Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dream Seeks Victories...and Profit

Henry Unger over at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes about the Dream's financial state. There are some interesting paragraphs:

Betty purchased the team, which had lost about $3 million, in late October, saving it from a likely relocation to Tulsa.

That implies that the Dream lost around $1.5 million a year during the two years of the Terwilliger Era, which correlates with what I've heard before about how much a typical WNBA team might lose.

Some of her hard work is paying off. Betty has reduced the red ink by cutting expenses, securing sponsors such as Aaron’s, Coke and Grady, and hiring an experienced sports exec, Toby Wyman, as chief operating officer.

For any reader that hasn't met Betty, you should. She radiates charisma. Is it sexist to say something about "brains and beauty"? I hope not.

But, even with a first place team, attendance is well behind where it needs to be. To break even, the Dream needs to draw about 8,500 paying fans, Betty said. This season, it has been averaging “just under 7,000,” which is similar to last year’s performance.

Interesting. I don't know if we can make 8500. Even the Braves couldn't fill up their stadium during their championship years; Atlanta sports fans that aren't solely University of Georgia football fans are hard to come by.

Next week, Henry Unger reports about Fitz Johnson and the Atlanta Beat. I'll look forward to it.

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