Cavaliers Cashing in on LeBron's Questionable Future

Cavaliers beat writer Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the Cavs have renewed approximately 95% of their season ticket plans from last year and are threatening to completely sellout every home game of the 2009-2010 campaign. Windy also reports that the Cavs are either first or near the top in every ticket-selling category in the NBA.

Not bad for a team from "small market" Cleveland. Not bad at all, actually.

News of the success the Cavs are experiencing with season tickets for this upcoming season got me thinking. Everybody knows that the 2009-2010 season could possibly be LeBron's last with the Cavaliers as it is highly speculated (by the NY media) that he will opt-out of his current contract next summer and become a free agent. LeBron has been pretty secretive when it comes to his future plans - with the exception of an alleged free agent recruitment here and there.

Here is my question:

Do the Cavaliers, as an organization, prefer LeBron to make it appear that the 2009-2010 season could be his last in Cleveland for the benefit of selling more season ticket plans?

GM Danny Ferry would never admit to it. Owner Dan Gilbert would chase me off his porch with his custom Cavaliers snow shovel if he heard this. But either way, the Cavs are benefiting from LeBron's "flirtation" with leaving Cleveland in 2010 in a big way and this report by Brian Windhorst proves it. Sure, the Big Shaquisition played a definitive role in the increase of season ticket sales, but not as much as LeBron's pending free agency has. People are starting to view 2009-2010 as Cleveland's last chance to win a championship and who can blame them? The team playing across the street at Progressive Field isn't even going to sniff .500 this season and the Browns are at least 4 or 5 years away from really competing with the top level teams in the NFL.

If I was in charge of marketing for the Cavs the possible sales slogans for prospective season ticket holders would have included:

Get your 2009-2010 season tickets: This Could Be LeBron's Last Season in Cleveland. Did You Hear We Got Shaq?

Get your 2009-2010 season tickets: "Do or Die" starring LeBron James and featuring Shaq. Win a Title and LeBron Stays. Lose and He's Gone.

Get your 2009-2010 season tickets: LeBron and Shaq combine forces to take on space aliens who are threatening to destroy Cleveland. Will you be there to cheer them on?

Ok, that last one was just for fun but you get the idea.

Regardless of whether the Cavs were planning on benefiting from LeBron's pending free agency or not, the fact is they are. At least this July, anyway. Hopefully next July won't be any different.


  1. I think it has more to do with our record last year and the aquisition of Shaq. Cleveland has always sold out stadiums when there was a winner in town. Just look at the Indians between 95' and 01', 455 consecutive sellouts.

  2. I bet if LBJ signed an extension today, the rest of the tickets would be sold by tomorrow.