Charlotte Bobcats For Sale: A Franchise In Turmoil

D.Michael LeeSenior Analyst IMay 22, 2009

This news isn’t a surprise to anyone close to the situation down in Charlotte, but it was made official today: The Bobcats are for sale.

The Charlotte Observer notes that, due to poor attendance and operating in the red for too long, majority owner Bob Johnson has decided to put the franchise up for sale.

Johnson paid $325 million in 2003 to bring the NBA back to the Queen City and now, six years later, he is reportedly asking for the same amount to wash his hands of the team.

In these economic times, attempting to sell a team that is losing money for that price tag will be next to impossible. Forbes Magazine had valued the Bobcats at $284 million, which put them as the second least valuable brand in the league.

If the potential new owner wanted to move the Bobcats from Charlotte, that won’t be easy either as the franchise has legal ties with the city of Charlotte, and breaking that contract would cost the team more than it is worth.

On the court, the team and the franchise are at somewhat of a crossroads. Their play the second half of the season was inspiring, and they were in playoff contention in the East 'till the very end.

Charlotte owns the 12th pick in this year’s draft, and could address many problem areas with that selection.

Still, Charlotte, more than anything else, needs someone leading the organization who has the passion and drive to make them a viable, valuable franchise in a key mid-major sports market.


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