SBD/October 12, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA Lockout Watch, Day 104: Could MSG Be The Biggest Franchise Hit?

Experts estimate MSG and MSG Network could lose $70M with lost NBA season
The "biggest losers of the NBA lockout may turn out to be Madison Square Garden’s shareholders," according to Decambre & Atkinson of the N.Y. POST. MSG and its MSG Network are facing a $70M revenue hit if the league’s entire 82-game season is a wash, according to expert estimates. Media analyst Rich Tullo said that lost ticket sales from the Nov. 2-14 canceled games "will drain as much” as $7M from MSG. Another $3M in "lost advertising dollars could come from MSG Networks" (N.Y. POST, 10/12).

COULD ENTHUSIASM WANE IN SACRAMENTO? In Sacramento, Bizjak & Kawahara note if the "labor impasse drags on, it could erode some of the public enthusiasm for a new arena that the Kings created last May, when they halted their efforts to move to Anaheim." Sacramento City Hall arena task force member Michael Ault said it is possible the loss of games could "have some psychological impact" on public support for the $387M arena proposed for the downtown railyard. But he notes the arena -- "which would also host concerts and other events -- is 'about more than sports' and will likely move forward regardless of the Kings." Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson: "We're going full speed ahead." Bizjak & Kawahara note without the Kings, "it's not as if Power Balance Pavilion will shut down." Kings PR Dir Chris Clark said that the organization "expects to fill in more dates with 'fan engagement events' at the arena, including a big-screen showing of a documentary about late Kings player Wayman Tisdale" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/12) A SACRAMENTO BEE editorial under the headline, “NBA Dispute Saps Kings’ Momentum,” states the lockout “could give the city more leverage in negotiations with the King owners. If a final deal calls for big-market teams to share more revenue, it could make the Lakers, in particular, more opposed to allowing the Kings to move to Anaheim as a new competitor in Southern California. … But the longer this impasse lasts, the more likely it is that fans will lose interest” (SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/12).

TEAM NOTES: In Ft. Lauderdale, Ira Winderman notes the Heat "continue to attempt to market the brand including a Thursday 'Eat with the Heat' food truck event at AmericanAirlines Arena from 11:30a.m. to 2:30p.m., with the carefully worded promotion of giveaways of free tickets to upcoming 'events'" at the arena (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/12)....In Newark, Colin Stephenson cites a person with management ties to an East Coast arena that hosts NBA games as saying that “to the Prudential Center, losing an entire season of Nets games won’t necessarily be a hardship.” The source added that “if the NBA cancels the entire regular season, the Prudential Center can make up any lost revenue from the 41 Nets games by booking concerts for the newly available dates.” Citing the Nets attendance was toward the bottom of the league in ’10-11, the source said, “Three or four very good shows will make up for an entire season of Nets revenue” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 10/12)….Philadelphia First Deputy City Controller Harvey Rice said that the city “will lose an estimated $87,000 in amusement taxes – five percent of tickets sales – from cancellation” of the first three 76res home games (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/12)....Spurs officials “would not say how many fans had requested their money back Tuesday, citing an NBA gag order on lockout-related talk” (, 10/12)....In Atlanta, Jeff Schultz wrote Haws employees “have yet to hear from either impending new owner Alex Meruelo or impending lame duck majority owners from the Atlanta Spirit about whether there will be a payroll reduction -- be it in the form of layoffs, furloughs or salary cuts” (, 10/11).
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