CLEVELAND - In all of the talk about the return of LeBron James to Northeast Ohio, so much attention has been focused on the max contract the NBA superstar would be signing. The number though just a fraction of what will follow James in his return to Northeast Ohio.
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald will discuss new economic data at 12:45 p.m. on the "significant impact James's return will have for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County."
The Cavaliers already announced within hours of Friday's announcement by James that they sold out of season tickets. Individual game tickets will go on sale at a later date but they are expected to go quickly, guaranteeing the team's return to the days where they average the sellout crowd of 20,562 a night.
Last year the team ranked 16th of the NBA's 30 teams in attendance drawing an average 17,329 a game. That's 84 percent of capacity.
The sellout means additional people not only buying tickets but spending money on parking downtown and food and drink before and after the games. Something people are also more likely to do after watching a team win versus a loss.
LeBron's return also essentially guarantees the return of the team to the playoffs for the first time in five years--an economic impact that has been reported to be around $15 million per home playoff game.
There's also the impact that goes along with the nationally televised games that vanished when LeBron left for Miami but will now return to Cleveland, telecasts that will include the beauty shots of Cleveland and the talk of the city's rebirth helping to reinforce the city's rebranding efforts.