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Volume 21 No. 1
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Momentum drives NBA’s revenue projections

The NBA expects to eclipse last year’s record of $1 billion in total gate revenue this season.

NBA Commissioner David Stern, speaking at last week’s board of governors meeting in New York, said that strong season-ticket sales are helping drive the league’s business. “Everything coming off a very strong base is going to be up this season,” Stern said.

Last year, the NBA had a season-ticket renewal rate of about 86 percent, a league record. This year, the renewal rate is about the same, according to Amy Brooks, senior vice president of team marketing and business operations for the league.

Brooks would not disclose specifics but said that the league is on track to sell more than the record of 250,000 full-season tickets it sold last season. The NBA last year sold 50,000 new full-season tickets, but Brooks did not disclose the specific number of new full sales for the coming season.

Top Five Teams in New Full-Season-Ticket Sales

Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets
New Orleans Pelicans
Sacramento Kings
Washington Wizards

Source: NBA

The momentum behind new sales is being driven in part by the resurgent Sacramento Kings, under new owner Vivek Ranadivé. The team is among the leaders in new full-season sales, though Kings officials would not disclose specific figures.

Stern will head to Sacramento for the Kings’ season-opening home game on Wednesday to recognize their resurgence after the team was sold over the offseason.

“I’m going to Sacramento to celebrate the success of that franchise in terms of their ticket sales and their sponsorships,” Stern said.

Team sponsorship revenue for this season across the league is up by a single-digit percentage over last year’s total. The most lucrative new sponsorship opportunity for clubs this season is the on-floor advertising space in their arenas in front of team benches, but to date, only the Indiana Pacers have sold that position.