*Economist John Skorburg of the University of Illinois at Chicago has determined that soon-to-be free agent LeBron James’ presence in the Windy City would net the city approximately $2.7 billion over six years.
According to Crain’s Chicago Business, the financial windfall would hinge on the NBA star’s ability to get the Bulls deeper into the playoffs consistently, while winning multiple titles. By those standards, James has already made the city of Cleveland $162 over the past seven years.
Chicago Business reports:
Chicago offers a big-market setting for Mr. James to increase his exposure. The New York Knicks also have salary-cap room and could make a stronger fame-and-fortune pitch. But that franchise lacks the Bulls’ nucleus of young talent, which NBA pundits believe offers the best chance for Mr. James to grab his elusive first NBA title — the real key to enhancing his endorsement deals and other commercial opportunities.
“Chicago has to convince LeBron that he can win championships there,” says Paul Swangard, managing director of the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. “To maximize his off-court earning potential, it’s all about getting rings.”
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still hoping against hope that Bron Bron will stay. The city of Akron announced over the weekend that it will host a LeBron Appreciation Day.
James will be a free-agent when the offseason commences.