SBD/Issue 183/Franchises

Final Profit: Pistons Finals Appearance Results In Profit

Pistons Needed NBA Finals Appearance
To Reach Profit Despite Packed Houses

Despite leading the NBA in attendance, "only their trip to the NBA Finals will bring" the Pistons a profit this season, according to John Lombardo of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Palace Sports & Entertainment COO Alan Ostfield said that the Pistons "were close to profitability during the regular season." Ostfield: "The Finals are pushing us into the black on the Pistons side, and we've lost money since we acquired the Lightning five years ago, but (the Lightning) will be in the low single digits in the black (this year)." Ostfield would not disclose specific financial information for either team, but said of the Pistons, "Each year, we are around the black, but we have some of the lowest ticket prices in the league. We lowered (regular-season) ticket prices three years ago because people had become disconnected with the team and we needed to make ourselves more accessible. The strategy has worked, but it is hard to make back the money." The Pistons will spend about $2M this offseason to add LED ribbon boards to the arena. Ostfield: "We'll put the boards all along the lower level, and I expect more sponsorship dollars" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/14 issue).

NAME GAME: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Scott Soshnick noted that Palace Sports & Entertainment Chair Bill Davidson's decision not to sell naming rights to The Palace of Auburn Hills "stems from the criticism" Davidson took when he used $80M of his own money to build the arena. Palace Sports President Tom Wilson: "Unless you're desperate for the money, which he is not, he takes great pride that he didn't have to do it." Noting that the luxury tax is set by the amount of revenue teams generate, Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban said, "To be fair to players and other owners, revenue that is normalized across franchises, but refused, should be credited" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/14).

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