If Dan Gilbert seems happy about LeBron James’ return, it’s because he can already see the dollar signs roll in. Beyond making any team better, LeBron’s biggest impact comes by way of all of the money he can make a community. We’ve all heard the stories of the economic hit Cleveland took by way of a single basketball player choosing to play in another market.
According to Bloomberg, with the return of James to Cleveland, the local economy is already starting to pick up and he could ultimately make a $500 million dollar impact to Northeast Ohio.
The return of the star forward to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers will have a $500 million a year impact on the local economy, with a boost from additional ticket sales and other spending, County Executive Ed FitzGerald said today….
Based on calculations by the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office, James’s return will increase the benefit from Cavs games alone to about $268 million. Average attendance increased from about 12,000 before James joined the team to about 20,500 during his final season, the county said. Although attendance has slipped, officials expect sold out games next season with James on the court.
Other spending increases will come at restaurants, convention business and hotels, FitzGerald said. Anticipated benefits include a $34 million increase in annual spending by fans at games to $170 million a year plus 500 additional jobs supported by the Cavaliers, the county said.
He makes much more money for others than he’ll ever be able to receive in return by way of a max contract.