Recently, Miami Heat owner Micky Arison told Darren Rovell of CNBC that despite winning the NBA Finals, the Team will still continue to lose money.
“This is a hobby of passion, it’s not a business. Every year in the building we’ve lost money aside from last year, under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement, because of LeBron…with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, it works against us because of the dollars we had under contract already and the revenue sharing…where we find ourselves struggling is our local TV revenue is smaller than big markets and despite sellouts we’re only seventh or eighth in gate revenues obviously our payrolls are up and our revenues are not because of the limitations of our market.” said Arison.
He added that the revenue sharing amongst teams was a big part of this and alluded that Miami is considered a small market team. “The reality is we’re not a big market team,” Arison told CNBC. “Minnesota is a larger market than Miami.
I find that hard to believe, considering I am a fan of a small market team in the Utah Jazz. If the Miami Heat are considered “small market” than what I root for must be a microscopic market in regards to Miami.
The problem that the Heat face is the pricing of tickets. They were ranked fourth in terms of attendance last season, but their ticket prices fall nearly $23 less than the average amount of prices. While I’m not saying that the Heat need to raise ticket prices, that could come into play when the final numbers are tallied. The price to attend a Professional Sporting Event can be outrageous at times, so having lower ticket prices can bring in more people.
If having higer-than-average ticket prices amounts to less attendance, it would seem to be a no brainer to keep tickets right around where they are now as the Heat have had a pretty good showing.
Arison has built a solid championship contender in the Heat, and fans will continue to support the team – as long as they’re winning. The NFL’s Miami Dolphins are in the same market, and some would argue the popularity of the NFL is much more than the NBA, but the Dolphins have a problem filling the stadium, and have recently talked about tarping off seats, lowering the number of seating capacity to be able to “sell-out” the games.
The market in Miami doesn’t seem to be struggling, as long as the team has a winning product, and coming off their second straight Finals series, the Heat surely don’t have an issue with winning.
It opens the eyes of many outsiders that think owning a Professional Franchise is nothing but a money-maker, and while Arison says he keeps losing money, he has no intentions of selling the team and wants to bring a Third Title to Miami. “I can say that we’re a group committed to competing for a title every year.” he said, and as long as they’re winning games, the attendance shouldn’t be an issue.
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OCNN Sports Columnist – Justin Arbogast @NFLGuy_SK