Tuesday, September 1, 2009
An article about the possible departure of the Tulsa Talons - an "arenafootball2" team - from the BOK center in Tulsa gives one an idea about the economics of arena rental.
The BOK Center charges the Talons 15-thousand dollars rent per game, but report the team receives 25-thousand dollars from BOK Suite and Premium seat ticket sales. The Talons say they also have to pay 9-thousand dollars per game in operation expenses like ushers and security and have never received more than $22,800 from the seats.
Let's assume the Talons are telling the truth about their economic situation. You would then get this budget for running a team like, say, the Atlanta Dream:
Arena Rental: $255,000 ($15K x 17 home games)
Arena Operations: $153,000 ($9 K x 17 home games)
Salary Cap: $803,000 (from Collective Bargaining Agreement)
So this is $1.2 million dollars a year minimum to run a WNBA team. This isn't counting such things as:
- player meal money
- player travel and player relocation
- coaching expenses (in the six figures)
- staff operationing costs (salary/office rental/office expenses)
It all adds up after a while. Of course, the gate helps alleviate some of the expenses. You hope that the gate at the very least takes care of the arena costs. It's an interesting exercise in speculation, and gives one an idea of the challenges an owner or team president faces.