Jacksonville, FL - Jacksonville is once again turning to the NBA to bring a game to the First Coast, and they now have a little more incentive to fight their case.
WOKV has obtained the financial records for the Magic v. Pelicans pre-season NBA game hosted at the Veteran’s Memorial Arena October 9th. The event was run and paid for by Jacksonville’s facility management company SMG, who reports a nearly $10,000 net profit from the event.
“For them [the NBA] to see the success we had this year is a strong statement for the city,” says Jacksonville’s Interim Sports and Entertainment Executive Director Joel Lamp.
SMG says about 6,700 tickets were sold and 2,300 given through sponsorships or similar promotions. That means there were about 9,000 tickets accounted for, 8,255 of which were actually scanned at the Arena on game day, giving the best estimate of attendance. These sales and the crowd both exceeded goals set by the city and SMG, who were especially wary because the game was a Wednesday night.
Between the ticket sales and profit, Lamp says they’ve started talking once again with the NBA about bringing another preseason game to the First Coast.
“It’s a great basis to build this event in to an annual event,” he says.
The records we obtained show the game cost SMG about $300,000 overall, but $200,000 of that came from the guarantee paid to each team to play the game. The second largest expenditure was a $32,000 marketing and advertising budget, followed by more than $24,000 for the travel, lodging and appearance of NBA Legends players.
The City of Jacksonville spent $15,000 on the pre-game Fan Zone around the Arena. That money came from the budget for the Entertainment Department.
WOKV has kept a close eye on the cost of sports and entertainment in Jacksonville since we learned the Navy-Marine Corps Classic cost taxpayers more than $700,000. Following that event, city council crafted a new law giving specific guidelines on how these events must be financially reported.