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Why Home and Away Game won't work for the PBA



What will happen if PBA implements home and away game?


Every Ginebra game whether home or away will be Ginebra's home at least most of the time. 

There are 12 teams in the PBA and while some of them have good followings, most of the teams won't be able to fill a stadium or at least attract enough crowd to watch at the venue not unless the audiences are employees or families of the brand the team is representing.

Exhibit A. Championship game. Ginebra vs Meralco.  Did you see the crowd? Maybe a strong 80% of the fans watching were wearing red and whether the game was at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City or even at the 50,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bulacan, there is just no way Meralco fans can outnumber the Ginebra fans in any location in the Philippines or in the world.


PBA fans shares among teams an imbalance.

Ginebra probably has more than 60% of the total PBA fans share. Without this franchise, the PBA may already have been out of business or struggling to make ends meet. While teams like Star Hotshots, TNT, San Miguel Beermen and Alaska may also have decent followings teams like Kia, Blackwater, Phoenix are too small and brand new to compile enough fans most especially if they are not winning games. 


Specific or team fans are not concentrated in one area. 

Unlike the defunct MBA or the NBA, where the team represents an area or a city and the fans come to watch to support their local team. The PBA represents a brand and users or promoters of that brand are not in one place. 

Can you tell where most Kia owners are? Are you sure that they are even a fan of basketball or support Kia's basketball team? Even NLEX Road Warriors could not summon enough fans to come and watch them at the Philippine Arena which is located at NLEX.  

A fan needs a reason to support a team and representing your city or even a country promotes that nationality or local pride unlike supporting a team that mainly represent a product. 


How about if we put the home court arena close to the company headquarters? 

That is an idea but we can't always force its employees to watch the games or maybe pay overtime so they can extend already long hours of work to watch a basketball game. This won't help especially if the league is trying to generate enough revenue.


The Verdict 

While PBA is the most popular league in the Philippines, it has failed to spread out its fans among other teams due to monopoly, imbalance exposures, and domination by a few teams. This prevented the league from growing hence they are unable to put good numbers of gate tickets on a none Ginebra game.  

As we speak teams may already be spending a lot of money and may not actually be getting enough returns on their investments. Building additional facilities or locating a good facility maybe is a task harder than anyone could imagine, not to mention the logistics and security that has to be implemented every time.  


Can you name 12 good basketball arenas in Manila or anywhere in the Philippines?

Anyway, the short answer to why home and away game will not work is: The PBA is not built for it. 

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