SBD/September 28, 2011/Facilities

Lockout Could Cause Major Losses For NBA Arenas, Workers

Warriors could owe the county nearly $6M for Oracle Arena if the season is missed
The NBA's 29 arenas and their workers "are bracing for a loss of revenue and wages totaling tens of millions of dollars if the labor dispute" leads to a canceled '11-12 season, according to Jim Peltz of the L.A. TIMES. If the NBA "cancels games this fall in dribs and drabs it will create a financial headache for many arenas." Only a "limited number of entertainers, such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and U2, can sell out NBA-sized arenas, and those shows are booked months in advance and can't be signed by arenas on short notice." Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Exec Dir Mark Kaufman, whose city-county entity owns Oracle Arena, said, "There's really no way it could be made up." The financial impact of canceled games on the 30 NBA teams and the arenas "would vary widely because of vastly different lease agreements." For example, a source said that the Lakers "don't pay rent at Staples Center but pay an undisclosed percentage of their games' tickets sales to the arena." But both the Warriors and Suns "will owe their full rent to their government-owned arenas if the season is canceled." Kaufman said that the Warriors' rent "obligation is $1.5 million a year." But he added that if the entire season is canceled, the team "would also be on the hook eventually for nearly $6 million that normally would be paid to the county authority by the Warriors mainly from premium-seating revenue and concessions at Oracle Arena." Phoenix gets "roughly $1.6 million a year from the Suns for playing at the city-owned US Airways Center." Phoenix Finance Dir Jeff DeWitt said that the city "gets a fixed lease payment of about $850,000 from the Suns, and a 10% portion of the team's net revenue that has been totaling about $750,000 a year" (L.A. TIMES, 9/28).

DUEL IN DALLAS: American Airlines Arena in Dallas on Dec. 28 will host a men's college basketball doubleheader dubbed "The Showcase." Oklahoma State-SMU will tip off at 6:30pm CT and "will be televised by ESPNU." Baylor and Mississippi State are scheduled to play at 8:00pm, and that game will air on ESPN2 (NEWSOK.com, 9/27).
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