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AS THE SPURS SHINE ON THE COURT, THEY STRUGGLE OFF THE COURT
Published April 24, 1995
While the Spurs have set team records for attendance and wins and head into this week's NBA playoffs with home court advantage, the team's ticket revenue is down from last season, according to a report in Sunday's SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS. Tim Griffen reports that while the team is making money, overall revenue is down more than 4% from last year. Spurs CEO Jack Diller blames some of the lower revenues on a lower average ticket price and says that playoff revenues "will be more important than ever to help offset the regular-season shortfall." Former team owner Red McCombs once estimated the value of each playoff game at $1M, because of the "importance in setting fan and sponsorship interest for the upcoming year." Griffen reports the team's salaries, benefits and travel costs compared with revenue have risen from 33% in '91 to almost 50% this season -- and are projected to climb to 58% next season. Another problem facing the team is San Antonio's market size and limited corporate base, according to Griffen. The team ranks last in NBA market size and sells only 24% of season tickets to corporate accounts. Griffen reports that the average NBA team relies on corporate accounts for 70% of their sales. Griffen notes that in addition, the team receives lower than average revenue from local TV and must make up that loss in other areas, such as concessions and parking (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 4/23). According to the Alamodome's Janet Vasquez, the Spurs get 60% of food and beverage sales and controls all arena advertising. The city, which owns and operates the Dome, receives 6% of the gross ticket sales (THE DAILY, 4/5).