Isaac
Years ago

Marino: Lightning need more or new owners by Mar 24

The Whyalla-based boss of Link Engineering has informed Basketball Australia he only has three options — including winding up the team — after spending $500,000 on the Lightning for each of his seven years as owner.

"I can't do it by myself anymore," he said today.

“It has cost me $500,000 a year and after seven years and no WNBL assistance, I can’t do it anymore.”

Marino yesterday informed BA, which administers the WNBL, his options were to sell his full interests in the team or to sell part interests in the team, with expressions of interest required by March 17.

If no-one showed interest in buying or co-owning the Lightning, Marino’s third and least palatable option was to hand the license to the WNBL on March 24, ending the club’s 22-year existence.
Full story

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Great. Here we go again.

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,  
Years ago

they need the support - just where it comes from ? one of s.a.'s successful female teams.

Reply #460965 | Report this post


Pauly B  
Years ago

So sick of this happening year after year after year. Marino seems to want to point the finger at everybody else but himself. If venue costs are too high, then why not move to a smaller venue? I'm not familiar with the stadiums in Adelaide but is there anywhere with a capacity of say 1000 people? Surely there must be somewhere.

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Isaac  
Years ago

I guess you can start warning about this earlier in a formal way, but who's going to do anything until the matter is more pressing?

Wonder how the WNBL teams compare in terms of varying costs and then revenue from sponsorship, memberships, ticket sales, etc. Are the Lightning particularly expensive to run or in line with the rest?

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Isaac  
Years ago

Pauly B, in the past at some point they played out of Wayville which has bench seating for maybe a few hundred? Then they had to bring in extra stands? But at least it made for better crowd density than what they'd experience at the Arena.

No idea how the venue costs compare.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Look at the West Coast Waves. That's the team you end up with if you don't want to end up in the red. It's no surprise whatsoever that teams fielding these strong lineups are relying on very generous people to make it happen. The WNBL arms race is getting out of control.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Pauly B pretty harsh to have a go at someone with no idea of the local conditions.

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SamCro  
Years ago

Why so late with this disclosure by VM? Very tight deadline's to operate within being the 17th & 24th March. Perhaps could have got the front foot a little earlier?

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PlaymakerMo  
Years ago

Wayville might be a viable option unless WNBL teams are required to play in air-conditioned stadiums. Having a higher crowd density and being closer to the city seems appealing. Not sure how parking would be worked out.

I'm also unsure how the costings of venue hire would compare to Adelaide Arena, but you'd think it would be substantially less elsewhere at a more appropriate venue (relative to crowd size).

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PlaymakerMo  
Years ago

Good point, SamCro.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

First of all I have nothing but respect for the Marinos and what they've done for the team. However, with all the poor and at times nasty elements of the community making comments about him and his family, including anonymously via this forum, could this rapid deadline be his way of saying; well f**** you????

I say to some people be careful what you wish for when it comes to eliminating benefactors like Marino (or Simmons for that matter) because you may just get it. THis guy deserves our respect.

Putting myself in his shoes for a few mins I could hardly blame him for shutting up shop and putting the club in a position with not enough time or support to seek out new ownership!!!

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SamCro  
Years ago

^Let's hope VM has a little bit more compassion & class than you!^^^ It would a sad, sad day to have no Adelaide Lightning playing in the WNBL!

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J.S  
Years ago

Some may say the stage is set for a chris lucas takeover. Maybe those rumours of him and Suzie going back there were right all along

Reply #461014 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

6ers will have similar news soon I heard.

Reply #461017 | Report this post


Pauly B  
Years ago

Sorry but I'm sick to death of owners blaming everybody else when they can't run their businesses effectively. Surely Marino would've investigated what sort of support he'd receive from BA, BSA etc before deciding to buy the team. His statements read like somebody that bought the team with his heart and not his head. I can appreciate the guy for being willing to pump in a lot of his own money but surely he would've known he would have to do that with no support from the powers that be as he claims. If he's been losing so much money over the years then why didn't he start looking for new owners this time last year instead of giving less than 3 weeks notice to find new owners or force the club out of business? His heart may have been in the right place but he's just delivering another black eye to professional basketball in Australia.

