Union head refutes Adam Silver’s claim that teams are losing money

Thursday July 16th, 2015

Michele Roberts, the head of the NBA players’ union, issued a statement Thursday refuting commissioner Adam Silver’s earlier comments about the financial health of the league. 

On Tuesday, Silver said that several NBA teams are operating at a loss.

“I don’t know the precise number and don’t want to get into it, but a significant number of teams are continuing to lose money and they continue to lose money because their expenses exceed their revenue,” Silver said, according to The Washington Post.

Roberts’s statement argued that Silver’s comments are only half true, relying on accounting tricks that leave out some sources of revenue. “All of the data we have access to indicates that our business is thriving and will continue to do so for the near future,” Roberts said.

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“New and renovated arenas around the league have proven to be revenue drivers, profit centers, and franchise valuation boosters,” Roberts added. “That has been the case over the past few years in Orlando, Brooklyn, and New York, to name a few. In some instances, owners receive arena revenues that are not included in BRI (basketball-related income). Many teams also receive generous arena subsides, loans and other incentives from state and local governments as part of their arena deals.”

In October, the league negotiated a new nine-year, $24 billion television contract that is worth roughly three times as much as its current deal. The money will be split evenly by each team in the league, an average of $90 million annually per team. 

- Dan Gartland

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