SBD/Issue 181/Franchises

WNBA Mercury Reducing Operating Budget, Seeking Profitability

Mercury Are Reducing Operating Budget
By At Least $200,000 This Season
The WNBA Phoenix Mercury are "slashing at least $200,000 from this season's operating budget, seeking profitability after nearly a decade of losing money," according to Chris Casacchia of the PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL. The franchise has "eliminated one week of preseason training and cut its training camp and season rosters -- moves encouraged" by the WNBA. Under the league's CBA, "each franchise must cover housing and transportation expenses, which typically include a vehicle, for every player under contract during the five-month season." Mercury President & COO Jay Parry said that "trimming the preseason roster from 18 to 15 and the regular-season squad from 13 to 11 'adds up to a pretty significant savings.'" Parry: "The ancillary costs of players really add up." Parry said that the team "averaged about 8,000 fans per game in 2008" at US Airways Center, "about 2,000 short of their goal." Suns and Mercury President & CEO Rick Welts said that the team "turned a profit in its first few years in the league, but hasn't been in the black for 'a long period'" (PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/5 issue).

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