I know many of you find my comments harsh but I'm just so sick of wondering which team is going to be on the brink of collapse every off season. The game needs stable clubs in both it's men's and women's competitions to move the game forward. Enough is enough.

Reply #461027 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

Face facts , no one watches the lightning play and basically never has even in the glory years. Let them fold and start a new team if and when the game takes off for women.

Reply #461032 | Report this post


Pauly B  
Years ago

The WNBL had higher ratings than the NBL several times this season. People are watching

Reply #461035 | Report this post


Very Sad  
Years ago

Pauly B

Get your facts right before you throw absolute rubbish onto a forum.
Vince bought the team from the receivers that closed down BASA, sorry but BSA did not exist, a little hard to seek their support at the time.

The guy has put 3.5 mil at the team. Pauly B can you tell us how many tickets you purchased to attend their games? I am guessing 0. So explain how you have the right to attack the guy when you obviously do not understand the circumstances.

Vince has invited others to get involved and help if you ring BSA I am sure they can put you in contact with Vince so you can assist.

Think about the notice he has given for just 2 seconds, what about timing for a new owner to sign players, talk to sponsors and get the new entity up and going. Just maybe if you did think for 2 seconds Vince is doing the right thing by any new potential owner

But he is wrong and you are right

Reply #461038 | Report this post


Pauly B  
Years ago

I live in Victoria so no, I haven't bought any tickets to games in Adelaide (I have been to several Rangers & Boomers games this season though). Fair point, I didn't know BSA didn't exist at the time when Marino took over. The support wasn't there regardless, something he would've known when he bought the team. As far as the timing goes, surely he could've announced his intentions at least a couple of weeks ago once they were eliminated from making the finals to give as much time as possible to find new owners.

I don't enjoy potting the guy, I'm just sick to death of playing "which team is on the brink of collapse?" every off-season. Surely, we as fans have a right to demand better from our elite clubs. At the end of the day the fact is that he wasn't able to run the business effectively. Otherwise, why would this thread even exist right now?

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Unanon  
Years ago

The support behind the lightning is nil
When this happened to Logan the community got behind the team to get them on the court
Whether or not Marino has done the right or wrong thing doesn't matter let's do the right thing adelaide and get behind the team with so much history and success

Reply #461047 | Report this post


Dr6  
Years ago

Timing of the announcement is the biggest issue. It would take longer than two weeks for someone to do a proper due diligence and balanced business case before investing anything in the team. I'm a huge supporter of Vince and his investment in sport in SA should get him some award - but the timing here does the lightning no favours whatsoever .

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smoovy  
Years ago

Bring back the Rockets? 22-2

Reply #461065 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

I don't know if what he's saying is true but $500k a year to run a WNBL team seems a bit much surely?

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Concerned  
Years ago

The Financial sustainability of the league is a big concern. I see a few threads sick of clubs being on the verge of folding. Have you ever tried to run an elite program? Do you know how hard it is to get sponsors to put their money into women's sport? How do you think the players get paid? And coaches, venues, accommodation, training courts, medical, the list goes on. Attendance at games is lucky to cover venue hire and game day costs. No money is provided by the league as it is in AFL. In fact, clubs have to pay substantial monies to the league for the privilege of playing. League PR and marketing is average at best, no coverage in ,main metro papers (in larger cities) and the sponsorships at the league level are poorly executed. Unless there is an overhaul of the business model or as Vince Marino says, more government support (Canberra is funded by the government and subsidized by Basketball Australia to pay even more for Lauren Jackson- clearly giving Canberra an unfair advantage to the detriment of other financially struggling clubs) there is a concern for the longevity of the league.

Credit to Vince Marino for putting his own money in to support the Adelaide Lightening for so long and shame on those who want to criticize him for it.

