....Charlotte wasn't such a fickle sports city. During the early Hornets run, this was the place to be. I remeber as a kid, when somebody in class said they were going to a Hornets game, we were all in awe, and I'm from northern Davidson County, 15 miles south of Winston Salem.
For whatever reason (Shinn/Woolridge debacle, arena ultimatums, "hip-hop" culture, etc.) it became en vogue to badmouth the NBA in the Carolinas. Because people like to feel a part of a group, the more people talk bad about the NBA, the more people will come to their point of view, whether they know the first thing about basketball or not. So while there was enthusiasm for the Hornets, replaced by antipathy when they left, there is now apathy for the Bobcats.
Solutions: (in no particular order)
1. The PA volume has to be turned down. The pregame intro music is too loud. A lot of the music during timeouts is also just too loud. It's like Keetch says, you can't even talk to the person sitting next to you no matter where you're sitting, and it's irritating to be in mid-sentence and have your voice drowned out by the blasting music or PA announcer shouting. This has kept many, many people I personally know away from the games, and that is an absolute shame.
2. If there was some kind of ticket giveaway or something. The arena is a fabulous place, and it is a wonderful experience in and of itself to take in a game. I was a fan of the Coliseum, but it puts that old relic out to pasture. Just a great place, staffed with nice, courteous ushers and other staff members. If there was a way to get someone in there that has sworn off the NBA, or may not otherwise go to a game, I know there would be a great "conversion" ratio after having been inside the arena and seen a game (taking into account, point 1, of course). Even if the game itself is not of interest, there are plenty of diversions inside the arena, for the casual fan to take part in. They just need to get in the arena.
3. Better TV deal. Mark Packer, who hosts a popular regional radio show out of Charlotte has said as much, as have callers to the show who have been eager to catch the Cats, but have satellite, and therefore can't view the games because of the TW deal. This doesn't affect me, as I have TW, but the more people that can see the Cats play is always better.