Stern on NBA Economics: No Crisis Here

by Marcel Mutoni

With the world economy going down the crapper, much has been made about the financial outlook of several NBA teams, and there’s even been talk of some franchises possibly facing the option of closing up shop.

According to David Stern, however, the NBA’s financial demise isn’t on its way. There are issues, yes, but the picture is perhaps not as bad as you may think.

Newsday reports:

The NBA will see a slight increase in revenue this season, but the actual results from 2008-09 are, according to commissioner David Stern, “lower than we had projected.” The league also expects revenues to be down again in 2009-10, mainly because of the struggling economy and the lowering of ticket prices by teams adjusting to the recession.

But the notion that the league with the greatest global reach of any of the four major pro sports in the U.S. is in a financial crisis or that any of its teams are in trouble was quickly dismissed by Stern Thursday during an annual meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors at the NBA offices in Manhattan.

“We have no teams that are in any trouble,” said Stern, who earlier this season celebrated his 25th anniversary as commissioner. “Our owners are substantial people who are used to, in many cases, funding operating losses. It’s not their preference and we’re striving hard to increase revenues collectively and to ultimately have a collective-bargaining agreement and a revenue-sharing agreement that allows every club, if well-managed, to be profitable.”

As for the dozen or so teams that asked for a loan this season, Sterns insists that the money was to be used to pay down other debts. Okay, then.

The CBA talks this summer should be something else.