Monday, August 28, 2006

Does Milwaukee need the Bucks? And, is the NBA right for medium-sized markets like Milwaukee (& KC).

That's the question a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnists asks.

Does this city need the Bucks?

He says the NBA with it's soft cap may be too expensive for a city like Milwaukee.

Or have the economics of the National Basketball Association grown so insane - the Bucks' $60 million payroll for 15 players, for example, ranks 15th among the 30 teams - that pro basketball no longer has a place in a city like Milwaukee?

If it's too expensive for Milwaukee, then it's definitely not the right professional league for KC.

And, what about the fact that the Bradley Center, built just 18 years ago, is already obsolete by NBA standards.

That is a hard concept for a number of Milwaukeeans, who see a clean, well-maintained arena and are outraged that a facility built in 1988 is already obsolete by NBA standards. But that is fact, not spin or fanciful thinking from Herb Kohl, business people or delusional sportswriters. It happened in Miami and Charlotte. It happened because NBA salaries spiraled out of control, because the Bradley Center does not have space for revenue-producing amenities, because times change, because of a thousand reasons. Sad to say, it happened.

Well, again, the NBA is wrong for KC with the spiraling salaries (remember, these giant payrolls are for a roster of 15 players).

So we are left with the unimpeachable reality that the Bucks will eventually need a new place to play, here or elsewhere, sooner than later.

Could that other place be KC? Probably not.

As long as Kohl owns the team, there will be no threats to move. The senator will also be in office for six more years, a period that should provide a little breathing room to rationally debate the issues. As a man who kept the team in town 21 years ago, Kohl has been a very good owner, one who has proved lately that he is willing to spend to win.

The fact is that the NHL has a hard cap of $44M, which, unlike the NBA, is friendly to markets like KC.

That very same cap is what is keeping teams from considering KC because NHL teams can make a go of it in any market now.

The NBA cap has created a league of instability with New Orleans, Seattle, Sacremento, Portland, Orlando, New Jersey and, now, Milwaukee considering relocation , whining about their current facility or current facility's lease.


At 12:45 PM, Blogger Max said...

Milwaukee's payroll is just $6 million over the NHL cap. Why is that bad? If a small market like Milwaukee in one of the oldest arenas in the NBA can afford to have a mid-range (15th) sized payroll, I would think that KC could probably support a pretty average payroll as well.


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