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Robert Sarver - Phoenix Suns (in case you didn't automatically know who this was :-)
One can’t overlook how it wasn’t too long ago that multi-millionaires bought sports franchises simply as a “Look at me” or “I love sports” hobby.
However, with personal bottom lines under such heavy attack during these last years of major economic downturn, franchise ownership has suddenly become part of one’s financial portfolio. Like everything else, these ventures are suddenly expected to not only break even but to turn a handsome profit as well.
Yes, one can reasonably ask, "Since when is it a 'crisis' that your 'hobby' isn’t making tens of millions of dollars per year?"
That question certainly wasn't answerable in 1999, and the players gained 57 percent of the revenue stream because of it.
However, with losses disputably reaching hundreds of millions of dollars, one can understand why owners are suddenly so desperate where they might not have been a decade ago. Not only have their U.S. businesses taken huge hits recently, but now their "hobby investments" are hemorrhaging money too.
The NBA has been embarrassingly unable to even find buyers for the league-owned New Orleans Hornets. The Sacramento Kings, Milwaukee Bucks and other small market franchises are also reportedly unsellable.
It's no wonder that owners are clawing for their revenue back. They couldn't get out of this game right now even if they wanted to.