Economic concerns caused by the NBA lockout have trickled down well past players and owners.And cities may finally be fighting back.
The Memphis City Council says a cancelled season could cost the city $18 million. And they plan legal action to retrieve those potential financial losses.
“If that thing [FexEx Forum] sits idle for a whole season that’s a big problem,” City Council Attorney Allen Wade said. “I think that goes against the spirit of our agreement because our arena is built with revenue, not guaranteed money.”
Nearly two-thirds of NBA cities host publicly funded arenas. These arenas were built in the good faith that revenue from home games would pay back the city and its taxpayers. No NBA games means no revenue. Which means no money to pay off arena bonds.
This is the first such threat of a lawsuit by an NBA city. But many could conceivably follow suit.
CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger tweeted that an NBA spokesman had “no comment” on the matter.
As if the players and owners didn’t have enough issues to discuss, it will be interesting to see what effect this threat has on lockout negotiations moving forward.
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