NBA lockout: Consequences Extend Beyond Players, Cities

What would a year without basketball cost?

For Memphis, it’s $223 million in potential revenue lost for the entire 2011-2012 Memphis Grizzlies season, according to a September 2010 study performed by the Greater Memphis Chamber.

Of the 30 franchises in the NBA, seven play in NBA-only markets: Memphis, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio and Utah.

“If you’re Oklahoma City, Memphis, or even San Antonio, it’s not like Staples Center or Madison Square Garden where it’s like, ‘OK, the first two weeks of the season are lost, but we can still make comparable revenues,’” sports management professor at New York University Wayne McDonnell told The Atlantic Cities in an Oct. 27 report. “Say at Staples Center, you lost five Lakers games. Maybe you go out and extend a band a night or two. But how many times are these bands going to these small markets?”

But the lockout’s losses extend far beyond the cities that house these NBA teams. One report estimates that the $2 billion basketball shoe industry could suffer a 25 percent hit if the season is canceled.

And TV advertisers are feeling the sting as well. Disney and Time Warner could lose a combined $1.25 billion in potential ad revenue if the whole season was nixed, and ABC could kiss up to $400 million goodbye.

To read more about how the lockout is affecting Memphis’ bottom line, click here.

Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team Hiring

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s office has announced seven open positions on the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team.

Memphis earlier this year was chosen by Bloomberg Philanthropies as one of five U.S. cities (along with Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Ky., and New Orleans) to receive a three-year grant to fund a team dedicated to developing effective solutions to tackle some of the city’s most pressing challenges. The history-making grants represents one of the largest private-sector commitments ever focused on social innovation.

The team of seven, which will be housed within the mayor’s office, will be charged with reducing handgun violence, particularly among juveniles, and supporting economic growth in core Memphis neighborhoods. According to the mayor’s blog, his office is looking for “bold, visionary urban leaders excited about the prospect of working in a collaborative, innovative environment to generate the new solutions that will help Memphis – and all American cities – advance and prosper.”

Click here for detailed job descriptions.

Loss of NBA season means loss of $4.5M in local revenue

The loss of an entire NBA season would also mean the loss of an estimated $4.5 million in local revenue.

That’s what Memphis City Council members were told in a committee session Tuesday by Lisa Daniel, managing director of Public Financial Management. PFM is an advisor to the Memphis-Shelby County Sports Authority.

That $4.5 million loss comes primarily from lost seat use fee revenue at FedExForum and a sales tax rebate on NBA-related sales like tickets, concessions and novelties. Both losses, of course, come because games aren’t happening. No one is buying tickets and paying the seat use fee, and fans aren’t lining up on game day to buy concessions and novelty items.

But that lost revenue wouldn’t immediately mean the city or county has to scramble to make up the difference. A “senior surplus fund” would be tapped because of the expected $4.5 million loss, Daniel said.

There’s another reserve fund that currently holds about $23 million. The city and county are pledged to replenish any draw from that fund.

Meanwhile, the entire 2011-2012 NBA season has been thrown into doubt following a rejection by players Monday of what’s been described as the league’s final offer – according to the Wall Street Journal, it was “a proposal to split revenue about 50-50 and start a 72-game season on Dec. 15.”

According to the WSJ, players have begun a move to disband their union, “a legal tactic that would allow the players to bring an antitrust lawsuit against the league.”

Alchemy in Cooper Young Officially Opens Monday

Here’s some upbeat news for your manic Monday.

Alchemy – the newest restaurant to set up shop in Midtown Memphis’ Cooper Young district – officially opens Monday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m. It’s been open for a few days according to its Facebook page, but this will be its official opening to the public.

Alchemy is a venture from McEwen’s on Monroe’s operating partners Bert Smythe and John Littlefield, as well as Erling Jensen’s former chef Karen Roth and Soulfish’s Ben McLean.

The eatery replaces the 5,200-square-foot space at 938 and 940 S. Cooper St. that was formerly occupied by Grace and Au Fond Farmtable – a side-by-side restaurant endeavor started in 2007 by Ben Vaughn. Grace shut its doors in December 2010, followed by Au Fond’s closing this past June.

Smythe told The Daily News in July that the then yet-to-be named concept would be heavily bar- and small plate-focused, featuring seasonal items and an array of creative cocktails, wines and craft beers.

By definition, alchemy is, “the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter, especially that of base metals into gold.”

Whether the partners chose that name based on the chemistry behind cocktails, or whether they’re figuratively setting out to turn metals into gold (given the short-lived fate of the former concepts), one thing’s for sure, Midtown has yet another food and wine destination to add to its booming entertainment portfolio.

Smythe said the kitchen will be open late and the atmosphere will encourage “grazing.”

“We want it to hip, but we don’t want it to be pretentious,” Smythe said. “Midtown has thriving independent restaurants and it’s got a great mix of people.”

Memphian David Waddell in the Wall Street Journal

Memphis economist and investment professional David Waddell is always great for insight – and a good quote – about the economy.

Here’s what he recently gave the Wall Street Journal about the importance of a good education for an economist like him:

“My economics degree and analytical background is useless in a political environment, where so much of this is about handicapping whether Europe comes up with a plan or not,” Waddell told the WSJ. “While ruminating on the markets during a recent morning jog, it struck Mr. Waddell that success in the stock market required a money manager to be part market historian, part global economist, part stock analyst, part China expert, part political scientist and part psychologist. ‘I should have stayed in school.’”