Never forget: The NBA is a business.
Basketball is a beautiful game we love to watch and play, and the NBA is the highest level of that game in the world. But it’s also a business where the goal is to make money.
The Golden State Warriors, in the new Chase Center in San Francisco, are raking in the money. A LOT of money. More than any other team in the league and it’s not even close.
From Tim Kawakami of The Athletic:
Starting this inaugural Chase season, it’s estimated that the Warriors will take in about $700 million in annual revenue for the foreseeable future.
This about $250-300 million more than the Knicks or Lakers, the next-highest NBA teams, and possibly more than even any NFL team, “except maybe the Cowboys,” one source said… The Warriors are set to take in about $5 million in gate receipts per game, before costs are subtracted from the total.
Based on Forbes estimates, the Cowboys would generate more money, but that’s it. Not the Rams, Patriots, you name the team they pull in less revenue than the Warriors’ new building. The league has never seen a revenue-generating machine like the Chase Center, and while this is revenue before expenses, it’s still a lot of cash in the door.
This is why Lacob and Guber had their eyes on building a San Francisco arena all along — the glamor of the team’s historic success plus the entertainment value of Curry & Co. plus the lure of an international city stacked with billionaires and a building that is crammed with amenities … that’s the unprecedented formula.
Some of that money will flow into the pockets of players, don’t forget the players get approximately half the “basketball-related income” that comes into the league and some of that money is ticket sales, luxury box sales and the like. Also, there is some revenue sharing between owners, so smaller markets will get a taste, too.
Mostly, however, this is a lot of money that flows to the Warriors’ owners. It doesn’t mean they can spend more on the team — there is still a salary cap, and while the owners may be more willing to pay the luxury tax now, the rules for taxpayers hamstrings team building in other ways. However, in terms of facilities, coaches, front office staff, and the other things that do not count against the cap, the Warriors owners can spend what they want.
And still make a lot of money.