October 19, 2011
It's not just the direct or workers tangential to game operations that stand to lose a chunk of change if the NBA continues with its lockout. The city of Memphis is considering bringing a lawsuit against the NBA if the league cancels more games or the entire 2011-12 season. The Memphis Grizzlies needed city bonds to help put together their home at the FedEx Forum, and the city's taxpayers stand to foot a hefty bill if game revenue isn't achieved this season.
Research is still being done, but early estimates indicate taxpayers could have to pay $18 million in bond payments if the entire season is cancelled.
At the suggestion of Chairman Myron Lowery, the council approved a resolution that would ask City Council Attorney Allan Wade to explore all options, including a lawsuit against the NBA.
"Should this lockout stay until December, then there's a very big bill there that the city of Memphis will be responsible for," said Councilwoman Janis Fullilove. "And whether or not we file a lawsuit, which may set precedent among other cities in this nation, is something we'll have to wait and see. But it's only being proactive that's he's offering this resolution."
As the first commenter at ClutchFans noted following the posting of this article at the site, "If Kevin Garnett(notes) is serious about "holding the line" for the future, maybe he should just give his paycheck to Memphis. It would come out about even..."
Well, not really, because KG is not getting paid this year. But the point still stands.
Other cities are in the same boat as Memphis, but in a one-team town playing in a city that has been hit hard by the recession, it makes sense that this would be the first burgh to float the idea of holding the NBA's feet to the fire.
Or maybe it should just hold owner Michael Heisley accountable for the giant contracts he was sending to faded stars like Eddie Jones and Damon Stoudamire a few years back. Or perhaps this will all be yesterday's news by the time Wednesday's lockout negotiations are complete.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Bryant Gumbel calls NBA commish 'modern plantation overseer'
• Silver: Raiders' Jackson not hesitant to roll dice on QB Palmer
• Video: Rivals.com's Tom Dienhart hands out midseason Heisman invitations