NBA gate revenue down only slightly

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This news should be almost expected, coming on the heels of David Stern saying that next year’s salary cap would be higher than expected — you all kept going to games.

According to the Sports Business Journal, attendance at games this year was off only slightly.

The NBA closes its 2009-10 regular season with more than $1 billion in gate revenue, down single digits from last year but less than the roughly $100 million drop in gate revenue the league had predicted.

League wide average attendance fell 2 percent to 17,165 fans per game. Television ratings during the regular season were flat on ABC and ESPN and up on TNT.

Overall NBA revenue is expected to exceed $3.5 billion, of which roughly one-third is derived from the league’s gate revenue.

The league wasn’t giving out specific revenue loss numbers, but it had warned previously to prepare for a big drop in gate revenue. But despite ticket discounts and worries of attendance falling off, things were just off slightly.

Sponsorship was another concern — that is a key revenue source for teams. But the number of new sponsorship deals increased by seven percent.

All showing that while things are not great financially for the league, the doom-and-gloom scenarios did not pan out. Things are not that bad. Something the Players Association will be sure to mention during the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement talks.