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Nets success likely to lead to big bucks for Mikhail Prokhorov, Joe Tsai

Alibaba Group Executive Vice-Chairman Joe Tsai at the SCMP Town Hall Meeting at Excelsior Hotel in Causeway Bay. 24MAR16 SCMP/Jonathan Wong Photo by Jonathan Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

Nets ticket sellers were called in for weekend duty Saturday and Sunday, in anticipation that the Nets would be making news as free agency began. Brett Yormark was right to do so. There was —and is— a market.

Darren Rovell didn’t have sales numbers, but he shared this over Twitter...

That would indicate large portions of the season ticket inventory is already gone, and the introductory press conference is still a week or so away!

Meanwhile, Josh Kosman of the Post, who’s broken more than his share of Nets business stories, reports that the Nets are projecting a significant increase in revenues as a result of the signings.

[T]he mere hype around Durant and Irving, who is coming off two seasons with the Boston Celtics, should help the Brooklyn team generate an extra $29 million to $43.5 million through increased ticket sales, corporate sponsorships and merchandising deals, the inside source told The Post.

“Prices will go up and they will sell out,” University of Michigan Sports Management professor Mark Rosentraub said of Durant’s comeback. “No one in the NBA drives attendance like Kevin Durant.”

Similarly, a league source told NetsDaily ticket revenue alone could jump by $30 million. It should be noted, however, that the Nets haven’t historically been a money-maker, although Barclays Center does “throw off cash,” the source added.

Kosman noted that the big beneficiaries will be Mikhail Prokhorov and minority shareholder Joe Tsai, who has an option to buy the remaining 51 percent of the team he doesn’t already own. That option should come due around the time KD is expected to return to action.

“This is exactly the blueprint they pitched,” a team insider told Kosman, describing what Prokhorov’s bankers had promised Tsai ... a management team that would develop a core of young players and sign a big free agent. The Nets have, of course, signed two.

Moreover, Kosman writes if Tsai buys into Barclays Center, as he told NetsDaily he’d like to do, he could benefit from a new revenue stream in 2022, the arena’s naming rights, which are set to reopen that year. Kosman wrote.

But a Nets insider says that’s wrong, that rights aren’t up for renewal until 2032.

Meanwhile, MSG Networks, which broadcasts Knicks’ games, saw its shares drop 1.6% to $20.39 on Monday.

In a twist of the knife, Kosman points out the Dolan family has gone “a combined 91 seasons without a championship.” That includes James Dolan’s Knicks, Rangers, and until this year The Liberty. In addition, Kosman noted that Cleveland Indians didn’t win when they were owned by Dolan’s uncle.

The family would hit the century mark for sports futility in 2021.