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USBL Attendance

Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 4:50 pm
by barkley34
For the past 3 days I have been working with a friend of mine on how the league (USBL) has progressed and than taking a massive tail spin in the last 5-6 years. We wanted to see what had happened to attendance in the USBL, where it peaked etc. The team that we found that really was heads and shoulders above not only all teams in the USBL, but CBA and ABA as well was the 1996 Portland Mountain Cats, coached by Kevin Mackey and owned by Mark McClure.

The link to the 1996 stats at the Civic Center where they played were amazing.

http://www.theciviccenter.com/1996.asp

They were never below 3,500 fans a game it seemed and sometimes exceeded 4,000. The Civic Center told me that they were the one of the most profitable minor league teams (for them anyway) attendance wise.

Their PAID numbers for games as stated by the Civic Center website. VERY impressive: 4,801..1102...4,093...4,055...3,553...3,651,
4,869....3,967...3955, etc., etc.

Doesn't it make sense to get this McClure guy back with Mackey or whomever and turn this league around? Good God, what the hell kind of marketing did this guy do to draw crowds like that??? As they say, if "it ain't broke, don't fix it". Maybe the leagues should find this guy, pick his brain and make some money on his marketing skills. Just a thought. Also, has there ever been a minor league basketball team with those kind of stats in the past 10 years? I was thinking maybe Rockford?

Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 4:57 pm
by HAC
Yep, the league sure needs a third round of Mark McClure.
---------------------------------------
Texas Rim Rockers face uncertain future
Basketball franchise struggles after loss of venue, departure of CEO

Dallas Business Journal - May 16, 2003by Michael WhiteleyTarrant/Denton Editor

FORT WORTH -- Seven months after Mark McClure introduced professional basketball to Cowtown, the Texas Rim Rockers are in financial disarray and at risk of dribbling off the court before the final horn of their first season sounds.

McClure, who resigned as the team's CEO on May 9 and abandoned his role as a partner, is off trying to muster another sports franchise while general manager Don Wesley has stepped in as majority owner and quietly shifted the U.S. Basketball League's franchise from the showcase venue it once hoped for at the Fort Worth Convention Center to the Sid Richardson Center at Texas Wesleyan University.

And McClure's hoop dreams -- forged from his earlier 1996 failure as a team owner in Portland, Maine -- have turned mostly to zeros.

Since the season kicked off April 19, the Rim Rockers are 1-13 and hold the league's worst record, behind the 3-and-8 Kansas Cagerz. Of the nine teams playing this season, according to the USBL's Web site, the Rim Rockers rank ninth with an average attendance of zero.

Wesley says attendance isn't quite that bad. But he says the turnout at Texas Wesleyan since the convention center called its 10-game deal off on May 5 -- six days before the scheduled home opener -- was "terrible."

"We're lucky if we get 100 people," Wesley said. "Texas Wesleyan was available and we needed a place to play. We can ill-afford not to play. It was a deal and it was a Catch 22. In one sense, it's good. In another, it's terrible."

Wesley and the USBL in part say McClure's actions have damaged the team and threatened its opening season.

The USBL's Dennis Truax predicts that Wesley has the money and the know-how to pull through a first season. The next challenge comes June 1, when the Rim Rockers must come up with the next $5,000 installment of their $20,000 a year in USBL dues.

Wesley says he's scrambling to find the money. The season ends on June 22.

"We're almost halfway through -- and we're hoping to make it through the season," he said. "Then we do things a little earlier next year. People at least will know we are here."

"They've got a good product and they've been trying to get out there in the community and do the necessary things," Truax said. "They're doing what they can do to make the franchise better, but the whole Mark McClure saga has put a damper on what they do."

Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 9:20 pm
by barkley34
Yeah I know I read that. Why did Robert Reid the head coach at the time steal the try-out money from the Rim Rockers anyway, thats what I was told by a reporter in Fort Worth and that really screwed McClure and the Wesley's? That had to have hurt them I am sure?

