NBA faceoff over salaries could stuff the 2011-12 season

NBA players agreement up for negotiation
NBA players agreement up for negotiation

The public posturing for negotiation of the next National Basketball Association collective bargaining agreement with the players union has begun, just in time for the NBA All-star game.

Commissioner David Stern was quoted as claiming that teams will lose $400 million this year, a figure that will no doubt translate into a proposal to cut players' salaries in the next contract. The current one expires June 30, 2011.

The bottom line here, however, is that the league seems to have reached the tipping point in the fan's willingness to pay. The average ticket price for a Lakers game in 2008 was $93.25, or roughly a dollar a point. The league average was $48.47, and the Team Marketing Report estimated the average cost for a family of four to attend a game, including drinks, hot dogs, parking, a program and souvenir cap at $291.93.

The fans, however, will not have a rep at the negotiating table.