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.
  • 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 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. Kent's done a good job of putting together some good guests, intelligence and irreverence without the inane chatter of the other two shows. JMV is unlistenable, mostly because he doesn't do his homework and depends on non-sports stuff to keep HIM interested. Query and Shultz is a bit better, but lack of prep in their show certainly is evident. Sterling obviously workes harder than the other shows. We shall see if there is any way for a third signal with very little successful recent history to make it. I always say you have to give a show two years to grow into what it will become...

  2. Lafayette Square, Washington Square should be turned into office parks with office buildings, conversion, no access to the public at all. They should not be shopping malls and should be under tight security and used for professional offices instead of havens for crime. Their only useage is to do this or tear them down and replace them with high rise office parks with secured parking lots so that the crime in the areas is not allowed in. These are prime properties, but must be reused for other uses, professional office conversions with no loitering and no shopping makes sense, otherwise they have become hangouts long ago for gangs, groups of people who have no intent of spending money, and are only there for trouble and possibly crime, shoplifting, etc. I worked summers at SuperX Drugs in Lafayette Square in the 1970s and even then the shrinkage from shoplifting was 10-15 percent. No sense having shopping malls in these areas, they earn no revenue, attract crime, and are a blight on the city. All malls that are not of use should be repurposed or torn down by the city, condemned. One possibility would be to repourpose them as inside college campuses or as community centers, but then again, if the community is high crime, why bother.

  3. Straight No Chaser

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  5. Gary, I'm in complete agreement. The private entity should be required to pay IPL, and, if City parking meters are involved, the parking meter company. I was just pointing out how the poorly-structured parking meter deal affected the car share deal.