Boston Celtics

Jan. 18, 1958

Despite winning the 1956-57 NBA championship, the Celtics suffered a dip in attendance, leaving it at an average crowd of 9,236 per game.

Celtics owner Walter Brown said he was “confused” by the turnstile slump.

“I can’t believe that Boston won’t support a winner,” Brown told the Boston Globe. “On the other hand, the Bruins continue to pack them in no matter what happens.”

On this date, the Celtics were 32-13, the best record in the NBA.

The Bruins were 17-20-11.

Brown tried another gimmick to draw some folks into the Garden the following Sunday, Feb. 2, with the Detroit Pistons in town. Declared Family Day, anyone buying a single $2 and $2.50 seat could get the adjacent seats for 75 cents each. A crowd of 8,556 watched the Celtics rally to beat Detroit, 119-115.

That night, the Bruins edged the New York Rangers, 4-3, before a capacity crowd of 13,909.

Brown, who died in 1964, didn’t live to see the Celtics achieve the stature he knew they deserved. That didn’t arrive until the Larry Bird era.

But the team’s founder put them on the right path and was willing to take the financial hits to keep them going.

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