passes sail off into the stands, I saw behind the back passes bounce off of defenders hands and roll out of bounds. I still remember some of the amazing passes Magic made in all-star games that were played 18 or 19 years ago. Those guys are the one’s who made All-Star weekend what it is, they made it into best show on earth, but now they’re gone, and we’re left with all the pomp and flash, without the thing which made it great in the first place, which was fun, creative, exciting basketball.

    If you want to know why there was no energy in the building, maybe people were tired after the 45 minute team introductions. The best all-star games ever, with the greatest players ever(Magic, Bird, Isiah, Jordan, McHale, Barkley, Kareem, Malone(Karl and Moses)), they didn’t need ridiculous hour long player introductions with huge parade-float looking platforms lined with cheerleaders. They didn’t even play music back then, they called the players names and they’d jog out and high-five all their teammates and that was it.

    The whole NBA style of game presentation seems to have been started with the Chicago Bulls in the early 90’s. I may be wrong, but that’s where I first remember seeing them turn out the lights and play the loud music for the introductions. And it was great. But it was great because they had something so exciting that it deserved that kind of buildup. Now every team does it, and most teams are painful to watch, so it’s like a beautifully wrapped christmas present with nothing inside.

    Comment by Tim -

  56. Led Zeppelin,and ZZ TOP live during and after the game or I’m not buying any BB tickets.

    Free IPOD and ticket I would show up without the bands.😉

    You NBA guys aren’t going to start hustling ticket sales like new car dealers sell cars are YOU??

    DISCOUNT CITY .ORG 😉

    Comment by Ron D -

  57. Mark, have you been to a soccer game in England, the one where the players are playing in a dirty stadium, there is no music in the background, it is raining and the lockroom smells terrible? Well, if you have, you know how crazy the fans get in those games. They give every inch they have to push their team forward. They yell, they fight, they cry, they do anything to improve on the result of their team. They participate voluntarily. Do you know why? This is called passion!!!Yes, passion, something that is lacking in the NBA since Jordan, Byrd and Magic. Today’s players are so stiff in the game. It is crazy to see T. Mac. playing basketball, the kid looks morbid, uninvolved and self absorbed with his skills. And he is an Allstar.
    If you want see this kind of crazy reaction from the folks at your game, like the ones we see in college football, try to be God. I think only Him will be able to change the direction of the NBA. And I am not talking about the players making too much money and all of that BS. I think they should make as much money as possible, but that should not be getting in the way they play. These are two separate issues.

    Passion is everything. The fans at any sporting event are nothing but a reflection of the players in that event and the way they approach the game. There is no music, no dancing good-looking chicks, magitians pulling Rabits out of hats and Mark Cubans doing the Cuban Show on the stands. Nothing will make a difference. It is the game, the game and the game that should be interesting. The game is what people come to see.

    In fact, during the breaks there should be nothing, people should be taking the time to catch their breaths, to kiss their girlfrind/boyfriend in celebration, to hug their kids because they are so happy. They should be looking at the scoreboard and saying, “oh God, I am going to kill this German guy if he doesn’t break someone’s nose fighting in the rebound.”

    I love your passion for your businesses and that is why I decided to write this thought to you. You, one of the most passionate businessmen on the planet, have got yourself involved in a game that no longer has passion. David Stern is a great businessman, but he lacks passion. The guy is cold, fake smile, ready answers and all of the above. You know what I mean. THE GAME NEEDS PASSIONATE PLAYERS. And I hate it because I love this game so much and I get frustrated with it.

    Comment by Marcos Santos -

  58. I agree for the price of admission I want to be entertained and expect that for the 10-15 Mavs home games I go to a season and I’m ok with the music.
    I disagree however that the solution to create an exciting atmosphere is to have Humble Billy (pa announcer) berate the crowd to chant defense on almost every defensive possesion.
    Besides the calls for defense from PA guy I can recall a recent game where the PA guy is announcing that Lance Armstrong is attending the game at the same time that the ball was in play. Me and my buddy just looked at each other and agreed at how wheels off the game presentation was.

    Comment by JR -

  59. It’s like a lot of things now days, people don’t really want to take initiative, it’s an instant gratification world we now live in, and I want my mp3’s, TV, shopping now now now.

