With the NBA’s coronavirus hiatus on an indefinite track, ownership is being forced to crunch numbers.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer discussed the issue in a recent interview with Bloomberg, estimating his team’s losses will be in the tens of millions of dollars for this season.
Ballmer hesitated to answer a direct question about his losses, instead focusing on the plight of the vendors and employees affected by the stoppage.
‘I’ve been very fortunate in life’
“We’re fortunate,” Ballmer told Bloomberg. “We’re deep-pocketed. We’re trying to take care of your smaller vendors. ... I’ve been very fortunate in life. I want to make sure we help take care of not only our own employees, but the population we can.”
Ballmer’s $25 million pledge
Ballmer on Friday announced a $25 million pledge to help stem the affects of COVID-19, with $10 million earmarked for University of Washington efforts to find a vaccine. The rest of the pledge will go to local efforts in Seattle, Los Angeles and Southeast Michigan.
Ballmer was born in Detroit, amassed his fortune in Seattle with Microsoft and now owns the Clippers in Los Angeles.
Ballmer finally talks numbers
When pressed by Bloomberg, Ballmer finally offered up some estimates regarding potential losses.
“It'll be eight digits, how’s that?" he said. “Now you've got to start with what we were either going to make or lose before the season started, but net, it'll certainly be an eight-digit loss for us.”
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