The Golden State Warriors Will Lose A TON Of Cash If They End Up Sweeping The NBA Finals

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As a Cleveland sports fan born and bred, tonight's Game 3 of the NBA Finals between my Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors has me on edge. Not in anticipation, but because the Warriors have absolutely obliterated the Cavs in the first two games, making it seem like a matchup between Hall of Famers and a middle school team. Needless to say, tonight will either give Cleveland some life, or will all but bury them before Game 4 in a couple days.


And, while no championship should ever be expected no matter how big a lead—ring a bell, Warriors fans?—Golden State might want to wait to try and wrap things up before hoisting any kind of title trophy. That's because, according to ESPN's Business Reporter Darren Rovell, the franchise could lose $22 million in expected sales should they not host a Game 5 or, unexpectedly, a Game 7.

Team executives have said in the past that they'd rather win than think about the money they're leaving on the table by not taking a series longer. But the money is hardly something to sneeze at.

In fact, a Game 5 in Oakland alone comes close to paying Steph Curry's salary for the entire 2016-17 season: $12.1 million. All told, sweeping the series in Cleveland and not returning twice to the Bay Area, as the Warriors did last year for Games 5 and 7, would cost the Warriors' ownership group more than $22 million.

I mean, damn, I know winning a title is all but a foregone conclusion at this point—especially given the dominance the Warriors have shown so far in the first two games—but, man, I'm sure the owners are sort of not-so-subtly hinting at maybe giving the Cavs just one game before closing out in front of home fans in a Game 5 if they can score a little more cash.

The estimates in the Rovell article references the average face-value price for an NBA Finals game at $600, which is then multiplied by the 14,500 season tickets sold—equaling $8.7 million. Add in other factors like tickets sold higher on secondary markets and other sales like merch and concessions, and it's easy to see why the Warriors may want to at least let things end at home.

But, after their 3-1 series collapse in last year's Finals against the Cavs, we have a feeling they won't take such risks if it gets to that point.


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