NBA Foes: The Nation Is Cold Laughing At You

Hoo boy, you’re gonna love the latest from Forbes:

Preliminary talks about a Louisville NBA team have been met with some skepticism. A recent Cambridge Economic Research feasibility study revealed that the city may not benefit economically to the extent that proponents postulate.


Additionally, the study relies on the Federal Reserve Bank’s model (a model purportedly used by the researchers) to conclude that Louisville is projected to benefit $2.4 million per year (from new jobs and local taxes) if a team arrives in the city, a number that is claimed to be insufficient to support the costs of attracting an NBA team. However, the study, which was submitted to an agency called Boxcar PR, has been criticized for its supposed lack of foundation and for its mischaracterization of the source of the $2.4 million finding. For instance, Louisville-based attorney, J. Bruce Miller, who has long been one of the strongest advocates for a Louisville NBA team, pointed out to that the study blatantly misconstrues statistics presented by Rascher & Rascher (the study even misspells their names) in their NBA Expansion Viability Study and references an October 2012 that Dr. Daniel Rascher, Ph.D., Economics, University of California at Berkeley, says was never conducted. “The implication from the study, cited in the Boxcar report, is that the Raschers determined that if the Sacramento Kings transfer locations, Louisville should be at bottom of the list,” said Miller. ”I asked Dan Rascher what’s happened to Louisville in the last 7 years, when his real study was released in a peer-reviewed research journal. He said Louisville would still be the number one city based on his previous work and that nothing has changed other than the fact that Seattle does not have a team now, but had one back then.” Miller says that Rascher told him the Boxcar report was a fabrication; Miller called it a fraud.

Isn’t that fun? But get a load of the latest hype Bob Gunnell is tossing around (must be trying to pay off Gus Goldsmith):

“J. Bruce Miller is still carrying the water for a dream of a NBA team in Louisville,” said a Boxcar PR representative in response to Miller’s public accusations. ”His dream would leave taxpayers paying the tab to the tune of millions of dollars that could be better spent on tourism, the arts and visitor attractions that could result in tens of thousands of convention and tourism visitors each year. This NBA dream could endanger the best college sports town in America.”

Unfortunately for Bob?

However, has gained access to a communication from Dr. Rascher that says, “The two items [from the Cambridge Economic Research feasibility study] that I read are both incorrect in multiple ways. It makes me question the validity of the entire study.”

More choice excerpts:

The speculation that a professional basketball team would detract from the existing college basketball program has not served as an effective roadblock to divert the interest of Mayor Greg Fischer, and other supporters, of bringing professional basketball to the roughly 1.3 million inhabitants of Louisville and the many others that live in Louisville’s surrounding area. Further, there is no reason to believe that a professional team within the Louisville city limits will detract from the University of Louisville basketball program’s success.


There are a number of people who, privately, have expressed interest in participating in an ownership opportunity should a team become available for relocation to Louisville. Those same sources have told that each of the potential owners has the wherewithal to realistically participate as a qualified minority owner.

Those people interested in being potential owners? They’re people we know and speak with on a regular basis. It will not be tough for you to figure out who they are or how serious they are.

8 thoughts on “NBA Foes: The Nation Is Cold Laughing At You

  1. Im tired of teams milking taxpayers for money and then leaving for another city…..See plenty of NBA teams. Wouldnt it be nice to be paying for an arena when no one plays there?
    Wake up Dan jonson and smell the roses all over town!

  2. Louisvillle’s opportunity to take advantage of the economic potential of professional sports is to pass Louisville specific wagering laws that extend pro sports wagering to competitors on 2 legs. To compete Louisville needs to maximize the economic potential of its unique cultural heritage. A large part of that cultural heritage is Bourbon and gambling. To counteract KY’s crippling drain on the city’s resources Louisville must pass Louisville specific gaming laws that allow for true casinos that extend professional sports wagering to competitors on 2 legs. We don’t need slot machines at grocery stores, just one track based facility and another in the heart of downtown that shares space with a much needed shopping center.

