Tuesday, March 21, 2006

This isn't political; however...

Has anyone else noticed that the Grizzlies are being ignored right now? The last two basketball seasons, when the Tigers were struggling to get in the NIT and the Griz were headed for playoff berths, all anyone could talk about, sportswise, was the Griz.

This year, with the Griz headed for a probable 6th-seed in the Western Conference and a third straight playoff appearance, they have been COMPLETELY lost in TigerMania, to the point that their attendance has suffered.

I'm certain that has NOTHING to do with the fact that they are dropping season-ticket prices for next year! Given the fact that these same prices, along with the single-game prices, were increased after the 2004-2005 season, this is a quick reversal.

The single-game prices will remain at the 2005-2006 levels, as the Griz are desperate to lock in their revenue for the long haul and entice people to commit to a season ticket on the cheap.

Given that Memphis has had a reputation for being a walk-up town, that a Griz playoff appearance is almost taken for granted, and the buzz of the FedExForum has begun to wear down, I'm not sure this is going to work.

One thing that this has done is send a sobering message to the Grizzlies organization that when the Tigers are hot, they own the town. I'm not sure the Griz would be doing better if they had the Spurs' record, and that's just how it is. I wonder what Mike Heisley is thinking right about now....


David Holt said...

He's thinking college basketball needs bowls instead of tournaments. If the Grizzlies ever manage to win a playoff game it will help some though.

polar donkey said...

What was Michael Heisley thinking when he bought the team in Vancouver for $120 million. Then got a free $250 million publicly financed arena in September 2004. He put the team up for sale for $330 million in November 2004. He couldn't sell it, but I wouldn't worry about him too much, because you, me and every tax payer in the county will cover the difference if there are revenue shortfalls. You see there is a contingency fund at Wachovia bank in North Carolina to cover revenue shortfalls. If the revenue streams don't cover the payments of the bonds, then the contingency fund kicks in. The problem is that we, the tax payers of Memphis and Shelby county, have to repay the contingency fund within a year. Hell, you may as well buy a ticket to the game, because you are going to pay for it anyway. Oh yeah, and did I mention at few months ago when the Convention and Visitor Bureau was not reaching revenue goals to pay its bond will affect the Forum too. In 2016 the revenues that were directed to paying off the bonds that were used for the Convention center are to be shifted to paying off the Forum. If the CVB is not making it now, we will have to come up with money out of the city's operating budget to pay off both the convention center and Forum. 2016 more budgetary melt down. The FedEx forum will be an albatross around this cities neck for a generation.

Len said...

Sportswise, all I ever talk about, as is my wont every spring, is the St. Louis Cardinals.

Which probably explains why I'm doing a lot of talking to myself.