View Full Version : The Bakersfield Jam is not toast, afterall

06-18-2009, 10:29 AM

Remember the Bakersfield Jam?

You know, Bakersfield's D-League basketball team that announced earlier this spring it was folding?

Well, if you held a stethoscope to the front door of the team's north Bakersfield facility these days, you'd still hear a heartbeat.

The team is very much alive, majority owner Stan Ellis said Wednesday, and, armed with a new business model, has every intention of playing ball again next season.

Ellis was hesitant Tuesday to go on the record with details, but the excitement and energy in his voice was unmistakable.

"The Jam has news and we're excited," Ellis said, adding that the team planned a press conference for Friday morning to unveil its plan.

A check of nba.com/dleague Wednesday showed that the Web site does still include the Jam on its list of teams.

The Jam, who have played three seasons in Bakersfield, is coming off its first winning season (26-24), and qualified for the D-League playoffs for the first time.

06-23-2009, 02:13 PM
They will play at their practice facility..all home games less than 1,000 seats......NBA should be ashamed with this league

06-23-2009, 03:42 PM
If the Frisco, TX team was going to play this coming season, the Jam would be gone. I think they wanted to keep the league at an even amount of teams(16). It looks like they'll divide the league into four divisions.

Fort Wayne

Sioux Falls

Rio Grande Valley

Los Angeles

Former ABA'er
07-06-2009, 04:28 PM
With all due respect, A1 has great sources and opinions, but I feel you are off base here. The plan that the Jam came up with may change the landscape of minor league basketball marketing and may save legitimate minor league basketball from extinction. The facility built for the Jam in Bakersfield is first class. It is owned by the owners of the team, has a great floor and room for party suites, floor seats, seats for group sales and most importantly eliminates the need to try to sell 10,000 seats at Rabobank Arena in this down economic time. Each Jam event will be catered with first class food for patrons. The atmosphere will be intimate and a great place to do business as well as a up close and personal experience for kids in groups coming to games. This new business model will save the Jam for the Bakersfield area. The Jam will still play at least two games at Rabobank Arena for large group opportunities and fund raising. In the future when demand for Jam tickets is higher a new 3 or 4 thousand seat arena could be built or maybe a return to Rabobank would then make sense. In the meantime LIVE professional basketball continues to be provided to the fans in Kern County. You should rethink your opinion of this unique idea. i think it is brilliant.

08-02-2009, 04:40 PM
Sports blog "Can't Stop The Bleeding" weighs in on boutique D-League basketball... and the title pretty much sums up their opinion: "In Bakersfield, The 'D' In D-League Stands For Delusional".


08-02-2009, 06:36 PM
That's definitely an interesting approach. I can't say that I'm optimistic that it will work -- but who knows?

08-03-2009, 12:19 AM
They will play at their practice facility..all home games less than 1,000 seats......NBA should be ashamed with this league

Manchester United isn't ashamed when no one shows up at their reserve game. The MLS doesn't care who shows up on Sunday mornings when the reserve game is played. Gulf Coast League baseball is played in empty stadiums and their MLB owners don't fret it. That's the model this league seems to be taking.

Former ABA'er
08-03-2009, 06:08 PM
The ownership group DOES care who shows up for games. That is why there will be seats available for groups at $5 per game so kids, charities, fundraisers will still be in attendance. There will also be 2 Saturday night games at Rabobank arena so large groups, (Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Church Groups, School Groups etc) will still have a chance to see live professional basketball in Kern County. The owners can not continue to lose seven figures every year and continue to fund the team. A new business model was the only solution. This plan allows the team to possibly break even. The Jam could not continue to exist without this innovative concept. This may be the business model for many more minor league basketball franchises. Who knows what the future holds? By allowing to team to continue to operate, maybe one day the economy will recover, increased local fan demand will allow a move back to Rabobank Arena for all home games. If the team folds now, it goes away forever!

08-04-2009, 01:52 PM
Ummm....wow. Can't wait to see how this "unfolds" (pun intended).

08-16-2010, 06:53 PM
While I am not familiar with Bakersfield, I can't imagine there isn't a high school gym capable of sitting a thousand or more in town. Even University of Texas Arlington has enough sense to play their games in an auditorium, with seats facing one side of the court...

Sam Hill
08-17-2010, 10:09 AM
It's not a question of whether or not there's a facility in town available that seats 1,000 or more. It's a question of control of the facility and the environment. If you're only going to draw a few hundred, why not have it be in an environment that you control, that you can set up how it suits you and that you can use to create a better "feel" than a high school gym? It's absolutely been a unique approach. Only they know for sure if it meets their goals.

09-17-2010, 04:12 PM
A lot of Laker brass showed up for an event in Bakersfield the other day, does that mean the Lakers will enter into a hybrid agreement with the Jam and drop the Defenders? J.Buss was quoted as saying she loves the Jams mini facility and business model