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SEASON PRODUCES BIG WINS FOR MAVERICKS ON AND OFF COURT
Published April 26, 1995
The Mavericks, who won just 24 games in the past two seasons, rebounded this year with a late-season playoff run, but as Richard Alm reports in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, "the team bounced back where it really counts -- on the business side of basketball." Mavericks COO & GM Norm Sonju notes that the team improved financially in several ways: Paid attendance was up 39%, TV ratings up 90%, concession revenue up 77%, and in-arena souvenir sales up 28%. Sonju: "Everything we control is up substantially." Alm writes that Sonju is optimistic that '94-95 is "just the foundation for the big payoff that will begin next season." The team will be able to capitalize on this year's success through merchandise and ticket sales, but "perhaps most important," TV revenue will be up sharply. The Mavs, who sell all TV ad time in-house, charged advertisers based on last year's average rating of 3.6. This year's average was 6.3, and a new TV contract calls for more games next season. However, Sonju says much of that money will go for player salaries, a reason the team is seeking a new arena. Sonju: "It's tough to make a lot of money if you don't have luxury suites and premium seating" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/25). ARENA ISSUE: The two leading candidates in the Dallas mayoral election disagree on the need for a new downtown arena for the Mavericks and Stars. Mayor Pro Tem Domingo Garcia stressed the importance of new schools, while his leading opponent Ron Kirk said the city needs the new business an arena would bring to pay for new programs (Kendall Anderson, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/24).