The Finance of Winning and Losing with the Utah Jazz

April 24, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) is congratulated by teammates and coaches after leaving the game late in the second half against the Phoenix Suns at Energy Solutions Arena. The Jazz defeated the Suns 100-88 to clinch a spot in the playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Wins and Losses both determine how successful a team is, and how financially successful the team is. The Utah Jazz currently have $67,070,390.00 in salaries between all the players, and that doesn’t even think about operations cost, logistics and miscellaneous costs. For a team to remain in a City, it must remain financially viable, and profitable. There are several opportunities for the Utah Jazz to financially make ends meet but winning Jazz games yields the greatest opportunity.

About 19,911 people fit in the arena and the average price of a ticket is about $46.00 with 42 games of 82 games a season means that when the Jazz sell out for the season it would bring in about $37,552,146.00 a season. That breaks down to about $915,906.00 a sold out game. On average three playoff games out of a series, and ticket prices go up to about $50.00 a ticket on average makes a playoff series worth about $2,986,650.00 in tickets alone. That doesn’t even cover profits from merchandising, television deals, and other activities.

Tragically for the Utah Jazz they have not been a sellout team since the 2008-2009 season. So the question comes down to how finances will play into the upcoming decision to trade the two best players on the Utah Jazz. Some say that trading away Paul Milsap and Al Jefferson would cost the Jazz to miss the playoffs all together, while some say that with them the Jazz could make the second round, others say that depending on the trade, the Jazz could make the playoffs without the two. Regardless of what anyone thinks it boils down to what the Jazz think is best for the Jazz. It would be tough to gamble not making the playoffs and its financial incentives. The most realistic situation seems to be a hybrid, trade away one of the two, and the other would be able to help lead the Jazz into at least the first round of the playoffs. This would be financially good for the Jazz this season, however when the other of the two walks at the end of the season there will be nothing to show for it.

I am a big fan of the team trading the two away and in my mind invest in the playoffs for the next two to three years, from a mixture of player development and young talent through the draft. This philosophy drives many nuts as this seldom leads down the path to a Championship. We will have to wait and see what the Jazz organization has in store for us as the trade deadline nears.

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