The Cleveland Cavaliers are already feeling the effect of LeBron James.
Just hours after the four-time MVP announced he would sign with the Cavaliers in free agency, the organization sold out of season tickets, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell:
A Cavaliers source confirmed to ESPN.com that the team capped season-ticket sales at slightly more than 12,000 tickets Friday, leaving roughly 8,000 tickets per game to be used for group sales and ticket plans. [...]
Prior to Friday, fans who were interested in buying season tickets had to put down a deposit of $200 per seat. Once James announced his intentions, the Cavaliers upped the deposit to a flat $500 fee, which would come out cheaper than the previous required deposit if someone ordered more than two tickets.
This is obviously due to the reunion with James, who explained his decision to leave the Miami Heat and return to Cleveland in an essay with Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated. In the letter, he explained the impact he expected the decision to have on the area:
This is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. [...]
In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.
I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.
The fans in Ohio are already taking advantage of the difference by signing up for season tickets to see the Cavaliers play.
This will be a big difference from this past season, when Cleveland only managed to sell 84.3 percent of tickets. According to ESPN, this mark ranked just 23rd in the NBA. This is not too surprising for a team that went 33-49, but James' addition will certainly change all of that.
In the superstar's last season in Cleveland in 2009-10, the Cavaliers sold 100 percent of tickets.
With one free-agent addition, the organization has gone from a talented, young team to legitimate title contenders. According to Numbers Never Lie, the Cavs are the odds-on favorites going into next year:
Updated Odds to win NBA Title (via @RJinVegas) Cavaliers: 4/1 Spurs: 5/1 Thunder: 6/1 Bulls: 7/1 Heat: 50/1— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) July 11, 2014
Whether the team can live up to expectations or not, there is no doubt the fans are excited about the future.
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