    So I think the lesson here is and don’t take this the wrong way but people need to be trained, yes it sounds cruel but they need to be trained because if you change the “program” out of nowhere they wont know what’s going on, but if it’s always been a certain way, they will become “trained” – Just my thoughts!!

    Comment by Greg -

  60. Most people go to games to be entertained. So, you’ve got to entertain them.

    Comment by Kelly Ann Collins -

  61. Look guys the GAME WAS BORING. A game with no energy means its boring. You can play all the music you want it want help. When a exciting play happened the crowd cheered and when it didn’t which was most of the game they didn’t. Vince carter hardly even got to play but when he got his monster dunks people got excited. Todays NBA players have no idea how to entertain thats why most of the season is a sleeper. No one came to see lebron james selfish play so he can shoot all his jump shots to win a mvp, they wanted to see slam dunks and acrobatic plays.

    People want admit it but no one wants to see fundamental boring plays. we want flash, crossovers, dunks and not a bunch of jumpers and turnovers. AND1 streetball and globetrotters no how to put on a show.

    Thats why the nba finals will break a record low in ratings again when the boring spurs face the boring pistons again.

    Comment by derrick -

  62. I grew up watching basketball and the thought of watching a game without music (be it canned or pep band) just doesn’t seem right.

    I prefer a small live band (subset of a marching band).

    Comment by sirshannon -

  63. For competitors I believe it makes a positive influence to have music. I run marathons for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and whenever there are bands along the 26.2 mile route it gets me pumped up and full of energy again! Just say no to “Silent Nights”.

    Comment by Randy -

  64. I had the opportunity to attend a couple of Pirate games where they cut out the music and the between-innings “entertainment”, and they were the most pleasant experiences I’ve had at PNC Park. Of course, I go to ballgames to see baseball, and basketball games to see basketball, but it’s easy to forget how nice it is to be able to discuss the game you’re watching during breaks without having to yell over “YMCA” for the eight trillionth time.

    Comment by Jerry -

  65. NBA and NHL games are 75% a place of business now. Fans aren’t in the stands, they’re at home with a brew after getting off a long day at the office or on a worksite. You probably have some trivial number of actual fans at any given game, and the remainder of the seats are filled out by families who purchased ahead with little concern who the opponent was, and business people showing a client or other professional aquaintance a night out.

    Your night-in night-out fans are working longer weeks than in recent memory, and being asked to pay higher prices for the increasingly inconvenient trip downtown to see a game, given that sprawl is forcing them farther and farther from civilized places.

    Comment by Jeremy G -

  66. Actually Thomas, I don’t know who Patrick is, and my seats are in Section 312. But thanks for your (obviously uneducated) opinion.

    Comment by J.P. -

  67. Had to pimp you in my own blog again. (it’s about Trump being an idiot, so you should like it)

    http://aimercat.livejournal.com/796347.html

    Comment by Amy -

  68. Arkansas fans have to do something, lord knows there isn’t much else do to. Not to mention the football team is stinking the joint up. Maybe they should be drunk, that’s the only way I get past South Carolina’s basketball season.

    As for the previous post, I can’t see having no music,PA,etc. as being entertaining. Yes, you do have the game in it’s “pureist form” but as was mention earlier, not everyone knows who even plays on the teams they’re viewing. Yes, the product should sell it’s self, but sometimes it needs a little prodding to help it along.

    And the putting music in to movie theaters example doesn’t really hold any dice. There is music in movies, to set the mood/atmosphere of the particular scene, teams would be better off following this as if the game their fans are watching is a dramatic event.

    But in contrast to a movie, sport events (unless you’re playing the Knicks) are unpredictable, live action. Mark you talk about the NBA needing to market their product versus a movie/another form of entertainment, that’s the one thing sports have going for it, live unpredictabilty from the best athletes on the planet.

    Comment by Tyler Yarnell -

  69. You could make silent nights work by putting mics on trash talkers and mics right on the opposing team’s bench so people could listen to them panic during timeouts.

    Comment by blitz boy -

  70. Mark,

    The gentleman who posted # 36 and subsequently posted #42 is an idiot. Guaranteed he is one of the mutes with seats in the lower bowl.

