SBD/Issue 152/Franchises

Spurs Owner Peter Holt Says Franchise Is Financially Sound

Holt Says SS&E Would Eventually Like To
Develop And Expand Into Central Texas
Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E) Owner Peter Holt said that the Spurs are "financially sound and on course to match last year's season ticket sales," according to a front-page piece by Tom Orsborn of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. Holt: "Financially, we're in as good a shape as maybe we've been, because we've had some great years." Holt added, "All these years, none of the (Spurs shareholders) took any money out of the business at all. So it just pays down debt, pays down debt, leaving our debt really low. And none of the owners, luckily, make a living directly off the business. So we're all in good shape. The Spurs are financially sound." Orsborn notes the team "declined to take a handout" from the $200M line of credit the NBA recently secured, and Holt said, "We didn't need it." In January, Holt announced a freeze on ticket prices for the '09-10 season and while "declining to reveal how many packages have been sold," Holt "stressed the numbers are solid." Holt: "It took us 30 more days, but we're not that far behind where we were at this time last year. We're feeling pretty good. In fact, we're feeling better than we thought we would at this time." Meanwhile, Holt said that talks with the USL about bringing an expansion team to San Antonio are "stalled because there's no public money to build a multi-use stadium." Holt: "We think soccer can work in San Antonio, it's just a question of when. And right now is not when." Orsborn notes, "One venture that's on SS&E's front burner is strengthening its stake in Central Texas." SS&E owns the NBA D-League Austin Toros, and Holt said, "We'd like to build some teams in Austin too, more minor-league type situations. We want to expand in Central Texas in the sports business. Central Texas is expanding, so why not it be us?" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 4/27). SS&E also owns the AHL Rampage and the WNBA Silver Stars, and SS&E Senior VP/Marketing & Sales Frank Miceli said that it is “important to leverage SS&E’s ‘model franchise,’ the Spurs, in building up its other franchises.” He added the goal is to keep each of SS&E’s sports teams “incorporated in the collaborative effort as best we can” (SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/24 issue).

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