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SBD/Issue 31/Leagues & Governing Bodies
NBA Expects Gate Revenue Drop As Season-Ticket Renewals Dip
Published October 26, 2009
|Stern Says NBA Will Have Decent
Attendance, But Decreased Revenue
IMPACT ON TEAMS: In Oklahoma City, Mike Baldwin noted the NBA salary cap was "reduced for the first time in years to" $57.7M, and "early estimates are the cap could decrease again to as low as" $51M next season. Stern: "Our teams are going to have to make adjustments because it will limit what they have to spend for free agents" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 10/25). The AP's Paul Weber noted a survey of the 30 NBA franchises indicated that the "still-scuffling U.S. economy may keep some NBA teams from starting the season with a full, 15-player roster." The survey indicated that "nearly half the league plans to start with 15 players" when final rosters are announced today, but others will "carry the minimum 13 or leave one spot empty." No teams "outright" said that their decision "would be driven by the economy, but the bottom line is clearly an issue." Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban in an e-mail said, "NBA teams are businesses like every other in this country. Times are tough and I expect many if not most teams to carry fewer than 15 players on their rosters." NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter said that the union is "waiting to see whether NBA teams really keep rosters leaner this season or whether it's simply talk." Hunter: "Obviously it's a concern for us as a union because we want to employ our guys" (AP, 10/23). Meanwhile, SI.com's Mark Montieth noted the economy is an "issue for every team, but some face serious problems." Montieth: "More than ever, moves are being made for financial rather than basketball reasons. Cutting payroll has become as much of a goal as improving talent" (SI.com, 10/23).
STAYING WARM: Stern Friday said that he "would like to see New Orleans in the rotation" of cities for future All-Star Games. In New Orleans, John Reid noted city officials are "pushing to host the game in 2014," but Stern said that the league "probably will wait on the Hornets getting a lease extension before giving the Crescent City serious consideration." Stern added that NBA owners, licensees and int'l broadcast partners "have a preference for warm-weather cities to host the event." Stern: "We haven't ruled out cold-weather sites; although you can begin to see a pattern emerging: Arizona, Texas, California, possibly Florida, and before that New Orleans. So you can see we seem to be migrating to a warmer-weather rotation" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 10/25).