    If the great citizens of Dallas could get rid of people like him and Laura Miller, this city would be a lot better off.

    Comment by Thomas -

  71. Want to know how to increase excitement at a game without manipulating emotions via music? Contraction.

    Comment by Steve -

  72. One other question — and an odd one: Do more deaf people or more blind people attend games in person? It seems to me you can still appreciate a game better in total silence than if you couldn’t see it (and didn’t have play-by-play in your ear).

    How does a blind person react to an NBA game if no one is telling them what is going on? A deaf person reacts when the play warrants reaction.

    Comment by Ken Carpenter -

  73. Here in Orlando, the Magic are promoting a “Silent Night” next week. When I heard about it, I thought this might be a game I’ll actually pay money to go see.

    Then I found out the Magic’s definition of “silent” — and the Mavs and the rest of the NBA’s definition — means just no music during play. To me, silent means NO SOUND!

    I want to go to an NBA game — and an MLB game, and an NHL game — where the PA system is turned off! No pre-game announcements, no commercials, no music, NO SOUND, other than the whistles of the refs anf the grunting/swearing/laughing/talking of the players.

    No flashing lights, no fireworks, no smoke, no mirrors — just a GAME!

    When I want music, I’ll go see Bonnie Raitt (next week in St. Pete, yay!); when I go to an NBA game, I want basketball. Pretty freaking simple!

    Mark, why don’t you pipe in music at your movies theaters every time the actors stop talking? An extreme example, but it’s the same concept. If the fans’ attention span is really that short, do you truly want their business?

    If fans are looking for “energy” in the building, then they’re there for the wrong reason. Good games create their own energy!

    Comment by Ken Carpenter -

  74. Good College programs are loud in all areas. The student section is a little louder and most of the students at least at Arkansas aren’t drunk, they are being loud because they know it makes a difference. It’s amazing how many people don’t know anything about the major program college atmosphere, they just make assumptions.

    Why couldn’t a NBA team try a band in the arena rather than the PA. Do they consider too “elemenatary” or what? I know its the pros, but if you want to create a different, energetic atmosphere, it could help!

    Comment by Aaron -

  75. here’s my thoughts…
    i tried to read all the post but skipped some so not sure if someone mentioned this yet…college games are loud in certain areas, because all the college kids are wasted. not a little drunk like some of the fans at the Mavs games, they are full blown drunk. so they act stupid and loud. not that there is nothing wrong with that.

    pro games, its adults who take their kids. they dont act the same way. the only real drunk people there, young college aged kids and a group of guys who got away from the wives. i was one of the people that emailed mark and told him to bring the music back. It was either Pacers on the 26th of December (quality opponent) or the Warriors on the 30th, cant remember. I am pretty sure it was the Pacers game. but here is the main reason why the Mavs games lack energy without music, Dallas sports fans suck. especially Mavs fans. Wait before you bag on me, there are true die hard fans. i’m one of them. the ones that watch every game, that can tell you every mav on the roster, including the non active ones, the college they went too, the number they wear, where they played before they got to the mavs, hold back tears when the lose in the playoffs…you get the picture. but if there is 20k people in the stands i bet less then 40% are true mavs fans, probably less. so that means the other 60% are just there. they either got some free tickets, taking their kids, or entertaining clients. the point i’m trying to make is that if the mavs werent winning, that 60% wouldnt be there. that means that 60% really doesnt know who is who and whats going on. they are just trying to have a good time. you cant expect them to get into the game just for the love of the game because thats not why they are there. so for those people you have to play music for them, do prompts, have humble hayes scream at them to wake up, give them some dancers to look at. how many times have you been to a game and listen to the people around talk about the sport or the teams and have no clue what they are talking about. you have to make the game interesting for the people who are not that interested in the sport in the first place. i have not been to other cities but i always hear about the passionate fans in other cities. i dont think dallas has enough true passionate Mavs fans. if we did then creating energy in the crowd would be easier.

    Comment by Luis -

  76. I guess the thing is trying to find a balance between keeping the spotlight on the game rather than the “experience”.

