maccabi tel aviv

Even the World’s Largest Matzo Ball Can’t Draw Basketball Fans in This Economy

Omri Casspi, back in his Maccabi Tel Aviv days.

There can’t be many tasks more frustrating than selling tickets to a Knicks preseason game, and we’d imagine that job is made even worse when you know that the proceeds from the game you’re not selling many tickets to go to charity. But that’s the position in which the organizers of Sunday’s game between the Knicks and Maccabi Tel Aviv at Madison Square Garden find themselves.

Two years ago, a Maccabi-Knicks game drew 18,500 people to the Garden, a Knicks home preseason record. But thus far this year, they’ve only sold 9,000 tickets. According to Robert Katz, the VP of the Israeli orphanage benefiting from the game, the economy is to blame for sluggish sales. (The orphanage, Migdal Ohr, is responsible for selling tickets, which were not part of the Knicks’ season-ticket plans. After paying the Garden a rental fee, they keep 100 percent of the proceeds.) But the bad economy only means they have to work that much harder to do whatever they can to fill seats.

For example, they’ve asked the Sacramento Kings if first-round pick Omri Casspi — who’s on track to become the first Israeli to play in an NBA game — can miss a day of practice to fly in for the game and have his Maccabi number retired. And then there’s this, which we’ll let the Post explain:

Migdal Ohr organizers have pulled out all the stops to try to promote the game, even delivering the world’s largest matzah ball to an East Side deli in July.

Somehow, this didn’t work. Probably because, if you’re going to utilize the world’s largest matzo ball to sell tickets, it’s crazy not to unveil it at halftime, on the court, with smoke machines and laser lights, and perhaps some words from the mayor. There’s little doubt that would be more watchable than the Knicks at this stage in the season.

Maccabi looks to honor Casspi at Knicks game [NYP]

Even the World’s Largest Matzo Ball Can’t Draw Basketball Fans in This Economy