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AS THE SPURS SHINE ON THE COURT, THEY STRUGGLE OFF THE COURT

     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).
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Franchises, NBA, San Antonio Spurs

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