    I haven’t been to a NBA game in 3 years, but I was appalled; not by the constant music(that was just mildly annoying) but the EAR GRINDING VOLUME and endless onslaught. I work in music(but worked in the NHL and IHL before that), and the last thing I want after a long session in the studio is to have 90db blasting at me.

    People have been conditioned to be passive @ games and not just in basketball. Why would fans ever bother to cheer if they’re just gonna be drowned out by the PA? Why do people go more nuts during halftime than the games? Because there’s a blimp with prizes floating around.

    Going all quiet is not the answer and neither is the equvalent of a 144bpm techno gig. Games have an ebb and flow, so should the music; even fans need to catch their mental breath.

    Treating the game as a operatic piece of 4 acts, building up the game(and the crowd) to a crescendo in the last 5 minutes should be the goal.

    Comment by Alec -

  77. Why even bother?

    (it’s funny, when I read the title of this post I thought it meant the all-star game in general. Wonder how miserable the ratings were for that)

    The NBA like MLB like the NHL is dead.

    Why?

    1) Too many games
    2) Today’s players aren’t likeable

    Major sports is finished and on the way down. Might not be this decade, might not be next but the numbers will dwindle with the oncoming generations because everything is geared short term to make money and not create an experience that was pure. So you got music and entertainment and it is all fleeting. Kids today see through all that bullshit and they’ve got better things to do – gaming, internet, porn.

    Major sports won’t die but they’ll settle to this mediocre level like horse racing or boxing.

    The only thing holding up the NFL is gambling and they only play once a week (although they’re screwing up with that as well) so it is more event oriented.

    Heed my words

    Comment by Stanislaw -

  78. Mark

    You are completely right about the pricing the Alumni/donors pay quite a bit in donations before they can even buy season tickets. Arkansas has Bud Walton Arena, which holds 20,000+ capacity, and during our Championship heyday we packed out every single game with a long waiting list. When Arkansas only won something like 5 games 3 years ago, they still averaged 15,000 a game. Now we are averaging 17-18,000 for a conference game and we still haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since 2001. Although, the student section capacity is 2,000. The students have only been filling about 1,000 recently. So 17,000 alumni/business people aren’t quite as loud or boisterous as the 1,000 students, but if you ever go to a conference game like the one vs Alabama you will understand that the “old people” do get into the game and aren’t embarrassed of the student section. I’m a part of the Alumni crowd and have been for 6 years. You said that Mavs fans don’t live on Campus, but neither do 16-17,000 of the Razorback fans that were there Tuesday night. They all have jobs as well, and they are traveling from all across the state of Arkansas from as far as 4-5 hours away, with the game ending at 10:00 PM. These are dedicated fans. The fans want to be part of the entertainment though, and there is tradition there that they want to uphold. I encourage you to attend a Razorback game sometime next year at Bud Walton when we are playing a quality opponent. It’s an amazing sight and site.

    Comment by Aaron -

  79. Mark,

    The idea for silent games isn’t bad.

    But you can’t try and trick the fans who are there to be entertained. If you were to advertise it… and let the people know ahead of time that they would have to bring their party hats… you might get a different kind of clientel on that night, and the idea may work out as you had planned.

    High School football games, MMA fights, European soccer games, ect. can get rowdy with very little goading.

    It is because the people their are different from the average fan at the average Mavs game.

    Later,
    Penxv

    Comment by penxv -

  80. One more point. The noises at the Chicago Bulls game sound louder during the stupid computer races they have on the scoreboard because they pipe in louder crowd noise. I know they do it, many others do as well, but I am not sure they admit they do it. It isn’t done at any other points, but you can hear how fake it sounds as opposed to when the Bulls are on a run or there’s an amazing play -then you hear real crowd noise that sounds different.

    Nobody is saying it’s not entertainment. What we’re saying is, at some point, if you lose the real essence of the NBA games, you are no longer discernable from the other shallow crap out there (Ice Capades, Disney On Ice, David Stern In Tights, Arena Football). All crap to a real NBA fan. If that floating zepplin Bull at Bulls games ever floated out of the stadium or landed on Phil Jackson’s head, I would retract every criticism I am now making.

