Pacers pain not isolated incident

April 27, 2009
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pacersThe Indiana Pacers are far from the only National Basketball Association franchise hurting financially. And the pain isn’t just striking small market teams.

While the first round of the playoffs rages on, several NBA teams are closing their financial books on the season.

The New Jersey Nets are showing an 8 percent revenue decline in the 12-month period that ended Jan. 31. The Nets’ financial results are detailed in the recently released financial disclosures of Forest City Enterprises, a publicly traded Cleveland-based real estate company which owns 23 percent of the team.

While the Nets’ revenue was down to $92.4 million during the most recent fiscal year, its losses were up, to $27.8 million. That compares to a $22.6 million loss during the previous fiscal year. The losses have escalated dramatically since 2006, when the team lost $9.5 million.

Indiana Pacers officials, meanwhile, have told city leaders the franchise-including what it pays to operate Conseco Fieldhouse-will lose about $30 million this year. The Pacers did improve their per-game attendance from 12,221 last year to 14,182 this year. That ranks 28th in the 30-team league, well below the 17,445 league average.
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  • Looks like Stern's changes a few years back to strengthen all teams and not just the elite isn't panning out the way he had hoped. Time for new management at the NBA Level.
  • All major league sports need to look at mandatory salary caps that can make them viable. Until costs are kept down, salaries are one of the largest, this will be a problem across the board.
  • As I stated in a previous blog, unless the players union becomes realistic and is willing to trim player salaries by 15 to 20% accross the board, the league is in big trouble. Time for the union to step up!
  • Or step away. Why do professional athletes need a union? When was the last time you saw one working for $5 a day, 12 hour work days 6 days a week or getting black lung from unsafe working conditions?
  • I've said for years David Stern isn't the long term choice for the NBA Commish. Not blaming him for economic woes, but I just don't like the way the NBA has dealt with its changing landscape. The NBA product is down a little. From an entertainment standpoint, it is watered down, has been taken over by a thuggish image, has too many players in desperate need of a clinic in fundamentals, and has emphasized globalization in spite of domestic emphasis too much in recent years.

    And this is coming from a Pacers Ticket Package holder. It's easy to just bash the NBA from afar, but I see it and try to follow it, but it isn't what it used to be... and I'm still in my 20s and can see that clear as day.

    The Pacers did do a solid job of reaching out, running a solid marketing campaign, lowering prices, and making some needed changes. They have enough talent to work with, some cap room now, and if they can get Mike D healthy, fill Rasho's cap void, keep Jack happy enough to stay, and get some defense, they will see a nice jump up the East's standings next year.
  • A 20% salary reduction won't make much of a dent. For instance, the Pacers total player salaries for the 2008-2009 season were over $69,000,000. 80% of that is still $55,000,000. There is no way the Pacers could make money even at the lower amount.
  • Maybe not, but that would sure free up just about enough money for them to cover that $15 million to operate the Fieldhouse they're clamoring for.
  • A couple of points...the Nets have to report their numbers because their biggest share holder is a publicly traded firm. Their books are, to a certain extent, open. Also, their losses include carrying costs on their long delayed arena...not just the team.

    The Pacers have not opened their books...so it's hard to tell how much of what they say is comprehensive or even true.

    The reason the NBA players have a union is that before they had a union they had no rights as players, as employees. They had no pension. It's why anyone joins a union.

    As for Stern, note that some months the NBA gets more revenue from China than it gets from North America. Suggesting that Stern hasn't been forward looking is silly.

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  1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.

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