After I settled into my nosebleed seat, I was quickly absorbed in the game, admiring my NBA heroes like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and even getting a little teary with pride for the scrappy Chinese team.
It didn't take long for the NBA guys to start punishing the Chinese team, however, so I soon started to look around this newly built basketball cathedral. I noticed the fans, the flags and too many empty seats in the prime areas of the arena. I could not believe my eyes.
Considering the magnitude of this game and the general popularity of basketball in China, the empty seats seemed more than a little odd. Certainly, many people wanted to go to this game. I've heard the same thing is happening at other key events. Seats have been consistently empty in the prime areas, even though the upper decks usually have a packed house.
I have no explanation for the empty seats, but I've heard plenty of rumors. The most common are: "Those tickets were handed out to government officials"; "The corporations took them all"; and "They were packaged into sets and given to people without an interest in this sport."
Whatever the actual reasons are, I hate to see tickets get wasted. If there's anyone out there with government or corporate tickets in hand they don't want, let me know. I'll happily fill your empty seat.
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