Bulls

Report: NBA could lose 'nearly $500 million' in ticket revenue without games

usatsi_14173129.jpg
USA Today

Report: NBA could lose 'nearly $500 million' in ticket revenue without games

The NBA has indefinitely suspended play due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As for what’s next, no one knows for certain.

What we can safely say is that we won’t be watching live NBA basketball for a while, and the ramifications of that reality are widespread. Non-salaried employees of teams and arenas might be left without income. The league’s schedule is completely in flux. Two players on the Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, and there’s no telling how many more athletes around the country and world will follow suit. And those are just a few areas of concern.

RELATED: Mark Cuban hopeful that NBA season will resume in summer

For the NBA and its teams, financial losses will be front of mind. In a recent article, NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh estimated that nearly $500 million could be lost in ticket revenue without fans in attendance for the final stretch of the season. That estimate came from a "high-ranking team official" before the season was suspended.

Here’s what Haberstroh wrote:

On Wednesday, the NBA discussed with the Board of Governors the plan going forward in case the situation escalated, deciding whether to play in empty arenas or go on a temporary hiatus. Leading up to that meeting, I spoke with one of the Governors about the possibility of playing in empty arenas for the rest of the season in light of the Warriors’ announcement. The long-time executive downplayed that likelihood.

“We will move games to neutral courts in Idaho where there aren't any cases before we went to a nuclear option,” the high-ranking team official said, who wasn’t authorized by the league to speak publicly on the issue.

Obviously, things have changed.

As a rule of thumb, the source said, the NBA makes an average of $1.2 million in gate revenue per regular season game and $2 million for each playoff game. With 259 of 1,230 regular season games remaining, that means roughly $300 million of ticket revenue lost if fans couldn’t purchase tickets. Over the past decade, on average, there have been 83 playoff games in each postseason, which would lead to another loss of about $166 million. 

That’s nearly $500 million in estimated lost ticket revenue if the NBA doesn’t allow fans to attend the full slate of games. But according to sources around the league, crowds were already dwindling with some teams seeing 60 percent the normal capacity on Wednesday’s games. 

Also of note is that attendance was already beginning to wane, even before the league suspended play. It all serves to underscore the sheer magnitude of this story.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.

Report: ‘About 75 percent’ of NBA GMs voted for play-in tournament in survey

Report: ‘About 75 percent’ of NBA GMs voted for play-in tournament in survey

The NBA recently issued a survey to general managers to measure the league’s temperature on various formats for the season to restart in, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor has obtained the results of said survey. The findings are as follows:

  • Half of the league’s general managers voted to skip straight to a 16-team postseason (bye, Bulls)

  • “Just over half” of the league’s general managers voted to reseed a hypothetical 16-team postseason by record, independent of conference

  • “About 75 percent” of the league’s general managers voted for a play-in tournament that would pit fringe playoff teams against each other to decide the final seeds of a playoff (O’Connor reported the Lakers and Bucks to favor this format)

  • The remaining 25 percent of the league’s general managers voted for a playoff featuring World Cup-esque group stage first round

Of note: The Bulls currently own the 24th-best record (22-43) in the NBA. It's not specified how many teams each of the above models would involve, but if that answer ends up being less than 24 (and the remainder of the regular season ends up being skipped), the Bulls would not be going to Disney World.

What does this mean for the NBA’s larger decision on how to format a relaunch of its season? Evidently, not much. Early Thursday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Friday’s Board of Governors call will not include a vote on a plan to return to play. O’Connor echoed that sentiment in his reporting, including a quote from an unnamed GM that read: “Adam isn’t taking the results seriously… Every team is obviously gonna vote for what’s best for them.”

Instead, O’Connor posited that Silver might be using this opportunity to gauge league-wide interest in various schedule innovations moving forward. This would fit Silver’s MO. Even before the coronavirus pandemic halted the sports world, the NBA had long pondered and pushed for the idea of an in-season tournament as a way to drum up interest. In a time of financial strife for the league, interest has never been more at a premium than it is now, or will be next season.

Still, Silver and company have more immediate fish to fry, in terms of hammering down a format for finishing the 2019-20 campaign. Potential formats, timelines and so on will reportedly be discussed Friday. As of this writing, 22 of 30 teams have opened their practice facilities for limited, voluntary, individual workouts (a trend the Bulls may follow suit in come Friday), but all of them are awaiting direction on what’s to come — the players reportedly as anxiously as anyone.

 

For now, that’s all any of us can do.

RELATED: Where the Bulls stand in each of the NBA’s reported resumption plans

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Art19

Michael Jordan toy collector gives story behind the rarest of his figurines

Michael Jordan toy collector gives story behind the rarest of his figurines

The rarest Michael Jordan toy in the world you’ve probably never seen or heard of. That’s because it was never released.

Jordan Cohn and BJ Barretta of Radio.com got to the bottom of that age-old — though rarely asked about — mystery by interviewing Joshua De Vaney, the most prolific purveyor of Jordan toys in the world. 

De Vaney hails from Australia, and a perusal of his Instagram page reveals a trinket closet of staggering scale.

In the interview, De Vaney pinpointed the rarest of the bunch to be this rather unassuming batch of figurines, which were manufactured by a company called Ohio Art.

De Vaney told Radio.com they’re prototype models of a Jordan-themed H.O.R.S.E. game from 1987 that never made it to production.

“I got into contact with the Ohio Art archives department which told me… that there were only 48 of these available, and I was in possession of 33 of them at the time,” De Vaney told Cohn. “That’s when he was looking at leaving Nike. And the reason why that’s so important is because the shoe that this toy is wearing is a Nike Air Ship.”

In fact, they’re so difficult to procure that even Michael Jordan himself couldn’t get his hands on them. De Vaney told Radio.com he recently shipped one to Michael’s second-oldest son Marcus, bringing his collection from 33 to 32.

Now, as reported by Radio.com, he’s on a mission to bring his collection to the United States, and expand its platform.

“For me, it’s truly about getting my collection over to the States either to be exhibited in museums… (or) I would like to donate it to Michael,” De Vaney said in the interview. “So I’m certainly not out trying to make a dollar off of it, I would just like to give this to Michael as part of his legacy for people to enjoy.”

A noble mission, and one that will be fascinating to track, if De Vaney’s social media account is any indication of how his passion for Jordan runs.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Art19