I was made privy to an article in which Tim Wilkin of the Times Union, without naming myself or this site (probably because I got Tim’s name wrong – whoops!), responded to my criticism of him reporting the 3,527 number as the actual number of people in the crowd for KO at the TU rather than tickets sold:
A couple days later, I heard of a blog post (not on the Times Union website) that said there was no way that there were 3,527 people in the arena. Really?
Yes, Tim. Really.
In case you need a refresher, I presented my case for why 3,527 was a preposterous figure:
My initial and continued estimate of 700 to 800 people at this event on Saturday is, I’m being told by others who were there, me being kind and bad at estimating crowd size. Which, by my own admission, I am. Others have said maybe 1200 or so, which I’d accept. But given how many sections were all but completely empty and all of the empty space on the floor, that number reported by Wilkin is literally impossible.
Tim, who either didn’t read the post or wanted to intentionally misrepresent my statements, said that I was claiming 700. Which I wasn’t, I said 700-800 but admitted that I was bad at estimating crowd sizes in that range and could be as high as 1200. From his article:
I have been at enough events in the arena — from basketball to hockey to, now boxing — to give an accurate head count. And, this was not my head count. This came right from the top, from arena general manager Bob Belber.
Yeah, Tim, but see, that’s the problem – you said there were 3,527 people in the arena. From your initial filing:
The fights will be back at the TU Center on April 28. A six-bout card was held at the Arena Saturday night and 3,527 people showed up.
I’m sure Tim and others will claim I’m arguing semantics and nit-picking, but I’m not. There is a BIG difference between telling people what the reported attendance was (“an announced attendance of 3,527″) and telling them straight out that “3,527 people showed up.” GM Bob Belber, who you quoted, himself acknowledged as much every so slyly.
Belber was a little ticked to hear that there were people who questioned the announced attendance. He said he does remember a night where there was a crowd of about 700 (maybe less) at a Devils hockey game on a snowy night.
Just one night? To quote myself in my initial reply to that reported attendance, c’mon now. Bob, if you’re reading this, I apologize if you’re offended that myself and several others in attendance at the event deigned to make our own judgment and exercised some skepticism towards the figure you provided. Unfortunately, sometimes people are going to make observations and say them out loud and they might not run hand in hand with what you’d like other people to hear. There’s no reason, though, to be “ticked off” that someone would dare do something like exercise some common sense. Life’s too short for all that. Besides, this is a non-issue. Most people will believe you over me anyway, one because you’re the GM of the Times Union Center and they don’t realize it’s your job to do this sort of thing, two because I’m just a dude with a blog, and three because not enough people showed up to the goddamn thing to say either way how many people they think were there.
Besides, even you said:
“Sure, some were comps, and there were probably some people who didn’t show up.”
I think a lot didn’t. I won’t go into it again, but I refer you back to what I initially posted. The floor was MAYBE three-quarters filled, sides in front of and behind press row maybe half, to the left and right were barren. The upper sections were completely blocked off. If that’s 3,257 people, then wow, we must’ve been in Dallas Stadium and not realized it!
This part did make me chuckle.
“What would we have to benefit?” Belber said when asked about inflating the number. “People can say whatever they want, everyone has a right to their opinion.”
I was there. That count was accurate. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Firstly: what would the General Manager of the Times Union Center have to benefit by perpetuating the number of tickets sold combined with number of tickets given away as comps or circulated through the area as an attendance figure rather than actual physical asses in the seats, just like every other arena and promotion across the country does? SERIOUSLY? It’s his job! We’re not gonna touch that? Okay then.
Ah well. Appeal to authority rules all, I guess. The good news is Star Boxing will be back in April and the attendance will be even better because they’ll have learned so much from this first show about crowd expectations (as distasteful as they may be to some), have more fighters on the card, get better publicity, and have Evander Holyfield in attendance. Which, if the crowd last Saturday was 3,527, should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 300,000 screaming fans.