SBD/October 19, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA Lockout Watch, Day 111: City Of Memphis Exploring NBA Lawsuit If Lockout Continues

City attorney said likelihood Memphis will sue NBA will rise "with every missed game"

The Memphis City Council “approved a resolution Tuesday asking the council's attorney to ‘explore all options’ -- including a lawsuit against the NBA -- to recover revenue that may be lost due to the lockout,” according to a front-page piece by Amos Maki of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Council Chair Myron Lowery, who sponsored the item, said, “Everything is on the table to recover the funds, if any are lost." Maki reports a yearlong lockout “could send the fund used to pay off FedExForum bonds into the red by 2022, forcing the city and county to make up the difference.” The shortfall “could reach $10.6 million by 2029, or about $600,000 annually for each government.” City Council attorney Allan Wade said that the “likelihood of the city filing suit against the NBA will rise with every missed game” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/19). Wade said that this “is the first city he’s heard of considering this type of action.” Wade: “If it gets to be half a season that’s a big problem. If that thing sits idle for a whole season that’s a big problem.” He added, “I think that goes against the spirit of our agreement because our arena is built with revenue, not guaranteed money ... as you know, these stadiums and arenas are built with public revenue and revenues from these games so [we’re] very dependent on that revenue, so if we lost it, I’m surprised other people haven’t used other options to try to recover their money” (, 10/18).

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