It is a whole new ballgame.
Shaquille O’Neal probably is not the most reliable National Basketball Association reporter because he is really not a reporter. But O’Neal said he had heard through the grapevine that a couple teams are up for sale and one franchise might move to Las Vegas. O’Neal didn’t further elaborate but it probably is a good time to take a look at what sports might look like after there is containment of COVID 19. There will be far less money available if leagues do go ahead and find a way to present product without people in the seats. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has stated that NBA teams get about 40 percent of annual revenue from people buying tickets to attend games. That means two things, sports is more of a TV show than an in-venue event and TV is supporting the product. That makes it easier for the NBA or the National Hockey League to find a central location where all the games could be played during the pandemic. Eventually the lack of arena money will have an impact on revenue and on the salary cap. Pro athletes face a salary reduction. Owners probably have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in franchise values. Because the economy was shut down in both the United States and Canada, leagues that might be considering adding teams may not be able to charge potential owners as much money for a franchise as they could have done in February 2020.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has the NBA Knicks owner James Dolan on the state’s economic recovery committee, has suggested Major League Baseball could stage games without fans in New York City this summer even with COVID 19 around. But Cuomo added the sports industry needs to find a new economic model because stadiums and arenas will not be able to accommodate customers for the foreseeable future. Sports owners and athletes have a tough row to hoe.