View Full Version : PBL Article

05-26-2007, 02:22 PM
Most of this is old news, as it was an article from April 27, 2007 in the Rochester Business Journal (http://www.rbj.net). I'm not going to post the whole article, as I know it's frowned upon for copyright reasons. But I'll post the most relevant portion. The article also discussed the issues with the ABA (which I'm not posting here), which are more or less already known, but entertaining nonetheless.

Plans for new league

The RazorSharks decided in early January to start a new league, but not until after the 2006-07 season ended. The announcement was to come this summer, but the ABA "kind of forced our hand," Hrywnak said of the decision to drop out prior to the playoffs.

"After a year and a half, you kind of reassess and say, 'Wait a minute; are we in the right league?"' Rossi said.

"The bottom line is, we weren't moving forward," Hrywnak said.

ABA commissioner Newman did not respond to a request for comment.

The league posted portions of e-mails it said were from Severko Hrywnak pledging allegiance to the ABA, days before the March 21 e-mail expressing concern about whom the RazorSharks' playoff opponent would be.

"I'm as surprised as you are," Newman said in a Web site message regarding Rochester's sudden departure.

PBL representatives will meet in Chicago-Severko Hyrwnak's offices are there-within the next two weeks to meet with potential franchisees, Rossi said.

"Current teams will be in the room," he said. "More importantly, prospective teams will be in the room. That's where the nuts and bolts of the league will be presented. Coming out of that meeting, we'll have a real sense of how many franchises we'll have."

Unlike the ABA, which on it Web site lists 66 teams for its 2007-08 season, the PBL will grow slowly, Rossi said.

"We want to have a smart growth with this league," he said. "If we have eight teams, we'll have eight."

The cost to enter the PBL has not been determined, Rossi said, estimating the fee will be "10 times" the ABA's fee of $10,000.

"There's an expansion fee to get into the league, to be able to sit at the table," he said. "There will be a board of governors, made up of two representatives from each team, that will meet periodically.

"You also have to post a performance bond-it will be six figures-120 days before your first game. The league sets that apart, in the bank. If there's any financial trouble, we can revert back to that performance bond in emergency situations."

There are also operational expenses, including salaries for players, coaches and front office personnel.

"In other leagues, it was pay 'x' amount of money and away you go without any help," Rossi said. "But we're here to help. Once you put your expansion fee and performance bond in, it's the league's responsibility to help you grow your team. We We'll travel to other cities before the season begins to make sure these franchises are up and running and doing it the right way."

That includes making sure teams have adequate facilities for games and practices, a solid marketing plan and the ability to generate revenue through season tickets and sponsorships.

"We leave the competition on the court Rossi said. "Off the court, it's the responsibility of the league and the teams as a group to grow together."

No decision has been made on whether there will be a salary cap for players, Rossi said.

"There will be parameters that you have to meet, not only that you shouldn't go over but minimums you have to meet," he said. "You can't pay players $100 a week. There will be minimums on how many players you keep on your roster and how much you pay them."

That philosophy is another departure from the ABA, Hrywnak said.

"The RazorSharks were an anomaly with the old league," he said. "I think we were the only ones that put our players on salary. Everybody else got paid per game."

The new league wants to have its franchises in place by July 1.

"That gives us six months to make sure all the teams are hiring their staffs, selling sponsorships and starting the moneygenerating aspects of their business," Rossi said. "There's time to put a schedule together, working with the venues. Come midsummer, you're going to see the shape of a league with a minimum of 12 teams, hopefully 16, maybe more."

The PBL will not seek out teams from the ABA, although the new league will provide information to any franchise that applies, Rossi said. ABA teams in Buffalo and Syracuse have not expressed interest.

League office here

The PBL is developing a 600-page manual-put together by an independent consultant-on team operations, as well as a 160page manual on how the league will be run, Rossi said.

"There is a very strenuous review strategy for ownership groups," Rossi said. "They travel to Chicago to meet with Dr. Sev. They meet with (Nighthawks owner) Tom Doyle from Maryland. They really go into your bank accounts to make sure you have enough money to participate."

Hrywnak and Rossi are doing double administrative duty with the RazorSharks and with the league.

"As time goes on, Steve's hat will be going more to the Premier Basketball League and I'll be focusing on just the RazorSharks," Hrywnak said.

Rossi will begin devoting more time to the league in July or August.

"The good news is, the league operations office will be based on Rochester," Rossi said. "I need to add one or two people, from a league aspect. Those jobs will probably come from Rochester. So we're actually adding jobs-OK, three-but they will be based in Rochester."

Hrywnak estimated 10 to 15 jobs to be created by either the RazorSharks or the PBL.

Initial plans call for two divisions, in the East and Midwest.

"The RazorSharks will play mostly an eastern schedule," Rossi said. "They might make one swing out west and tour that division. The Midwest will play the majority of their games in the Midwest to save travel costs, but they might make one swing out east."

A Friday-through-Sunday schedule will be more fan-friendly, Rossi said.

"The key next season is it's a weekend league," he said. "That means afternoons as well. We need to negotiate better dates at the Blue Cross Arena, which we will. They're pretty receptive to this."

05-26-2007, 10:48 PM
wow im glad u posted this one, it answers alot of questions, i cant believe no one else found this

05-28-2007, 02:31 PM
wow im glad u posted this one, it answers alot of questions, i cant believe no one else found this
The Rochester Business Journal doesn't post their articles online (at least not freely), so I'm not too surprised that no one ran across it. I came across it in a library about a week ago by chance. It was actually the cover story. Given that what I posted was less than half the article, it gives you an idea of its length. But this is the heart of it in regards to the PBL. The beginning basically gives you an idea of why they left the ABA, but we know that story pretty well.