All 30 NBA teams suffered financially from the shutdown, but the Lakers were impacted more than anyone, writes Bill Shea of The Athletic. Figures released by Team Marketing Report, a Chicago-based sports business intelligence firm, show the league lost $694MM from the cancellation of 258 regular-season games.
The Lakers missed out on revenue from 10 home games, tied for the most in the league, which cost the franchise an estimated $52.7MM. Rounding out the top five were the Knicks at $45MM, the Warriors at $42.5MM, the Rockets at $35MM and the Celtics at $31.5MM. Teams losing the least tended to be in smaller markets, led by the Grizzlies at $10.4MM, the Hornets and Timberwolves at $11.7MM each and the Cavaliers and Suns at $11.8MM each.
TMR arrived at the figures by using a weighted formula that considers Fan Cost Index, premium vs. regular ticket prices and attendance. The Fan Cost Index estimates how much it costs a family of four to attend a game. The NBA average for this season is $430, up about $9 from a year ago. Golden State created the most income from fans this year at $6MM per game, with the Lakers just behind at $5.6MM and the Knicks at $5.2MM. The Hornets were last, generating just $1.1MM per home game.
Although the NBA brings in $2.6 billion annually through its national television deals and billions more in corporate advertising, the league still depends heavily on fans coming to games. Commissioner Adam Silver has estimated that attendance is responsible for about 40% of revenue, which is why TMR owner and publisher Chris Hartweg believes teams will aggressively offer promotions to bring the public back when it becomes safe to fill arenas again.
“Something that jumps out as we’ve gone through these gross game day fan revenue exercises is that fan attendance is still critical to teams, even with billion-dollar media deals to cushion the blow,” Hartweg said. “If you take the NBA numbers and project across a full 41-home game season, the average NBA team hit becomes more than $110 million each. Leaguewide, we’re talking $3.3 billion. Our MLB projection was $173 million per team or $5.5 billion total for their 81 lost games.
“Those dollars are a huge incentive for teams and venues to make their facilities as safe as possible for fans to return as soon as possible. And in fans’ favor, we anticipate teams creating very fan-centric deals and offerings to welcome fans back.”