Magic Will Gain Financially From Finals
Win or lose at the NBA Finals this month, the Magic are going to capitalize financially in a big way.
The Magic sold 400 new season tickets on Sunday, the day after eliminating Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final, and they have sold 2,700 season tickets since the playoff began, a huge boost for a team that has struggled with an operating deficit the last several years.
The Magic are planning a move into a new building for the start of the 2010-11 season, and the momentum of these playoffs has been a significant help in gaining corporate and political support throughout the area.
The franchise that almost was sold and left town just a few years ago has used its success on the court to cement its future in Florida.
"Clearly, our success on the floor is helping us in everything we're trying to do right now,'' said Alex Martins, Magic chief operating executive. "A new building will always produce a little uptick in support because of the novelty and newness, but a new building by itself (think Charlotte) doesn't do it. A winning product makes everything easier.''
The Magic have been reporting annual operating deficits of $10-$15 million in recent years and are one of the teams that has needed to borrow money through the NBA's secured line of credit.
The Magic are back in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1995 when they were swept by the Houston Rockets. Their season-ticket base for next season will be just over 11,000, the most it has been since the departure of Shaquille O'Neal in the summer of 1996.