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Hayden Goethe, Published October 23 2009

Goethe: A few suggestions - using their past struggles - on how Wolves can boost attendance

Another season of Minnesota Timberwolves basketball is right around the corner. And if this is the first you’ve heard of it, you’re not alone.

Minnesota starts its season Wednesday, one day after the league opens regular-season play.

The Timberwolves have been a faceless franchise since trading Kevin Garnett away two years ago. While Garnett has gone on to win a championship with the Boston Celtics, the Wolves have faded further into obscurity in the Minnesota sports landscape.

Last season, the Wolves ranked 27th among the 30 NBA teams in home attendance, and no doubt the number of people who actually saw games at the Target Center represented a number far below the 14,505 average announced crowd.

The Wolves have undergone a house-cleaning this season. Combine that with the injuries to forwards Kevin Love and Al Jefferson, and this should be a challenging year for the team.

Here are a few ideas on some promotions that could put “meat in the seats” at the Target Center this season:

Offer free tickets to a select game to anyone who can name all of the teams the Wolves lost first-round playoff series to during the Garnett era.

Kurt Rambis look-alike promotion. For those who don’t know, he’s the head coach now.

Get a fast-food restaurant – like McDonald’s or Burger King – to host a Latrell Sprewell, “Feed my family,” night. Fans could toss boxed Big Macs into the mouths of Sprewell cardboard cut-outs during halftime.

To commemorate the upcoming 10-year anniversary of the NBA uncovering the Joe Smith under-the-table contract scandal, offer fans a discount on season tickets if they give their word that they’ll renew them after this season.

Hold a rebounding contest for fans between quarters of an upcoming game. The lucky fan that wins would earn an all-expenses paid trip to Kevin McHale big-man camp to work on his or her post game. The camp is notorious for producing such famed Timberwolves centers as Stojko Vrancovic, Michael Olowokandi, Dean Garrett, Cherokee Parks, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Loren Woods and Paul Grant.

Readers can reach Forum Assistant Sports Editor Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558 or hgoethe@forumcomm.com