OAKLAND -- For years it has been widely assumed that Warriors fans, loyal throughout many lean seasons, would go crazy for a winner. That's exactly what is happening.
Despite a 20 percent average increase in ticket prices, the Warriors have gained 2,900 season-ticket holders since their season ended in the second round of the playoffs. The increase is the second-biggest in the NBA behind the Sacramento Kings, who are operating under new ownership after staving off a move to Seattle.
The Warriors now have 13,600 season-ticket holders, the most in franchise history and the second-largest number in the league. (Most teams shoot for 10,000 as a goal.)
"Joe (Lacob) and Peter (Guber) knew it would happen," Warriors president Rick Welts said referring to the team's co-owners. "But I think they both would be hard-pressed to see it happen so quickly."
The latest data was revealed by the NBA to its 30 ownership groups at the Board of Governors meetings this week in Las Vegas. Golden State's fan support, powered by last season's playoff run, proved to be one of the highlights of the annual review.
Since this time last year, the Warriors have sold 4,771 season tickets, the most in the NBA.
The Warriors' season-ticket renewal rate was 92 percent, the fourth highest rate in the NBA. Last season, 84 percent renewed with the team coming off a 23-43 record.
The Warriors have sold out 38 consecutive home games, the longest streak since Oracle Arena was expanded in 1997.
Golden State's average home attendance last season was 19,371, fifth in the NBA behind Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Portland.
"We've had a phenomenal yearlong run," Welts said. "It does show that we, over the last couple years, have put together the type of business operation Joe and Peter promised. ... Joe was receiving a lot of pats on the back (at the meeting)."
The Warriors' season-ticket success leaves the business side of the front office with a "good" problem: Golden State is running out of season tickets.
Welts said the Warriors would like to cap season-ticket sales at 15,000. That would leave some 5,000 tickets per game for group sales and those who can afford to buy only single-game seats. The team is considering plans for a waiting list if it reaches 15,000.
Welts said the Warriors are preparing for an even more raucous environment next season by making more investments in Oracle Arena. Last season, the Warriors added a video board and digital signage throughout the arena. For this season, Welts hinted at amenity upgrades and other improvements he didn't want to reveal.
"We aren't just sitting and waiting for a new arena," Welts said. "Oracle Arena is our giant beta test."
According to a Yahoo! Sports report, the NBA is expected to release the 2013-14 schedule in August. That event usually leads to an uptick in season-ticket sales.
Interest in the Warriors is as high as it has been in recent memory. They reached the playoffs for the first time in six years last season, then upset Denver in the first round and pushed San Antonio to six games. The addition of Andre Iguodala has raised the expectations for Golden State on the court.
It's all resulting in record numbers in tickets. The Warriors fan base is turning out to be every bit as rabid as expected.
"Results like this make life better and easier," Welts said. "This fan base is everything and more that I observed from a distance."