Let us face it, sports needs money to survive.
And for big-time sports like basketball, football, baseball and hockey in the United States, basketball, meaning the PBA, and to a certain extent, women’s volleyball, and boxing for the entire world, one needs big-time bucks, too.
Big bucks though also mean big-time expenses, particularly for the established professional leagues, what with the players’ salaries alone, the operating and organizational expenses, and other related business costs.
Now, why am I dwelling on this topic for this piece?
Well, colleague Henry Liao posted something about the supposedly financial problems facing some NBA teams as the league has been badly hurt by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, though as a business, the league had to find a way to resume to meet advertising commitments and ensure the NBA’s continuity .
Some of the teams mentioned in the report were those that rely heavily on their in-person attendance as revenues. These include the highly popular Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma Thunder, with their loyal fan base that troops to the venues. Other teams that may be facing tight financial conditions are Minnesota, Miami and Indiana, among others.
For some teams, it is the core businesses of the team owners that have taken a big hit due to the pandemic, with even one team owner supposedly looking for buyers already for his team. The Los Angeles Lakers, though, are more fortunate that they are not wholly dependent on gate receipts, but bottom line, the NBA is facing a big challenge in 2021.
Looking at the local scene, the PBA has adapted the NBA bubble model resuming its games in Clark in Pampanga. Again, without it being said, I am certain that the businesses behind the PBA teams have been negatively affected by the current crisis, though up to what extent I cannot measure.
What I am sure of is that these businesses are looking quietly into the future of the league. So far, the PBA bubble model is working, with but one referee testing positive for the virus reportedly, while a player tested negatively in subsequent tests.
Now, the Philippine Superliga has also announced its plan to hold a beach volleyball tournament in Subic to include even non-PSL squads to expand number of participating teams in the league’s own bubble model
But then I have heard, too, from a reliable source that not all the regular teams may join and I am certain that the financial cost of maintaining teams for next year will be a major discussion factor for the PSL’s regular members.
In the end, believe me, business decisions will be made, not emotional or personal ones.
I just hope that in the end, for the sake of sports and the athletes, things get back to near normal sooner than later.
And yes, I am missing watching live women’s volleyball, so I am offering special prayers for this sport.