Steve Ballmer: L.A. Clippers will Suffer Eight-Digit Losses from NBA Hiatus
The NBA season has been suspended for nearly three weeks now, and with the coronavirus still spreading rapidly across the country, there's no telling when it'll resume. And with no product to sell, the league's franchises are beginning to get an idea of how much money they'll be missing out on.
In an interview with Bloomberg, L.A. Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer claimed his team will lose at least $10 million.
"It'll be eight digits," he said. "Now you've got to start with what we were either going to make or lose before the season started, but net, it'll certainly be an eight-digit loss for us."
Ballmer also talked about some of the efforts the Clippers have made to help out arena employees that have been impacted by the stoppage of play.
"We're being diligent about continuing to pay our employees," he said. "We're trying to take care of our smaller vendors. We had a t-shirt vendor we had $100,000 committed to for playoff t-shirts. I think it's important that we pay that money, put it down now, and see what can happen over time since we are in a better position."
Ballmer and the Clippers have been very charitable since the season came to a halt. Just a few days after the NBA and NHL were suspended, the Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings joined together to establish a fund for Staples Center employees. Most recently, the Ballmer Group pledged $25 million to support those affected in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Michigan, $10 million of which would be given to the University of Washington Medicine's Emergency Response Fund to speed up testing for a vaccine.
Ultimately, Ballmer is looking forward to the league resuming play — but the safety of the players, fans, and employees comes first.
"It'd be great to play some basketball," he said. "But only if the time is right and the circumstances are right."
Ballmer's full interview can be seen here.