SBJ/February 22 - 28, 1999/No Topic Name

Celts' filing reveals lockout tab

The Boston Celtics LP took a huge financial hit because of the NBA lockout, according to the latest regulatory filing from the company that controls the basketball team.

The team lost $1.065 million in ticket and local-broadcast revenues for each of the 16 home games wiped out by the lockout, and $115,000 in broadcast revenues for each of 16 road games. On the other hand, the team saved $370,000 a game in player salaries. The net lost revenue was $7.04 million for the 32-game lockout, an average of $220,000 a game.

Some of the revenue drain was offset by reduced expenses and by payments from NBC, but because of other one-time charges, the net income loss for the last six months of 1998 was $10.7 million, and $5.2 million for the last three months.

On a per-unit basis — the partnership has public units, as opposed to shares — the loss was $3.88 for the six-month period and $1.89 for the three-month period. In past years the partnership reported profits during these periods.

"Nobody wants to lose millions of dollars, but it is an investment in the future," said Richard Pond, the partnership's chief financial officer.

By establishing salary parameters, the new agreement with the players will allow the Celtics to manage the business better going forward, Pond said. "From a financial standpoint you have to look at [the loss] as something you will spread out over the life of the agreement," he said.

The Celtics said they lost $950,000 in ticket revenue for each locked-out home game and $115,000 in local television and radio broadcast-rights fees for each home and away game.

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Boston Celtics, NBA, NBC

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