Blog Entry

Report: Without new system, Utah Jazz for sale?

Posted on: November 21, 2011 9:57 am
Edited on: November 21, 2011 9:59 am
By Matt Moore 

Whatever your feelings are on competitive balance, market economics, or parity in the NBA, it's hard to dispute the fact that pro basketball in certain markets is an institution. There's a million things to do in Los Angeles, a million different options of how to spend your time. New York is the cultural center of the modern world. Those cities love their teams and take pride in the teams representing their respective metropolitan goliaths. But in places like Portland and Salt Lake City, it's a different feeling. In short, the fans are completely insane. It's a way of life in those places, it's part of their heritage, it encapsulates a lot of people's lives and their families. 

And both of those teams could wind up getting sold if the current trends continue.

Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen was rumored to be pushing for a deal in pursuit of selling the team months ago, an allegation the Blazers strongly denied. Now comes a report from the Deseret News that the family of the late Larry H. Miller could be considering selling the Jazz
In fact, one source with intimate knowledge of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies inner workings speculated that small-market-related economic hardships could force Jazz ownership to place a "For Sale" sign on the franchise. The source told the Deseret News that the Jazz were expected to report losses in the $17 million range for the 2010-11 season.

"If I was a betting man," the source said, "my guess is that the Millers will sell the team within the next five years, unless this CBA changes the formula so that the team can make some money."

Others say the Millers will never sell the Jazz.
via Could bad deal mean end to Jazz in Utah? | Deseret News.

It's unfathomable to think of the Jazz being moved. They can clearly be successful, there. You have to wonder how much of this relates to overreactions to the current economic environment, and how much of it is purposefully leaked information to help in various legal and negotiating processes.

But if the group is serious about getting out of the business, it would be the cap on a depressing year for Jazz fans. They've lost the patriarch of the franchise,  their coach for the past 25 years resigned, and their star player was traded before he could leave in free agency. And now there could be new ownership. The most likely scenario if they are sold is to another group out of Salt Lake that would keep them in the city. Burning down the bridge of one of the most successful small markets, the home of Stockton and Malone, doesn't seem like something the league would be willing to tolerate. 

Then again, ask the fans in Seattle how that worked out.

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 9:49 am

Report: Without new system, Utah Jazz for sale?

and they didn't get the name Jazz for the Utah musical heritage of the 30s, they came from NOLA, so they arent exactly the definitive one town team.

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 9:43 am

Report: Without new system, Utah Jazz for sale?

Welcome to Kansas City, Jazz. If they're selling, and an ownership group can't put it together to buy them, then building the Sprint Center was as useful as building a big sandbox. We missed out on the Sonics. Yes we get regionals, whoop de doo, Had the idiot voters approved the full stadium deal, Arrowhead and Kaufmann Stadiums would share a rolling roof, that would allow Superbowls, Final Fours...any event you can think of. Instead, the forward looking Kansas Citians approved the lesser Stadium upgrades, which basically added more bathrooms and Luxury Suites. Not a big thinking city are they....Id say we, but Im 45 miles away.

Anyway, I feel very bad for the fans in Salt Lake. Kansas City was abandoned in the late 60s by the A's, but we were fortunate to get the Royals a couple of years later...and until 1989, they were the most successful expansion team in the history of Baseball. When it comes to the possibility of the Jazz coming to Kansas City, Im happy for the city, but NBA don't do it for me, with Allen Fieldhouse 12.7 miles from my door. I liked the Kings when they were here, only because there were 5 TV channels, and if cartoons, baseball or NFL werent on, it was any sports, including NBA.

If they do indeed come here, there will be at least a rich heritage that matches the current name. Kansas City Jazz wouldn't only be a team name, it's our history in the golden age, home to Charlie Parker, Count Basie and Jay McShann. The other option for the Sprint Center would be a Hockey Team, and the Pehguins flirted with us long enough to get the deal they wanted from Pittsburgh. I think if either sport would succeed, it would be NBA. This just hasn't been a hockey town, and we've had 2 different NHL franchises worth of trying. Soccer is working, and way more fun than I ever expected. It being somewhat similar to hockey...yes a bit of as stretch...but similar enough, I doubt both would be supported, especially Hockey, with the highest ticket prices in pro sports.