    Comment by Matt -

  81. As a true NBA fan, I understand there has to be music and pomp at games. I know it’s a business and, much as I wish – just like at restaurants – kids were not there, they are current and future fans, and they need some entertainment too. What would be nice Mark, is if every NBA team would lower the music or stop it during key, exciting parts of the game, and then resume it during timeouts.

    Hearing the players talk, the refs yell, the coaches bark-out tips, and the squeak of the sneakers – all are what really makes the NBA interesting in addition to the talent. These coaches, players and refs are the best in the world (yes they can always get better) and seeing and hearing them is the game within the game. I wish that wouldn’t get lost while I hear another canned hip-hop song that someone stole from someone else’s melody.

    Keep experimenting at the games. Hopefully it catches on in other arenas. They play so much music and have so many floating zepplin Bulls and t-shirt tossing giveaways, I wonder if the true NBA talent and intensity will just disappear into Ice Capades. I hope not.

    Comment by Matt -

  82. Cuban. You should hire the guy that posted #36. Dude has some smarts.

    Comment by Patrick -

  83. Speaking of Music the dude on American Idol that just belted out Elton Johns “Levon” looks like your twin brother. Of course he hasn’t used the hair dye, but he’s still a dead ringer.

    Comment by Patrick -

  84. I don’t understand why music has to be blasting throughout the arena while a game is in progress. Why do people need so much extra stimulation? Shouldn’t the game itself be entertaining enough to hold fans’ attention?

    Since the NBA arena experience is becoming a circus-like event….Why not take it to the next level?

    Personally, I’d like to see more ‘above the rim’ entertainment. Tomahawk jams are cool and all, but I desire something more, something new to stimulate my already scattered senses.

    Here’s a suggestion for the next Mavs/Spurs contest. Why not have ‘Circus of the Stars’ type entertainment going on above the game in progress. Fans might be willing to pay extra to see a bikini-clad Eva Longoria flying high on a trapeze while Tony Porker attempts to penetrate😉

    Why stop there?

    I’d also like to see ‘Gladiator’ style entertainment at both ends of the court. Why not hire a few of Siegfried & Roy’s white tigers to lunge up through trap doors in the hardwood as the game is in progress? Surely this added dynamic would keep players on their toes and fans on their feet. Plus, there would be real consequences for poor officiating. Even ROWDY, PROUD & LOUD owners would chance being mauled when charging the floor after a game winning shot! 🙂

    Jim Parham
    Yuba City, CA

    Comment by StockMaverick -

  85. So music is about energy, huh? Couldn’t you guys get a live band or something? I don’t mind music and noise, but playing the same sped up tracks over and over and the certain points of the game is insulting to my intelligence. I say this is a huge USC football fan, but at least we have a band that plays Fight On and Conquest and all that over and over! OK, so if no live band, maybe a rule that you don’t play music by artists facing death sentences for having sex with little boys in other countries. Is that a fair compromise?

    Comment by Brad Hutchings -

  86. There has got to be a middle ground. Yes music can bring energy, but it can be too loud also. I do not want to bring my kids to a basketball game and worry about them going deaf; and not be able to talk over the music. There is a compromise.

    Play the music, but at acceptable levels that will not cause damage to ears. And do it before you get sued in a class action lawsuit.

    Comment by jeffm -

  87. And as a followup…for the Celtics fan that says they have no music, no cheerleaders, and it’s “all about the backetball” in Boston…

    http://www.nba.com/celtics/entertainment/GameNight.html

    Those hip hop dancers must look awfully funny dancing without any tunes.

    Comment by J.P. -

  88. Folks…for all of you that claim that should be “all about the basketball”, wake up and smell the beer, concession stand, fanshop, and yes, the “fatasses” also known as the ManiAACs (and while you’re at it, smell the Mavs Dancers too. They’re lovely.)

    If it were “all about the basketball” 20,000 people would show up to high school games. If it were “all about the basketball” SMU would have sold out their arena every game for the past 15 years. And I’m betting that you “all about the basketball” folks probably haven’t been to either venue anytime recently.

