LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS) -- A new study from Cambridge Economic Research showed a relatively unfavorable impact that an NBA team could have on Louisville.
It concluded that Louisville could not sustain a pro franchise, stating:
"With the regions fervent support of its local collegiate teams coupled with poor personal income numbers, it is far fetched to think that a Louisville citizen's dollar can be stretched even further to support NBA tickets."
“I agree with that. I think it would probably hurt, not only Louisville, I think it would hurt the University of Kentucky because Louisville is the economic engine, not only in this city but in this state. A lot of those ticket buying basketball fans here in Jefferson County buy tickets at Rupp Arena for Kentucky,” said Garry Gupton, owner of Red and Blue TV Network.
The study did find a pro team could have a net positive impact of $2.4 million annually with job creation, hotel and income tax considered. However, it stated that would barely cover the cost of bringing the team to Louisville.
The study was funded by a group of Louisville business leaders who are clients of Box Car PR. The company hired the research team and said the group doesn’t have ties to UofL or the basketball program.
Mayor Greg Fischer, a supporter of the prospect of a local NBA team, released this statement:
“Our city needs a comprehensive, data driven study, not a one sided view paid for by anonymous donors. We are working with GLI to fund a credible study about the NBA's potential impact on Louisville.”