Apr 11, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt cheers during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at AT&T Center. The Spurs won 112-104. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
They are one of the most successful NBA franchises of the past decade, but the San Antonio Spurs still lack financial punch. Would the Oakland Raiders joining them change that?
Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich have done all they can
For an idea of where the San Antonio Spurs have come from, owner Peter Holt purchased the team in 1996 for $76 million. At that point the team was successful but still considered one of the second tier franchises in the NBA. However, following the arrival of star power forward Tim Duncan and head coach Gregg Popovich, things began to change. Following five championships and 15 years of unequaled success, the Spurs have come a long way. According to Forbes.com, the franchise is currently valued at around $404 million. That is a tremendous spike in less than two decades, but a fair question to ask in the midst of such success is should they be worth even more?
Mark Davis would bring football money to San Antonio
The thing about San Antonio as a city is that the Spurs represent their only professional sports team. Unlike other NBA franchises, they don’t have that pro sports media market to help drive them like they do in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. It’s a testament to how well the Spurs have done, but also a clear indication they could be doing so much better from a financial standpoint. For a comparison, the fellow Texas franchise and Western Conference rival Houston Rockets are estimated at a worth of around $443 million. This for a team that hasn’t won a championship since 1994-1995. Part of that discrepancy is they have help driving the local sports market. Easily the biggest assist comes from the Houston Texans of the NFL. Forbes rates their overall value at $1.4 billion, which has an impact on the town economy and as a byproduct, the viewership of the Rockets.
News broke recently that Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis met with San Antonio representatives about a possible move there. Part of the reason is his team ranks dead last on the list at $825 million in value. He hopes a new location can help him produce a winner and San Antonio has a growing history of it thanks to the Spurs. By bringing his pro football coverage with him, it will undoubtedly infuse the local economy with more money, and by accident or design increase the cash flow for the world champs, as if they need any more help.
It’s easy to see why both side may have interest in a deal.