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Forbes: Nets likely to lose $50 million this year

Brooklyn Nets/Adam Pantozzi

The Nets don't release profit-and-loss statements but Forbes, in an analysis of the team's spending habits, projects $50 million in losses this season.

On top of the $180 payroll/tax cost, the Nets will spend in the ballpark of $65 million to run the team and operate the Barclays Center, and that does not include the interest on the debt to build the arena," writes Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes, who writes on sports business issues. "Prokhorov’s losses will likely top $50 million this year."

The Nets, who lost as much as $85 million a year in New Jersey, have cut losses with this year's increases in ticket sales and partnership revenues. But driving the payroll as high as they have and suffering the luxury tax, the losses have continued.

Of course, the value of Prokhorov's investment in the Nets and Barclays Center has increased as well.

"When I invest in any kind of business, I expect the growing value of the franchise," Prokhorov said Thursday, as reported by Ken Berger. "And I'm lucky that since I bought the team, the franchise of the team [has increased] minimum five fold. That's why I am willing to invest more to make [the] Brooklyn franchise the best in the league."

That means Prokhorov believes his investment is now worth a billion or more. He laid down $223 million in cash in 2010. Five times that would be $1.115 billion ... and he said "minimum five fold."

Badenhauser also notes that the Nets $183 million outlay --salaries and luxury taxes-- may be the highest ever, but other teams have had higher payrolls. The Knicks, he notes, paid out $126 million in 2005-06. That profligacy cost the Knicks $37 million in luxury taxes, but that was under the old CBA, when teams paid a dollar-for-dollar tax. Now, the tax load is progressive.