Getting LeBron James to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers was not just about chasing NBA titles but a move with economic considerations. Magic Johnson is a businessman, so there is a good chance that factored into his deliberateness to get the Akron kid out of Cleveland and into Los Angeles.
The earliest economic effect of James signing with the Lakers was felt within twenty minutes after news broke on Sunday as prices for Lakers’ home games on StubHub soared by as much as 65.7 percent from $3500 to $5800 for season tickets. It would later peak at $6500 later that day, marking an increase of 85.7 percent.
Tickets for the home-opener, for which a date and match-up has not been affixed yet, pending the 2018-2019 schedule by the league office, rose to a whopping $545 in contrast to the $60 it was sold for in the previous season’s home-opener against the Los Angeles Clippers, reflecting 808 percent surge.
LeBron’s economic power is felt everywhere he goes and this has been documented as a subject of research by the American Enterprise Institute, which found that James’s presence had a positive effect on the local economy within a one-mile radius (in Cleveland and Miami) by an average of 13 percent and increased employment by 23.5 percent.
The study, which was titled ‘Taking My Talents to South Beach (and Back)’ and was conducted by Daniel Shoag, Associate Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and Stan Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute, noted the following:
“James has a statistically and economically significant positive effect on both the number of restaurants and other eating and drinking establishments near the stadium where he is based, and on aggregate employment at those establishments. Specifically, his presence increases the number of such establishments within one mile of the stadium by about 13%, and employment by about 23.5%”.
Based on those findings, James’ new job and contract in the city of Los Angeles is expected to have an economic impact worth $397 million, creation of about 2,391 new jobs, and help the state generate tax revenues estimated at $23,501,552 over the four-year duration of his contract. That’s quite an easy task for a 33-year-old athlete who does not need to make sound labor policies in order to impact on the livelihood of people in his community wherever he goes.
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