By ALAN SNEL
Saturday’s massive Lakers fan-dominated crowd at the NBA Summer League helped the Summer League score a record sellout, Summer league founder Warren LeGarie told LVSportsBiz.com during halftime of a Rockets-Cavaliers game.
“We had to stop selling — yesterday,” LeGarie told LVSportsBiz.com at the halftime break in Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus.
Saturday’s attendance hit 17,500, beating the record of 16,208 set on July 9 of last year. Friday’s attendance was 14,295.
Thousands of Lakers fans poured into Thomas & Mack Center to watch Lonzo Ball and the Lakers take on the Celtics. Boston beat LA, 86-81, but Ball had 11 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for a triple-double.
The day before, Lakers fans also filled Thomas & Mack when the team took on the Clippers.
Helping ticket sales was former UNLV star Patrick McCaw of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors also playing in a game against the 76ers this evening.
The NBA Summer League is a vital money maker for the arena budget, a top 10 event at Thomas & Mack, said Mike Newcomb, the arena’s executive director.
During the week, ticket sales were running at twice the rate than last year at the same time, Newcomb told LVSportsBiz.com this afternoon while walking the Thomas & Mack concourse.
The 67-game schedule will include teams such as the Lakers and Warriors (fans of both teams travel well to the summer league) playing in Thomas & Mack and its attached sister facility, Cox Pavilion. Cox holds about 2,100 fans and 300 scouts and credentialed media, Newcomb said.
NBA Summer League organizer Albert Hall greeted Newcomb in a large catering room, where the documentary film, Giants of Africa, will be showed in a VIP setting Monday night, Newcomb said.
Hall was busy finalizing the NBA Summer League’s many displays and signs around the Thomas & Mack Center Thursday afternoon.
“There’s a lot of moving parts, trying to make this work,” Hall said as he stood next to Newcomb.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for juniors. Each ticket gets you access to eight games in one day. The Summer League runs through July 17.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com