“We did our homework. We know Owensboro is the #1 sportstown in Kentucky.” – Head Coach Steve Tucker
The decision to relocate the Mavericks from Louisiana to Kentucky was a very calculated move. At a time when the team was transitioning from the American Basketball Association to the Premier Basketball League (PBL), it made good business sense to move closer to the other teams in the PBL. Kentucky, being basketball country, looked like a good option geographically.
The deciding factor to move to Owensboro goes back to a packed game against the Bisons at the Sportscenter – a night that left an impression on the Mavericks players, coaches and staff, including Operations Manager Gary Green. “That’s what these guys deserve. I want them to come out of that locker room January 9th to a packed house,” Green said.
If that proves true, it would be a very good thing for Owensboro. Sports Tourism Director Jared Bratcher says the economic impact of having a professional basketball team in Owensboro will take a while to pinpoint, but the potential is very substantial.
The Mavs are already spending money on advertising and marketing in the community. Two of their staff have relocated and now live in Owensboro.
The team rents apartments for players for at least four months during the season.
Of course, the players also eat in restaurants and spend money on gas and entertainment while they live here during the season.
Similarly, the opposing teams will stay in hotels, eat meals, and fill their buses with gas each home game. Plus, the Sportscenter gets rented and sells concessions during 12 home games.
Beyond the money, having the Mavs in Owensboro “also gives credibility to our brand as the best sports town in Kentucky,” Bratcher said. “It’s another piece of the puzzle to help bring tournaments to town.” The same could be said in terms of booking conferences, recruiting for local businesses, and attracting families to relocate to Owensboro.
On our end, the City of Owensboro renovated the former Executive Inn Racquet Club into the Mavs training facility, which now includes a full court, workout gym, lounge for watching game film, offices, and a gift shop for merchandise and ticket sales.
“This team is buying into our community. They want to be involved. Any time they’re invited to anything, they go!” – Jared Bratcher
Bratcher believes the Mavs’ presence could have a much larger impact on Owensboro if the NBA made the Mavs a development league (D-league). The NBA is in negotiations now to expand their D-league program. If that happens, the Mavs could be a likely D-League system because of the their record and legacy of success.
That is still to be determined, but the PBL is already affiliated with the NBA in several ways. The PBL trains the D-league referees and plays by NBA rules. The potential is there for the PBL to be a “stepladder to the NBA,” according to Green.
For now, Owensboro can expect to enjoy some quality, up-tempo professional basketball in an energetic environment. The Mavs plan to upgrade the sound system in the Sportscenter, and are even looking at new scoreboards and video boards. “We play basketball, but we’re really in the entertainment business,” Green said. “It’s going to sound and feel exciting.” The Mavs also have entertainment planned during time outs and halftime.
The fun begins Saturday, January 9th at the Owensboro Sportscenter.
- $11: General Admission
- $50: Family Pack (4 t-shirts, 4 tix – 2 Adult 2 Child, 4 concession items & drinks)
- $150: Season Tickets (12 games)
- Court-side, catered VIP booths are also available in a section with tables and chairs directly behind the benches.
Logistics of the Move:
It took two large U-hauls, a semi, a truck with a gooseneck trailer, and a pickup truck to move the Mavs’ equipment from Shreveport to Owensboro. The semi flatbed was used to move their court, which has now been installed in their training facility.
By the Numbers:
- $281 million: Total Economic Impact in Daviess County for 2014
- $29 million: Estimated impact of sports for 2014
- 70,000: Tourists in Owensboro/Daviess County strictly for sporting events In 2014
With the announcement of the Class B Fast Pitch World Series coming to Owensboro, next year is expected to be the best year ever for sports tourism. Adding the Mavericks to the mix can only help.
This article appeared in the 4th Quarter of GO Business Magazine.