If they had brought in Mackey and McClure for the long term imagine what that team could have done?All though I doubt Mackey (with the Pacers now) or McClure who has his own TV show on Bravo would ever consider it. Oh well, this league does not know how to keep talent!

Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 9:38 pm
by mcm2667
Thanks HAC for the nice article submission, next time though you should know the facts. Was I ever quoted for my response? No. Two sides to every story.

Also, Barkley 34, not sure who you are but yes, we did a phenomenal job with the Mountain Cats, phenomnal.....unfortunately as every one knows there is no money in minor league hoops and even though I set attendance records it seems in almost every league, gave the players 1st class accomodations and filled arena's, it was not enough.

Than I get a call from Don Wesley who was tapping his son (David, Cleveland Caviliers) bank account to have his own team and asked me 4 times to run it due to the incredible attendance success I had with the Mountain Cats. I did, but he brought in Robert Reid, his own players, picked the arena (worse part of Fort Worth) and controlled the purse strings and all I did was marketing and form the dance team.

While I had a great relationship with the Mavericks, a dance team of Dallas Desparado Cheerleaders and a slew of sponsors ready to come on board (who quit once they saw the job Wesley and Reid had done and the gym location), I was appalled that the try-outs netted us $1,000....even though 200 people paid $150. I saw all 200 pay at the event. Robert Reid and Wesley kept control of that and zero went to the account. We started the season with no money, dance team that quit due to the horrible gym location, a team that lost by 40 points to a rec team from Greater Dallas and a season start of 0-9 due to Reids ineptness. I walked away after the debacle started, a debacle that made Joe Newman look like a saint. Hell at the press conference announcing the team, Dennis Truax showed up with a t-shirt, messed up hair, 5 'oclock shadow, untucked USBL golf shirt, jeans and hadn't even showered. Everyone looked at me from the news channels as Truax got up to the podium like "who the hell is this?". One of the most embarrassing moments of the season and it had not even started yet.

Oh well, we live and learn. HAC, you have way too much time on your hand. You hve no ideas who I am and the incredible success I have had. Yes, I can fill arena's no problem, but when your getting ripped off by those that control the bank account and than lied to about a coaches capabilities, it is time to move on.

Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 11:09 pm
by HAC
I googled your name and that's how I stumbled across the news article detailing the incredible work done with the RimRockers. I trust that the Dallas Business Journal did its homework.

As far as the league not knowing how to keep talent, Mackey and McClure chose to move on. I would hope nobody sees the USBL as a long-term commitment, but instead a steppingstone.

It's too bad the RimRockers didn't make it. By the end of the season they had a pretty good team. Maurice Carter was a stud and I believe Bingo Merriex got his start there. He was a machine.

Anybody else think barkley34=Mark McClure.

Looking at the post times, it's like barkley34 typed in his response and right afterward, apparently out of blue, McClure chimes in.

It is funny that in one breath barkley34 is saying the league should find MM and in the next he's trumpeting him having his own TV show on Bravo.

By the way, McClure was quoted

Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 11:14 pm
by HAC
Here's the rest of the story...
---------------------------------------------
McClure kicked the franchise off with fanfare in November, when he held auditions for the Rim Rocker girls, the team's cheerleaders, at Billy Bob's Texas. The plan was to hire players for $350 to $400 a week, because those players were earning big bucks in European leagues during the winter. He projected first-year attendance of 7,000 and revenue of $1 million.

As head coach he recruited Robert K. Reid, a former star guard for the Houston Rockets and, as GM, tapped Wesley, the father of New Orleans Hornets guard David Wesley.

But the prospects of war killed the winter salaries of potential recruits, McClure says. Then the convention center came up with 10 dates that the USBL incorporated in a 2003 schedule that left the Rim Rockers playing their first nine games away.

Then, McClure said, Reid and his staff failed to finish picking the team until three days before the season opener against the Brevard Blue Ducks in Melbourne, Fla.

