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Monday, May 28, 2007
The Attendance Value of The First Overall Pick in the NBA Draft

Over on his CNBC blog, Sports Biz, Darren Rovell has very good news for the Portland Trailblazers: over the last 11 years, the team that obtained the first overall pick in the NBA Draft enjoyed, on average, an 11.5% increase in attendance the following season. If that percentage holds true for the Trailblazers next season, the team should receive an additional $6.3 million in attendance revenue (Rovell's calculation takes into consideration incidental revenue, such as parking and concessions).

Rovell acknowledges the limitations of his methodology. The Washington Wizards, for instance, saw their attendance increase by 24% after drafting Kwame Brown with the first overall pick 2001 (they also picked up some guy named Michael Jordan--and Rovell dropped that year when calculating the 11.5% average). Moreover, the 11.5% figure is skewed favorably by three first overall picks--Lebron James, Tim Duncan, and Allen Iverson--while some of the other first overall picks--Kenyon Martin, Elton Brand, and Michael Olowokandi--didn't seem to have much of an impact on either wins or attendance.

But considering the hype and expected performance of Greg Oden, in addition to the Trailblazers' already impressive talent, it would seem that Paul Allen's franchise is primed for a successful and lucrative season ahead (and one that will only add to Allen's net worth of $18 billion).


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