    Fact of the matter is, ITS ALL ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT. You speak of basketball as though it’s the Mona Lisa, just hanging there on the wall for people to admire. People WANT to see big dunks, they LIVE to see huge offensive plays, and they come to game to stand up, cheer, yell, scream, and participate. Yes, even the “rich folks” in the lower bowl stand up and cheer when the time comes, and they dance to the music just like everyone else. And the music in the arena does nothing but add to that atmosphere.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen fans dancing their “fat asses” off in the stands to any number of songs being played during the game. They do it as much as they can for the chance to be on the Prostar. Just look at the ManiAACS and Mavs Dancers and even Boogie Bob…why do you think the entire AAC roars as loud as ever when they see them? Because they are at the game, JUST to see the game?? Absolutely not…they bought tickets for a show, to be entertained, to have fun. Listening to sneakers squeak and hearing the ball clank on the rim doesn’t incite fun. If you think it does, take those sounds to a dance club, put them on the sound system, and watch how fast the floor clears.

    Better yet, head up to Chicago. Sit and watch a Bulls game. You know when that crowd gets the loudest? During their version of the Minyards dot race on the Prostar. DURING A FREAKIN DOT RACE! They sort of cheer for the big plays, and send text messages to their friends the rest of the time. Chicago plays music during their games, but its at 1/4 the volume as in the AAC, and their sound system is terrible. Their announcer is more like the guy who replaced Rod Roddy on the Price is Right. Don’t bag on Humble Billy until you’ve sampled what else is out there these days.

    Mark, thank you for listening to the roar of your customers. Thank you for watching how they react to the music and other entertainment in the arena. Thank you for spending the extra cash on a great sound system to play said music. I’m a guy who hated pro basketball before I came to a Mavs game, mainly because I had been to other arenas and was bored to tears. Three short years later I have a Mavs tag on my car, Mavs stuff all over my house, and plans for a Mavs tattoo. And that huge change didn’t happen because I came to an arena — and watched a team — that was “all about the basketball.”

    Comment by J.P. -

  89. Mark lets be real here. I live 15 min from the AAC and neiter u nor I could convince ne1 else outside of Dallas that the white-collar crowd attending Mavs games has the same heart for the game as the college students at the college games. MUCH more energy has to be pumped into the fans at Mavs games for them to output it. I’ve been to two games this season, one occasion sitting n the row directly below the Mav Maniacs, I loved it. Plz bring them back. The additional mics on the court and around it are a huge plus!

    On another couple notes Mark, u should call into Russ’s show more often. And, do u personally scout local high school talent?

    Comment by Brandon -

  90. I love the music and especially those ManiAACs – they always rock the house!!

    Comment by eddo -

  91. also another reason fans noise is low is bc the still of offense we play. i am in no way dissing how the mavs play bc i absolutely love it but dunks is what gets the crowd into the game not 3’s. while 3’s do get some excitment going, it is not the same as a windmill jam or a guard dunking over a post ruetinely. the suns have a great crowd bc u have players like marion and amare throwing it down not only with authority, but with regularity. i love the mav’s style of offense but it is a factor as to why the game is not as loud, bc only every now and then do howard or harris throw down a nasty dunk. once they win (and i mean a chamionship, not 60 games) fan support and crowd noise will go threw the roof. it was not until last year that the spurs were trully an exciting team, but they had great support since they won there first title bc they did just that: win a title. same goes for detroit. the mavs are very capable of a title and once they do win one, fan support will go to a new level. winning (championships) fixes anything.

    Comment by taylor -

  92. i am 18, i go to about 8 games a year bc my dad splits season tickets. i usually get to take my friends and we are huge fans and we cheer as much as possible but it is more difficult to do because we are usually surrounded by girls in meank coats and rings with diamonds the size of an iceberg and there rich boyfriends or husbands trying to impress them with there expensive tickets to an nba game. these people are not real fans, they are there to see-and-be-seen. they are also sitting in the lower sections where most of the noise is generayed therefor there is little noise being generated. they are, for the most part, the only ones that can afford these seats, rather than the die-hards, once again i say for the most part. music, especially when the ball is in play has almost no impact on the crowd noise, it is simply that so much of the crowd is snobs who arent there to cheer but are there to impress. they are interested in the dallas social scene not the mavericks. thats just part of it, it wont change probably, so you just have to keep marketing to the true fans who support and cheer no matter what. those who love the game and love the mav’s will be back every year, just like my family and friends will. music or no music.

