SEASON-TICKET HOLDERS TALK ABOUT STREAK
Four longtime season ticket holders talked to Clippers.com about what the 100-straight sellouts mean to them and relive some of their favorite memories during the streak.
One-hundred straight sellouts. Wow, just writing that seems pretty surreal. I have had tickets since 1988 when I was 6 years old. To think of how far this team has come, to think about all the people that support the Clippers on a nightly basis now is pretty remarkable. Not a day goes by where I don’t get an email, a text, or a phone call asking me if I have an extra ticket for an upcoming Clippers game. The atmosphere in Staples Center has been electric over the last couple of years. Every game now feels like a Playoff game because of all those in attendance and the energy the fans bring. Going to a Clippers game is much different than going to a game for the team across the hall. Yeah, there may be some star gazing at a Clippers game, but the majority of people in the crowd are passionate, loyal fans who really care about the team and the game. There is nothing better than seeing 19,000-plus stand and cheer as one, rooting for the same cause. The fan experience is definitely a lot more enjoyable now because Staples Center is always loud and rocking.
The Clippers are definitely the hot ticket in L.A. right now, their style of play is electric and people are really starting to believe this team can compete for a championship for years to come. Every night it seems my dad and I wait in a 10-15 minute line just get into the arena. People come early, grab food, hang with their friends, and get ready for some exciting basketball. Some of my good friends, I have met being a Season Ticket holder for the Clippers. Some have been fans as long as I have, some over the last decade. Either way, we have all come together as a community, almost as a second family. Every halftime, we all gather around the fan booth outside of section 101 to chat, and take photos.
Clipper fans are some of the most loyal and passionate fans around. You really get a sense of that now, especially with the 100-straight sellouts.
-- Jesse Beer-Dietz
The sellout streak began on February 2, 2011 vs. the Chicago Bulls | VIEW PHOTOS OF THE STREAK (games 1-25)
We have been going to Clippers games since 1990, so we’ve seen arenas when they were practically empty. There were times when we couldn’t even give tickets away to our customers. Now, it’s amazing to see how packed Staples Center gets during games and we have customers begging for tickets. The past 100 sellouts have been surreal for us longtime Clippers fans. Other teams might not think 100 sellout games is much of a streak, but we have to start somewhere and it’s great to know the team is heading in the right direction. There is a whole different atmosphere inside and you can feel the energy feeding from each fan down to the players when they’re on the court. We have a top-notch team from management to the superstar players and down to our Clippers MVPs season-ticket crew. We are thrilled to be part of this streak and changing culture. We want to be a part of this sellout streak when it reaches 200, 300, 400 games and beyond. It’ll be great for the league, it’ll be great for the city, and most importantly, it’ll be great for the fans. Today, the Clippers are the best team in Los Angeles and aiming to be the best team in the NBA by the end of the season. Clipper Nation has championship aspirations and this team, led by Doc Rivers and Chris Paul, is going to take us there.
-- Jean and Ricky Chu
One-hundred straight sellouts, what a feat for a team that just a few years back had made the Playoffs just four times in the last 30-plus years. Yet in contradiction a team that had arguably the best fans in all of the NBA and even possibly all off sports, I'm not just saying that, there was a study on this. It's easy to cheer for a team that always wins or a team that your family has followed for generations, but it takes a special fan to root for the underdog. When I think back over the last two and half years, I have so many memories, many of which are more than just highlights from a basketball game. They are events in my life that will leave a lasting impression on me, my family, my friends and all the people I have built relationships with in Clipper Nation.
Take for instance my season seat partner, Bernie Katz! Here is a man that I met five years ago when I moved from row 14 to row 9. Little did I know I would be sitting next to a season-seat holder of 24 years. That's right and he has been following them since 1984, what more could a fan ask for than a man with a wealth of knowledge and experience about a team he has followed through thick and thin. We have shared countless evenings shouting at the top of our lungs such as April 22, 2013 when Chris Paul hit a last second-shot against the Grizzles in Game 2 of the Playoffs to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
How about being able to take my daughter Avery to a game and at the age of 1 and see her excitement when she sees herself on the big screen during a game where Jamal Crawford does his famous shake-and-bake and the crowd ooohhhhs and aaahhhhs…
Or even the great sweep of the Lakers during the 2012-13 season. Granted only two games of that series were part of this 100 game sellout streak, but seeing Blake Griffin go on a dunk fest versus them on Jan. 4, 2013 was fantastic. Constantly attacking and throwing himself all over the building, even into two small kids sitting front row at the scorer’s table. I'm sure that’s a memory they will never forget.
Surely everyone remembers the dunk heard around the world, when DeAndre Jordan posterized Brandon Knight against the Pistons on Mar. 10, 2013 or what about Mr. Big Shot (Chauncey Billups) hitting the buzzer-beater against Dallas (the reigning champs) on Jan. 12, 2012, each of these has a special place in my memory and that of many Clippers fans.
Don't forget the lighter side of the game, like Chris and Blake wearing ugly sweaters for the Christmas Day game versus the Nuggets in 2012 or Little Chris doing the Blake “Dunk Face” and being broadcast on ESPN for weeks afterwards.
As I said, the memories I have span far and wide during the past 100-straight sellout games and when the streak ends (I'm sure it will as all streaks do), for this Clippers fan, it will just mean the beginning of a new streak is about to begin and the start of a whole new slew of memories. I have been a fan of the Clippers since 1996 and a season-seat holder since 2005, just imagine what kind of memories I will have 10, 20 or even 30 years from now. I can't wait to see what the future has in store.
Bernie lives in Florida now and flies in for as many games as he can and I live in San Diego (the Clippers old hometown) and drive in for a majority of games as well. I just can't imagine missing a chance to see more amazing feats of athleticism Like Blake's game against the Lakers Apr. 4, 2012 when he dunked on Pau Gasol two times in true Blake fashion.
-- Brett Gottlieb