Those are the facts, now onto my impressions of my first minor league basketball game. First of all, the Sports Pavilion at SBCC is a dump. One of the dingiest, dirtiest buildings that I have ever been in. The entrance is a shambles, the ticket office is an unfinished room, the area where you go back to the bathrooms is disgusting, the seats are uncomfortable and rickety and the lighting in the gym messed up my eyes and gave me a headache. I probably won’t go to another Breakers game because of the Sports Pavilion alone.
Also, like I predicted when I took them to task for their ticket prices in an earlier post, they were sold out of the cheap seats and I had to purchase a $12.50 ticket. Now take a look at the first picture again, do you see anyone sitting in the top corners of the bleachers? I don’t. There never was anybody sitting in those seats even before the game. Even in an empty building, usually there are a few honest people that sit in their assigned seats at least until the end of the first half, but not tonight. I can’t prove anything, but I don’t think that the cheap tickets actually exist. Is this another bait-and-switch ploy by the Breakers?
And while the game was fast paced and high scoring it wasn’t very interesting or exciting. It’s basically just a bunch of guys playing pickup basketball trying to score as many points as possible for themselves. This is a big problem throughout minor league basketball and is one of the reasons that fans don’t ever get invested in these smaller teams. Players are just looking to catch the attention of somebody higher up in the food chain so team play that leads to more interesting basketball goes straight out the window.
There were only a couple positives that I could single out. There were a lot of kids at the game that were really, really excited to be there. They danced around on the floor, slapped five with the guys, even got into the huddle at one point during a timeout and yelled “BREAKERS” louder than the players did.
They also seem to be doing a fair amount of sales of their replica jersey. I saw quite a few people shell out $50 for the blue jersey with a big sweeping Santa Barbara across the chest. It’s probably because it was the only piece of merchandise that wasn’t completely boring. And at least the Breakers have team jerseys. Chico’s jerseys were blank other than the number.
So while I wish that I could say that my Santa Barbara Breakers experience was better, I just cannot report anything more than being completely underwhelmed and a little bit angry at the team. Minor league sports has to provide to it’s customers the feeling that you are getting more than what you paid for. But between the bait-and-switch tactics and the boring game play, after the game I felt like I spent far too much money on an inferior product. I sincerely doubt that I will be back.