Report Finds Louisville Would Not Be Able Make Up Potential Costs Of Luring NBA Team
An NBA team in Louisville “would add $2.4 million annually to the local economy in the form of tax revenues and job creation but not make up for the potential costs of luring a team,” according to an economic analysis cited by Marcus Green of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. Mass.-based Cambridge Economic Research found that Louisville “stands to gain roughly $18.6 million.” The report stated that costs “such as relocation fees, lease rights and venue upgrades ‘can range’ around $100 million.” Cambridge stated that the financial benefits of a team “would be unlikely to cover the public costs of recruiting a franchise, ‘which could easily run up into the hundreds of millions.’” But Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said that he “had doubts about the objectivity of the report’s findings after reviewing ‘parts of it.’” Fischer yesterday said, “It certainly doesn’t appear to be when you read it, so I think it’s important that we just get good data and let the data talk to us.” Boxcar PR Exec Bob Gunnell, whose Louisville firm “has been circulating the report,” said that the research was “requested and paid for by four local businesspeople, but he declined to name them or say how much it cost.” Greater Louisville Senior VP Eileen Pickett said that the metro area chamber of commerce “plans to complete a study in the next three months that would assess the feasibility of an NBA franchise.” Fischer said that the city is “not talking with any teams looking to move” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 11/15).
CROWN PRINCES? Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms on Tuesday confirmed that he “recently met with representatives of a National Basketball Association team about moving that team to his city.” In Sacramento, Tony Bizjak noted Sessoms “declined to name the team.” The NBA Kings “reissued a statement Tuesday saying they have been approached by numerous cities interested in landing a team, but declined to comment further.” City of Virginia Beach Media & Communications Manager Marc Davis said, "The mayor said the team is interested; they think it is a good market." But Davis added that Sessoms and team reps “have not discussed what it would take financially to move the team to Virginia Beach” (SACRAMENTO BEE, 11/14).