    Comment by taylor -

  93. I didnt know the main goal of game presentation was to see how much energy you can create. There are a ton of things you can do to increase energy. How much energy do you think was in the arena the infamous night of the Pacers-Pistons debacle. Maybe Mark should just invite the opposing players into the stands during stopages. I for one think that Mavs games are the worst of the big 4 to attend. I was a MFFL before all the Johnny come lately’s arrived(for proof I remember the likes of Tony Dumas, Mike Izzolino(sp?), Randy White, Donald Hodge, etc.) The music is the least of my problems. Humble Billy Hays is the worst thing to happen to the Mavs since Roy Tarpley was drafted. I don’t need some SOB screaming at me and asking “Do you believe?”, when the Mavs are down late. This aint church. If the games arent good enough to generate their own excitement then so be it. Perhaps Mark should consider having a band, say the Rolling Stones, play a concert and we can have Mavs b-ball played between songs. Maybe after trying this he could judge the excitement in the arena. I bet it would be very high. My only point is that less focus should be placed on excitement level being generated by things other than the game. People will go to games sans music and fat asses dancing and Humble Billy screaming his ass off. Reunion was fine without the antics and the ACC would be better off as well. Just my 2-cents.

    Comment by Ryan -

  94. Mark,

    The Knicks have always had the best music piped in for defensive possessions. The Suns have used the same music the last few years. It’s an intimidating sound, pumps you up, and I would like to see the Mavs try it.

    BTW, I’m a Mavs fan living in Sacramento, CA and watch all Mavs games via League Pass.

    -Don

    Comment by Don -

  95. Buy a soccer team. It comes with passion.

    Maybe you could create a cheap/standing only section behind the baskets, Just like in soccer. Give up some ticket revenue in exchange for much better atmosphere and that will create $$$ down the line.

    Comment by Konrad -

  96. I’m a fan of the music, if anything I think it should be increased. There seems to be quite a lull at the beginning of games (or maybe it’s just the only games I go to are Bobcat games :X) But I suffice, music is a way to keep the crowd in the game during those lull points. If not for the music you have almost complete silence outside the PA announcer.

    Being a huge hockey fan, I love hearing the organ playing during stoppages in play (great to hear it so much during the Olympics, to such songs as Kashmir). Give something the crowd can clap along with, play some Harry Belafonte Minnie the Moocher where the crowd can sing along, just anything besides silence. Have music that reflects the attitude of the game, have some uptempo rockin’ music when the home team is down four points with a minute left.

    The Nashville Predators (another NHL reference) do a great job of showing video highlights of movies that go along with the game, like the John Belushi scene from Animal House where he says the famous ‘the tough get goin’! line when the team is down a goal with five minutes left in the game. It really seems to get the crowd back into the game.

    But to have no music during a stoppage in play is going in the wrong direction in my opinion.

    Comment by Tyler Yarnell -

  97. I really cannot buy into the school spirit line of reasoning. I have never had any school spirit, at the high school or college level, and the majority of people I know did not either.

    It would seem, however, that school spirit is perpetuated by “spirits”, and that drunk college fools are more likely to jump around and act like louts to impress friends/opposite sex, accounting for what is interpreted as energy.

    I would prefer to sit with a bunch of “suits” and enjoy the game in relative peace, than slum around with a bunch of drunk frat boys/sorority girls and vow never to attend another event there.

    OTOH, I really can’t say no to a second helping of Alice in Chains, even if it’s at a sporting event.

    Comment by Smells Like No Spirit -

  98. Mark, you noticed my bias – I really don’t like NBA.

    The “who cares” argument does have some holes in it, but there is validity to the psyche of trying harder to get a huge payday (college players) in the NBA vs. already having millions when you grew up with far, far less. An analog to that thinking is why it seems that the year before free agency is often a player’s best, particularly in sports where contracts are guaranteed. The motivation is to get paid, not necessarily to win.

    Couple that with the fact that the era of teamwork has been displaced by having 1 or 2 stars with huge egos who dominate the game and tempo and we have the NBA.

