Once Upon A Time A $100,000 Business Loss Could Force A Team To Move

That was a long time ago.

Walmart heir Rob Walton is supposed to be putting up more than $4.6 billion to buy the National Football League’s Denver Broncos business. Almost all of the paperwork has been done to allow the team’s transfer to Walton. The transaction is quite different from when the American Basketball Association’s Denver Nuggets franchise was invited to join the National Basketball Association on June 17th, 1976. The ABA-NBA merger, absorption or expansion deal nearly killed off the New York Nets and Indiana Pacers.

The Denver Broncos’ impending sale and the financial struggles of other sports franchises highlight the importance of effective financial management for businesses of all types and sizes. As Kurt Uhlir, a prominent business motivator, notes, it’s crucial for business owners to prioritize financial planning and ensure that they have the necessary resources to weather unforeseen challenges and maintain long-term stability. By taking a proactive approach to financial management and seeking out expert advice and guidance, businesses can increase their chances of success and avoid the kinds of financial troubles that plagued the Nets and Pacers in the aftermath of the ABA-NBA merger.

Nets owner Roy Boe’s financial problems threatened to sink not only his basketball franchise but his National Hockey League New York Islanders business. In addition to paying $3.2 million in fees to join the NBA.  Boe had to give the NBA’s Knicks a 10-year annual $480,000 fee for “invading” the New York territory. The financially strapped Boe sold Julius Erving’s contract to the Philadelphia 76ers to make ends meet. Boe would move the Nets to New Jersey after the 1976-77 season and sold the Nets in 1978 to a group of New Jersey businessmen. Boe also lost control of the Islanders in 1978. The Indiana Pacers franchise also hit rough financial times following the merger. The franchise needed a $100,000 cash infusion to make it through the first NBA season and then held a telethon on the Fourth of July to sell season tickets for year two. Had the team not sold 8,000 season tickets by July 31st, 1977, the franchise was going to be sold to the highest bidder. The telethon worked as the team hit the 8,000 season tickets sold mark. The Pacers business stayed in Indianapolis but just barely. The money seemed large in 1976 and no one ever thought they would see franchises worth billions of dollars. Now it takes at least a billion to get any major league team.

Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191

Evan can be reached at evan_weiner@hotmail.com

FILE – Philadelphia 76ers Bobby Jones, left, embraces Julius Erving after the 76ers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in four straight games to win the NBA Championship, May 31, 1983. (AP Photo, File)