"The team was going to lose. That's understandable. But we waited ... to pick the players, and that hurt us going in," McClure said. "The convention center was a credibility asset. It was horrible that our first nine games were on the road. That's not ever been done in USBL history."

McClure said he'd been getting enough e-mails to convince him attendance would be 1,200 to 1,500 a game. And the team lined up an impressive list of 21 corporate partners that include Coors, Bally's Total Fitness, Boston Market, Verizon, South Trust Bank and the Clarion Hotel.

"But when they picked up the team so late, and we were losing by 25, you just couldn't get in it," McClure said.

The Fort Worth Convention Center had no choice but to sever ties, said Marsha Anderson, public information officer. She said the Rim Rockers failed to pay the required rental fees by May 1, failed to provide a certificate of insurance protecting the arena against liability, and failed to supply event details -- such as the number of doors that needed to be opened and the accommodations that needed to be made for dressing rooms and at courtside.

The deal called for the Rim Rockers to pay a $2,000 minimum for each game or give the city a percentage to be capped at $5,000. Anderson alerted the public on May 9.

"Our main point in announcing that we're not the home arena was that we don't want folks showing up here and getting upset to find us dark," she said.

With nine losses under their belts, the Rim Rockers moved up the opening game four days to improve the cash flow at Texas Wesleyan, which charges only $500 a game. They posted their first victory May 13 against the (Enid) Oklahoma Storm, scoring 130-126.

Contact DBJ Tarrant/Denton editor Michael Whiteley at mwhiteley@bizjournals.com or (817) 693-0023.

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:31 am
by Sam Hill
[quote=""barkley34""]For the past 3 days I have been working with a friend of mine on how the league (USBL) has progressed and than taking a massive tail spin in the last 5-6 years. We wanted to see what had happened to attendance in the USBL, where it peaked etc. The team that we found that really was heads and shoulders above not only all teams in the USBL, but CBA and ABA as well was the 1996 Portland Mountain Cats, coached by Kevin Mackey and owned by Mark McClure.

The link to the 1996 stats at the Civic Center where they played were amazing.

http://www.theciviccenter.com/1996.asp

They were never below 3,500 fans a game it seemed and sometimes exceeded 4,000. The Civic Center told me that they were the one of the most profitable minor league teams (for them anyway) attendance wise.

Their PAID numbers for games as stated by the Civic Center website. VERY impressive: 4,801..1102...4,093...4,055...3,553...3,651,
4,869....3,967...3955, etc., etc.

Doesn't it make sense to get this McClure guy back with Mackey or whomever and turn this league around? Good God, what the hell kind of marketing did this guy do to draw crowds like that??? As they say, if "it ain't broke, don't fix it". Maybe the leagues should find this guy, pick his brain and make some money on his marketing skills. Just a thought. Also, has there ever been a minor league basketball team with those kind of stats in the past 10 years? I was thinking maybe Rockford?[/quote]

You know what's funny?

The Boston Globe (a newspaper of note) actually did a pretty robust story on the Portland Mountain Cats in its June 30, 1996 edition.

In it, someone named Mark McClure is quoted as saying, "We're one of the most successful franchises in USBL history. We're averaging 1,600 to 2,000 - second in the league in attendance."

(Emphasis mine.)

Funny how they averaged 1,600 to 2,000 (again, a quote from Mark McClure himself) without ever going below 3,500. Hmmmm. That's odd.

That same guy had been quoted earlier in the piece as saying he expected to draw anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 a game.

And the vaunted 4,801 supposed figure for the opener? Yeah, instead, it was said in the Globe piece that it was really 3,000, but only 1,400 paid and the other 1,600 used fewer than half of the 3,600 free tickets the team gave out.

Apologies for bringing up a long-dead thread, but when I found that Globe article, I had to laugh. Years from now, if historians search and find this thread, hopefully they realize what a pathological liar Mark McClure was.

And probably still is, whatever he's doing now.