    I think what happened is a Jordan effect. It effect is similar to how in the aftermath of Coltrane or Miles, jazz, everybody tried to be like them but nobody has the talent or ability to be them. Trying to be “like Mike” is evident in the play of almost every domestic star on the NBA. The impact of the 3 point line on shooting can be debated as a primary cause, but the basic shooting skill level of elite players has dropped (can probably be tracked by FT or FG stats) and it can be attributed to focusing on poster dunks instead of fundamentals.

    I prefer college and international basketball, it is not as tough, athletic or elite as the NBA, but I find it more interesting, competitive and compelling to watch.

    I respect your opinions, business acumen, but we differ in opinion when it comes to basketball.

    Comment by jason -

  99. As a season ticket holder of a non-Dallas NBA team, I really notice the energy in the building when I go to games. Music has a big impact on us all, especially when your home team is not playoff bound.

    I think the main reason no one is saying anything about the experiment is because you don’t notice that type of a thing when you watch the game on TV.

    Comment by funny shirt guy -

  100. Mark, I personally don’t like the music going while the ball is in play. At the same time, I enjoy it during all other points in the game. But during play it’s kind of distracting and doesn’t add to the excitement of the game. And I would be curious to know how the players on the floor feel about music playing while the ball is in play.

    Comment by Kris -

  101. “…at least not a college w/a [good] football/basketball team. OK, guys, I’m kidding.”

    That’s ok. UConn,’85. We sucked bigtime. ;-p

    Comment by timeout -

  102. Mark,

    I too was at the Arkansas/Alabama game like Aaron. I also come to a lot of Mavs games. The whole arena, not just the student section, was going completely crazy. The student section accounts for probably 2000 of the 18000 people. So you got 16000 alumni getting just as fired up as the student section. The only time I have seen that in the American Airlines center is the Dallas/Phoenix playoff series last year. The NBA’s Alumni is the corporations. How many season tickets are to corp. and how many to individuals?

    I think the intensity that the players play is the difference. The first NBA game I came to I thought, they play like they don’t care. They seem to only play come playoff time. I was also at the Dallas/Indiana game this year at Dallas when the Mavs blew out the Pacers and I thought, “Indiana isn’t even playing”

    Anyway, I guess my point is that its not just the fans, the players have to help us get into the game. Don’t get me wrong, I love the music, the mics and stuff, but after seeing so many college games as well, I think there are other factors.

    Comment by PaulD -

  103. Do you think you could get some of the TV networks to experiment with “Silent Night?” Might be an improvement in some cases. NBA TV in particular seems to have a lower level of commentary, which is nice once in a while. I don’t think Sir Charles is doing the in-game, so he’ll survive.

    Comment by Peter Kim -

  104. It appears that some of the commenters never went to college… (not that there’s anything wrong w/that) …at least not a college w/a [good] football/basketball team. OK, guys, I’m kidding.

    One cannot question a pro sports team fan’s dedication, given the scheduling difficulties, expense, etc.
    The difference b/t the entertainment @ a college (or high school, even) and pro game is where the secondary source of entertainment comes from (the first being, of course, the game itself). In a pro game, it comes from the speakers and jumbo-trons, and in the college game, it comes from the band/cheerleaders/dance team, etc.
    Lots of this is about location. The Mavs dancers aren’t courtside; they come out during timeouts and then disappear from whence they came. The drum line and ManiAACs sit in their own isolated sections, whereas in college the band and auxillary groups are in the lower bowl.
    In college, the entertainment is live; in the pros, it’s digital, punctuated by 30 second appearances by various and sundry groups. People who have demanding jobs (and can afford the high-dollar tix) don’t want to be part of the entertainment (read: on their feet, screaming & jumping around); they want to be entertained.
    In some cases, this is unfortunate; you’ll never be asked to sit down at a college game, but I’ve had over a dozen experiences @ pro games where a lazy, fat idiot w/jalapeno-induced [or not?] halitosis has threatened to have me removed for standing up and cheering during a game. /vent

    Solution? More actual, live entertainment, though I’m not sure if Joe CEO would take kindly to having a piccolo or trumpet in his ear after shelling out $$$ for courtside seats.

    Comment by sarah o'neill -

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