Will hoops work? At one time KC all all 4 pro franchises, and it lasted maybe 6-7 yrs, then Hockey was gone, then in 81 or 82, the Kings left, and they had some amazing lineups back in th day with Nate "Tiny" Archibauld and Otis Birdsong. It was a competetive team, but KC sprawled to the Burbs, and people didn't want to commute again for a sport event on a regular basis. I would maybe go to one NBA game, only to see that level of play in person...but hey I was lucky enough to be there for Mario Chalmers' 3 pointer over Derrick Rose, which, thoiugh putting it into overtime (without Glen Dorsey), pretty much drove the nail that closed the season, Kinda like Kirk Gibson won the World Series against the A's in Game one, with his horribly injured leg and walk off winning dinger....I knew the series was done then, some things are too defining to rebound from.

Ok Ive danced around the Jazz coming to KC. and blabbed about 500 other things, but I really do feel for Salt Lake, without another pro franchise. You have good College Hoops, but Im guessing the city loves their Jazz. Certainly, you have had some truly lethal lineups, and I dont even need to mention names, we all know them. Maybe a buyer will come forward that would keep them in Utah, one never knows. The only real reason I would want them here.....again, just not an NBA fan, not hating on the Jazz...but the reason Id like them here if they leave Utah....economics. At least for a good 5-10 years, they would generate a lot of needed funds that KC is desparate for.  As a new team, so to speak, we would likely get an All-Star game, and other perks, Hoopers love to spend money even more than Baseball players. People that get instant wealth buy some stupid shit, but it usually costs a ton, and good for the economy. They will sell out here, as much for the visiting teams as anything, but again good, I still wouldn't expect it to last more than 10 yrs, cuz there are some NBA teams that just cannot stay put, due to ticket prices, more games and smaller markets. Oklahoma City...I mean seriously....College sports are too huge for the sooner state. Once the new wears off the Bobcats, or whatever they are, maybe you will get a team back...where else is left? Fargo? Paducah? Juarez?...I guess the only other logical choice would be St Louis, but if the Jazz came here, I think the NBA would show preference to Utah...just my 537 cents worth of opinion (actual worth, -64) about a sport I don't care about, so I think they should stay in Utah, and we will get someone, someday...when the new arena is as hated as historic Kemper Arena (so pissed they're going to demolish it) anyway...Cheers!

Since: Jul 23, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:19 am

Report: Without new system, Utah Jazz for sale?

The NBA without the Utah Jazz.  
The new NBA is terrible.  The league needs to turn down the suck.

Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:10 am

Report: Without new system, Utah Jazz for sale?

And with the economy the way it is in the u.s that 17 million dollar loss could become an even worse loss/losses over the next few years,not to many people will suffer through those sort of losses,losing this franchise may just become inevitable.

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: November 21, 2011 8:57 pm

Report: Without new system, Utah Jazz for sale?

Before a team can be sold, dont we need a league? There is no pro hoops now.

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: November 21, 2011 6:24 pm

Report: Without new system, Utah Jazz for sale?

It's going to come down to revenue eventually. And, whether or not ownership is committed enough to the city to be willing to lose some money every year if necessary. Some owners are huge fans and love their city and are willing to lose money. Others are more typical businessmen, and fans only if the revenue is what they want it to be. They will sell when the losses become intolerable to them, and that's completely understandable.

Since: Feb 4, 2007
Posted on: November 21, 2011 3:46 pm

Report: Without new system, Utah Jazz for sale?

As long as they stay in the west and don't go to canada, it's all good. Jazz in 2012 Aloha

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:28 pm

Report: Without new system, Utah Jazz for sale?

I'm a Sonics fan. Trust me, the league wouldn't give a s*** about trying to keep a historic franchise such as the Jazz where they are. Look what the did to my beloved Sonics. 

Since: Dec 29, 2010
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:10 pm

Report: Without new system, Utah Jazz for sale?

"It's unfathomable to think of the Jazz being moved."

Funny.  When the team was well-supported here in New Orleans in the late 70s, we said the same thing.

Not wishing any ill will on the people of Utah...just saying.

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