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Is the Sale and Relocation of the LA Clippers Probable?


hawk36

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No owner in their right mind approving a move from LA to Seattle? We said exactly the same thing when Bennett wanted to move out of the #14 market and into the #48 market and we all know how that turned out. No way the NBA would be that stupid. Well, they were.

Remember, Hansen/Balmer were going to pay $575 million for a Kings team valued at $400 million. I don't think they'd care about losing money by moving out of LA.

That being said, I seriously doubt the NBA would even consider selling to a group outside LA.

Reread my statement about the timing of the Sea deal. Stern's hand was forced into a bad deal due to lack of buyer interest and a depressed economy, especially for sports. Also comparing overpaying for a Sac franchise in a 3rd tier TV market and moving them to Sea actually makes sense and not comparable to the Clippers situation at all. Despite an extremely loyal fan base and KJ the NBA wants nothing to do with Sac as there's zero growth potential in that market and no corporate money to speak of.

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Last tidbit on the Clippers specifically. The rest of the league hated sterling for a multitude of reasons but his business model was extremely successful. Use locally generated revenues to cover payroll & operating expenses so you break even, then pocket the league's national TV revenue and other shared revenue streams. He put up $3 million cash to buy the team and will clear about half a billion off the backs of the other 29 owners. It literally paid off better to be a cheap and miserly owner. Any new owner is likely to follow a similar model in LA. Break even on operating and watch the TV money pour in.

But see, I don't think they hated Sterling, really. Most of the stories that have come out have said that they found him affable at board meetings and/or enjoyed the fact that his team sucked so hard that it meant free wins for everyone. That's a great point on the business model, though, because when you think about who were kind of the favorite sons among owners, it was all guys who didn't rock the boat. Abe Pollin and Larry Miller were right there with Sterling as Stern's big-time guys, and yet look at how much he despised Mark Cuban.

I read a 1996 story recently from the L.A. Times archives that the Clippers and the L.A. Coliseum Commission (who also oversaw the L.A. Sports Arena) were in talks, after Donald Sterling backed out of a deal to move to Anaheim at the last minute, to build a replacement for the Sports Arena that would have cost upwards of $90 million--18,000 seats, 84 luxury suites, and an on-site practice facility (a rarity back then, especially when most teams were still practicing at local colleges or the like). Given that the land where the Sports Arena and Coliseum is on state-owned land, and Staples Center was still in planning stages (and eventually built right up the street from Exposition Park), a new Clipper arena (which I presume would have also included USC basketball since they were still playing at the Sports Arena) was nothing but a pipe dream.

It's funny that Donald Sterling was so fixated on being a big deal in Los Angeles that he stayed at the decrepit L.A. Sports Arena for all those years rather than give up the ghost and move into the Arrowhead Pond. Anaheim may as well have been San Diego.

If you live in a mansion in BH there is no difference between the two. Being a billionaire is hard when you have to pay for a helicopter to fly your billionaire buddies all the way to the barrio of Anaheim to watch your team play.

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No owner in their right mind approving a move from LA to Seattle? We said exactly the same thing when Bennett wanted to move out of the #14 market and into the #48 market and we all know how that turned out. No way the NBA would be that stupid. Well, they were.

Remember, Hansen/Balmer were going to pay $575 million for a Kings team valued at $400 million. I don't think they'd care about losing money by moving out of LA.

That being said, I seriously doubt the NBA would even consider selling to a group outside LA.

Also comparing overpaying for a Sac franchise in a 3rd tier TV market and moving them to Sea actually makes sense and not comparable to the Clippers situation at all. Despite an extremely loyal fan base and KJ the NBA wants nothing to do with Sac as there's zero growth potential in that market and no corporate money to speak of.

Sacramento is not a third tier television market. It is a top-25 television market.

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But wasn't the Mets rule only because they were good and the Yankees were bad? All things being equal, aren't the Yankees New York's team? And the Yankees and the Mets play in completely different parts of town so they automatically have built in default fans that didn't have a previous allegiance but happen to live in the area.

To have a long, sustained, successful franchise, I think you have to build the true, deep, fervent fan base that loves you through the good and the bad. I don't think the Clippers can ever have that being where they are now, sharing the same exact space as the Lakers.

When did the Mets ever rule New York?

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Well, it's established that the lease is great. They wouldn't leave to move into a worse facility and possibly pay more for it, seeing as it would give them nothing they don't already have in terms of market. Anaheim would never be considered. However, it's at least plausible that they could potentially go to another city and have the entire pie of that market, thus making more money. I'm just curious as to what makes their Staples lease so great.

Here's the rationale:

Being LA Metro's 2nd Team = Staples Lease/Tenant + New Cable TV deal in Socal

is more economically valuable than:

Being Seattle's Primary Team = New taxpayer funded arena+ new arena revenue streams + New Cable TV deal in WA

I have not run the numbers but this is the common wisdom. The big 3 sports make bank majority share of profit off of TV. The arena generated and other local revenues have now become secondary. For this very reason being #2 in LA puts a team leaps and bounds ahead of other top 10 markets. I actually read a while ago that some economists published some research that suggested more teams consolidate into the top 10 media markets to increase revenues and profit. It's a very unorthodox position but one of the examples used was that the NY metro (tri-state tv market) could feasibly support 4-5 mlb clubs. They based their model off of the EPL which has a similar footprint, as in so many clubs that are supported within the general London area.

Last tidbit on the Clippers specifically. The rest of the league hated sterling for a multitude of reasons but his business model was extremely successful. Use locally generated revenues to cover payroll & operating expenses so you break even, then pocket the league's national TV revenue and other shared revenue streams. He put up $3 million cash to buy the team and will clear about half a billion off the backs of the other 29 owners. It literally paid off better to be a cheap and miserly owner. Any new owner is likely to follow a similar model in LA. Break even on operating and watch the TV money pour in.

Exactly. Remember too that the Clippers not only get TV revenue from the LA/OC area but they also get it from San Diego where they also have a TV deal.

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But wasn't the Mets rule only because they were good and the Yankees were bad? All things being equal, aren't the Yankees New York's team? And the Yankees and the Mets play in completely different parts of town so they automatically have built in default fans that didn't have a previous allegiance but happen to live in the area.

To have a long, sustained, successful franchise, I think you have to build the true, deep, fervent fan base that loves you through the good and the bad. I don't think the Clippers can ever have that being where they are now, sharing the same exact space as the Lakers.

When did the Mets ever rule New York?

Judging from attendance figures, the mid-'70s and then the late '80s up until '91 or so.
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But wasn't the Mets rule only because they were good and the Yankees were bad? All things being equal, aren't the Yankees New York's team? And the Yankees and the Mets play in completely different parts of town so they automatically have built in default fans that didn't have a previous allegiance but happen to live in the area.

To have a long, sustained, successful franchise, I think you have to build the true, deep, fervent fan base that loves you through the good and the bad. I don't think the Clippers can ever have that being where they are now, sharing the same exact space as the Lakers.

When did the Mets ever rule New York?

Judging from attendance figures, the mid-'70s and then the late '80s up until '91 or so.

Ah... before the dark times. Before the Empire.

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I'd say even later than that.

As ubiquitous as Yankee caps are on the streets today, that's how dominant Mets caps were in the mid-90s. Right about up to the point Doubleday sold his interest to the Wilpons, and they, finally unencumbered by competence, drove the franchise into the ground.

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