Dear Economy, this is Indiana — do NOT mess with our basketball.
You know times are tough when a sports team has to cancel its season because of the economy. The Gary Steelheads of the International Basketball League won’t be playing this year due to the impact of the region’s — and the nation’s — financial trials. The team plays in the 8,000-seat Gary Genesis Center, where average attendance was about 1,500 last season. The Times of Northwest Indiana has the story:
That’s fair to say," said attorney Jewell Harris Jr., the Steelheads’ chief operations officer. "We don’t want to field a minor league team in this economic climate. It’s just not feasible.
"People are concerned about paying their bills every month and not buying a season-ticket package or a sponsorship of the team. And with the way minor league basketball is structured, it’s not difficult for us to sit out a season and come back. We wouldn’t lose anything by doing that."
The eight-year-old Gary franchise, plagued by financial woes since its inception, originally competed in the CBA and then the ill-fated USBL before signing on with the IBL last season.
Hopefully the Steelheads can rebound after this year to provide on-court entertainment for the good people of northwest Indiana.
Hat tip to Inside INdiana Business.