Forbes: Cavs Turned Biggest Profit Ever During 2010-11 Season

In a recent report put together by Forbes which discussed the current state and value of NBA franchises as well as the successful television ratings which continue to go hand-in-hand with star-centric sporting events, we find that the Cleveland Cavaliers turned their biggest profit in the history of the franchise during the season which LeBron James was no longer a fixture within Quicken Loans Arena.

Per Forbes’ Kurt Badenhausen, despite falling victim to a professional sport record 26-game losing streak, Dan Gilbert’s Cavaliers earned $33 million in operating income, good enough for third best in the NBA. This figure is largely attributed to a $30 million payroll cut (James as well as Shaquille O’Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas were no longer on the team’s roster) and no luxury tax, which cost the Wine and Gold $16 million one season earlier.

Unfortunately, this one-year success, spurred largely by fans re-upping their season tickets prior to The Decision, does not bode well for overall franchise value as the Cavaliers’ value is down 7% to $326 million after a 26% drop last year. Current attendance totals are down 4,000 fans per game to 16,149, which presently ranks 17th in the league.

On the positive side, if television ratings can be used as a forecast for future interest, The Cavaliers rank fifth among NBA teams in ratings within their local markets (5.84), trailing only San Antonio (8.27), Miami (7.59), Chicago (6.80) and Oklahoma City (5.88) thanks to excitement surrounding Rookie of the Year hopeful Kyrie Irving and the fourth-overall selection Tristan Thompson.

[Related: Report: NBA Owners Discussing Revenue Sharing]

(Source: Kurt Badenhausen, Forbes.com)

  • Anonymous

    I think you meant “spurred,” not “spurned.” 

    Good summary.  I’m never sure what to do with stats like this.  They rarely mean what they appear to mean – like when a new movie is announced as the “highest grossing film of all-time.”  Considering general inflation, the rising cost of tickets, and so many other factors, “record profits” are not surprising, even when things are bad.   

  • Floydrubino

    these owners are so lucky how much people love sports in ohio. They have no idea how bad they really are because we support everything. You knew this was coming because gilbert jacked the prices up preparing to ride the teams success to a maximum. Gilbert got so lost in being greedy that this whole thing deservedly blew up in his face. You let lebron dictate and hold the city ransom because you were making so much money off him you forgot about the fans with dollar signs in your eyes. To sign shaquille o’neal for 20 million was one of the most pathetic moves in not only the nba but in sports history. If you did not see this then you are oblivious to the world in general. It is not dan gilbert’s fault that lebron is the most selfish moronic player ever but all those moves that he and danny ferry made were pathetic. Byron Scott has at least brought some respectability here to try to ride this one through.

  • Steve

    Larry Dolan wants to know where the support is for the team that came closest to winning a championship in the past decade, and looks to put out the next championship contender of the three teams in this city.

  • Shamrock

    Not sure about your last point, not in the least. 

  • I know this blog is intended to shill, but thanks for wasting everybody’s time with those phony TV ratings.  Those ratings are three weeks old, no doubt the Cavaliers ratings have since dropped like a rock.

  • Ritz

    OR maybe the Cavs wanted to set up a better cap situation. Your comment is so far off base, it’s clear Gilbert will spend but obviously you can’t tell being cheap between clearing cap space.

  • Ritz

    IF, and that’s a big if, these numbers are accurate, thats a disgrace.

  • Ritz

    Damn wrong story for this post, so let’s pretend I never did this.