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. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.