  3. James R: The Arena is built and sitting there – vacant (last year) for 290 days. It cost the taxpayers $10m from the City contribution last year and it will cost that EVERY YEAR until the principal is paid on the bonds. THEN the annual payment from taxpayers will approach $30mm a year. The concerts are wonderful, but the ‘big names’ take $1-1.5mm out of town for their fee. Got a better suggestion to stop the ‘bleeding’?

    Stunoland: Federal gaming laws grandfather in Vegas for sports wagering and NO OTHER STATE. I don’t disagree with you that sports wagering would be a windfall for the government debt, but Congress has to allow it.

  4. There was a time back in 2006, when the arena hadn’t been named and Howard Schultz (Starbucks) owned the Seattle Sonics NBA team. There was an interest in Louisville as a potential transfer site. The economic feasibility of Louisville was examined by the Sonics ownership. Private discussions were held. But negotiations were underway to ‘give’ the arena revenue and arena control away to the local university (which is not taxed). In the end, the decision was made to sell the Sonics to a group of businessmen from Oklahoma City and that was done and the success of Oklahoma City in the NBA is well known.

    What is ‘not well known’ is that Louisville could have ‘walked right in.’ The problem became, that Schultz couldn’t understand Louisville and its desire to compete with Lexington and Knoxvill and Tuscaloosa for the title as the ‘top college town’ when it should be competing with Charlotte, Indy, and Nashville for regional economic hegemany in a global economy. He opined: better located on a wider river, with UPS and an available work force — and yet instead of looking to the global challenge, Louisville was looking back to the days of yore and quickly developing a ‘small town mentality.’ That mentality WHILE NICE AND COMFY is a loser in the 21st Century global economy.

    There’s a lot more to the story about failed politicians who were given the chance to answer the Sonics’ ownership’s questions — but the bottom line inescapably becomes — Louisville has to wake up and realize that its pathway to economic viability in the 21st Century does not occur by becoming the second Lexington in Kentucky. Instead its pathway to economic viability comes from reaching out and challenging Indy, Nashville and Charlotte for regional economic hegemony in the global economy.

    Otherwise all Louisville will become is the second Lexington in Kentucky — just another college town that’s nice to live in and comfy to ‘be from’ but going nowhere FAST.

  5. Make it happen J. Bruce Miller! Gunnell is a fraud….I wonder who is paying him to do this…I hope it isn’t U of L.

  6. A track based and downtown true casino with pro-sports wagering casino/retail facility would attract large conventions, more concerts, and special events that use the arena (boxing matches and large conventions for example) and spur economic development that solves the arena TIF district shortfalls. Additionally Louisville would trap large amounts of non-local tax dollars which would help alleviate the State/city tax/spend imbalance. This would enable Louisville to compete on a level playing field with its peer cities. Additionally Louisville could pull off specific revenue streams from the gambling taxe that enable the city to develop 21st century amenities and infrastructure.

  7. Debbie: Thanks for the ‘boost.’ It’s my understanding that Gunnell’s pr firm, BoXcar, was paid by Dr. Laurence Benz and Mark Lynn, the owner of Dr. Bizers (2 major UofL athletic supporters and ‘jock sniffers’) to fund the ‘anti-NBA’ report. I also understand that UofL is one of BoXcar’s primary clients. There’s a big effort to deny that, but it was recently admitted on WFPL by Ms. Elizabeth Post (an employee of BoXcar) during a round-table discussion about the issue.

    Funny how the ‘truth’ seeps out, over time. Wait til you hear the real truth about the Arena financing debacle. I know people who are ‘digging into this’ and my understanding is FROM THE WORK AT THIS TIME, that the Arena financing debacle is EVEN WORSE than I had ever realized.

  8. @The Highlander, the 20 year old gaming law banned all States from offering sports wagering except the four that applied for an exemption: Deleware, Oregon, Montana, and Nevada. New Jersey is currently suing the federal government over this law and will likely win the case. There is strong consensus among constitutional law experts that the 1992 PASPA law is unconstitutional.

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