Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 1/24/13
Dan Gilbert’s Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly worth $434 million. This report comes from the annual “Business of Baseketball” report issued by Forbes. The Cavaliers, per this amount, rank 16th among the 30 teams in the NBA. Their profit last season, determined by operating earnings (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), was $19 million. The Cavaliers went 21-45 during the 2011-12 season and saw attendance plummet 21 percent, to an average of just 15,900 per game at Quicken Loans Arena. It was the team’s second season since LeBron James left, but the first they could not use James to entice season ticket holders (James left the Cavs in July 2010 after fans already had purchased season tickets) which provided inflated figures for the 2010-11 campaign. Per Forbes, the average NBA team is worth $509 million, representing a 30 percent  increase over the 2011-12 season. The increase is reportedly due to higher revenue from television, new and renovated arenas, and the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, which reduced player costs from 57 percent of revenues to roughly 50 percent. The labor deal also increased the amount of money high-revenue teams provide low-revenue teams. The average operating income for the league’s 30 teams during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season was $11.9 million, the most since Forbes began tracking the finances of NBA teams in 1998. The NBA’s record profitability last season was a function of the new CBA and player costs (owners’ biggest expense) being slashed 20 percent due to the 66-game season. For the 2012-13 season, the Cavaliers introduced a reconfigured scorer’s table intended to increase the amount of television exposure court-side advertisers get by at least 15 percent which should help boost revenue. [Related: Forbes: Cavs Turned Biggest Profit Ever During 2010-11 Season]
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