9 billionaire team owners affected by the NBA coronavirus shutdown — and how they're helping lower-level employees deal with the fallout

Team owner Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks from behind the team bench reacts to the officiating against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA basketball game

Billionaires are getting hit hard as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on businesses and markets across the globe. On March 14, NBC News’ Kurt Helin reported that the NBA could lose out on nearly $500 million in ticket revenue if the entire season and playoffs are completely cancelled. 

Despite the grim outlook, some NBA players have taken it upon themselves to help out the arena workers and other employees who are being impacted by the postponed season. Nineteen-year old Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans, for one, offered to pay the lost wages for those who work at the Smoothie King Arena, where the Pelicans play.

Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Detroit Pistons’ Blake Griffin have also each donated $100,000 to affected arena workers. Steph Curry similarly started a fundraiser to help fight hunger amid the coronavirus.

While a number of players have come together to help affected employees, relatively few team owners have done the same. Mark Cuban and Tony Ressler, who own the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks respectively, announced that they would be taking care of their employees, in addition to Washington Wizard’s owner Ted Leonsis.

But as of March 13, only about half of the NBA teams had announced they would help compensate workers for lost wages, The New York Times reports.

Here’s a list of nine billionaire NBA team owners who stand to lose money if the season is canceled outright — and whether or not they or the teams they own have agreed to pay for affected workers’ lost wages.

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Tony Ressler

Net worth: $2.4 billion

Owns: Atlanta Hawks

Forbes estimates that the Atlanta Hawks team is worth about $1.52 billion. For the 2018-2019 season, the Hawks had $32 million in gate receipts and ticket sales.

Ressler has said that he will “take care” of all of his part-time employees amid the season postponement.

Mark Cuban

Net worth: $4.3 billion

Owns: Dallas Mavericks

Forbes estimates that the Dallas Mavericks has a valuation of $2.4 billion. For the 2018-2019 season, the Mavericks brought in $52 million in gate receipts and ticket sales.

Cuban announced he has started a “plan” to help out Maverick employees, in addition to donating to help workers in need of childcare.

Charles Dolan and family

Net worth: $4.7 billion

Owns: New York Knicks

Forbes estimates that the New York Knicks is the most valuable NBA team, with a valuation of $4.6 billion. For the 2018-2019 season, the Knicks brought in $132 million worth of gate receipts and ticket sales.

Dolan and his family have not publicly announced whether they are taking measures to support employees amid the league postponement.

Micky Arison

Net worth: $5.4 billion

Owns: Miami Heat

According to Forbes, the Miami Heat is worth $1.95 billion. For the 2018-2019 season, the Heat had $70 million in gate receipts and ticket sales.

The Heat will pay their food and beverage service partners, security, housekeeping, and part-time arena staffers. The Arison family will also donated $1 million to help part-time workers. 

Tom Gores

Net worth: $5.7 billion

Owns: Detroit Pistons

Forbes estimates that the Detroit Pistons team is worth about $1.45 billion. For the 2018-2019 season, the Pistons had $47 million in gate receipts and ticket sales.

Though Pistons player Blake Griffin will be donating $100,00, there’s no information available about whether Gores himself plans to personally donate to help part-time workers.

Daniel Gilbert

Net worth: $6.2 billion

Owns: Cleveland Cavaliers

According to Forbes, the Cleveland Cavaliers team is worth $1.51 billion. For the 2018-2019 season, the Cavaliers saw $69 million in revenue from gate receipts and ticket sales.

The team announced that they would be compensating all of their hourly staff workers as if the games and events were still taking place. This came following the announcement that Cavaliers player Kevin Love will be donating $100,000 to event staff. 

Robert Pera

Net worth: $7.2 billion

Owns: Memphis Grizzlies

According to Forbes, the Memphis Grizzlies is worth $1.3 billion. For the 2017-2018 season, the Grizzlies had $22 million worth of gate receipts and ticket sales.

The Grizzlies and Robert Pera will be compensating all “game night employees” for the games that will be missed through the end of the year.

Stanley Kroenke

Net worth: $10 billion

Owns: Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids, Arsenal

According to Forbes, the Denver Nuggets is worth $1.6 billion. For the 2018-2019 season, the Nuggets had $47 million worth of gate receipts/ticket sales. 

It’s unclear whether, or how, Kroenke and the teams he owns will be compensating workers during the postponement.

Steve Ballmer

Net worth: $53.6 billion

Owns: Los Angeles Clippers

According to Forbes, the LA Clippers team is worth $2.6 billion, making it one of the most valuable in the league. For the 2018-2019 season, the Clippers brought in $64 million worth of gate receipts and ticket sales.

The Clippers have teamed up with the Lakers, and the NHL’s LA Kings to create a fund to help compensate part-time and contract workers affected by the shutdown.

Source: businessinsider
9 billionaire team owners affected by the NBA coronavirus shutdown — and how they're helping lower-level employees deal with the fallout