Reply #461083 | Report this post


Jack Toft  
Years ago

The article in the Crow-vertiser today was interesting. He is basically saying "no-one cares".

"BSA chief executive officer Mark Hubbard — in his own way reflecting exactly what Marino is saying — was "too busy" on Tuesday for an interview on how the state association would react."

Would be sad to see them disappear, but assuming they can get the finances sorted, in order to move forward, what are they doing wrong now, what are they doing right, what should they do more of, and what should there be less of?

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Rock  
Years ago

If Mark Hubbard says he is too busy, then BSA has a serious problem in supporting basketball in SA. If he does not understand the significance of this issue to not address the media, his priorities are all wrong.
Get someone who understands, to lead and inspire BSA, not an office-type administrator.
BSA is there to serve the people, not the people to serve BSA.

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SamCro  
Years ago

^Rock - Great Post^

Reply #461110 | Report this post


.  
Years ago

Keep it on track - it is a budgetary issue at present - maybe a syndicate - SOL save our lightning

Reply #461111 | Report this post


.  
Years ago

These wnbl teams need an infrastructure of marketing and income to suit their needs. An income other than the gate is clearly needed and the team will reflect the budget - maybe it might get back to playing for the singlet.

Reply #461117 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

Move the team to a cashed up regional centre - Pt. Lincoln Lighning? Piggy back one or two Sixer games with them per season and you have a great advertisement and growth for the game.

Reply #461118 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

500K a year over seven years or 3.5mil sounds like a big hit to take to the back pocket.

Is that figure legit, or can other business expenses be placed under the Lightning entity with some creative type of accounting?


Reply #461119 | Report this post


Jack Toft  
Years ago

117, a team cannot survive on gate takings alone. I can't find any record of crowd numbers, but would it be 500 to 1,000 per game?

The business model needs to be rehashed IMO. Leagues like the AFL rely on external revenue (e.g. from broadcasting and merchandise) to spread the money around to all the clubs. Gate takings are the cream.

A League can't expect a team to compete, but be in an unsustainable position and make a loss, then rely on a egotistical businessman, Sugar Daddy, or despot to sign the cheques. (not saying that Vince is one of those)

I feel for Vince and would hate to be in his position. With the ball in BA's court, the opportunity is for them to go into the bean bag room and have a think about how it could be done better.

Reply #461131 | Report this post


Big Kid  
Years ago

Correct... BA, WNBL, and all competing teams need sustainable business models. Adelaide should have a team, but it should not be up to 1 man to finance.

Reply #461136 | Report this post


MRT  
Years ago

To win a premiership in suburban footy in Melbourne u need $300,000 up. So $500k to run a wnbl side is not out of the question. To all the knockers of Vince what a bunch of idiots u are. To BSA grow some balls and sort out this issue.

Reply #461138 | Report this post


FUBR  
Years ago

The estimated costs of running a WNBL team range anywhere between $200k to +$600k.

Teams do not get any funds transferred to them from Basketball Australia in fact WNBL teams pay Basketball Australia for what is referred to as a travel fund. To my knowledge no team has received any funds from the new league sponsorship. They also do not receive any funds from any broadcasting rights. Teams also have to comply with list of hosting responsibilities including minimum stadium requirements.

Most teams funding models are based on local business sponsorships for the teams i.e. Townsville's local businesses support Townsville, some businesses in Bendigo support Bendigo.

In the last few years the following terms have publicly indicated financial difficulties: -
Townsville at the end of last year lost a major sponsor pulled out
Bendigo 2 years ago financial hardship loss or sponsors
Logan at the start of this year not enough sponsorship support
Adelaide this year
And it wouldn't surprise me at all the rest are in exactly the same position – struggling.

Which is an absolute shame as it is such a great sport, great product and the players present such a wonderful role model.

Now before everyone starts complaining about poorly run businesses. What can you do? - Get involved! Get behind your local WNBL team! contact them to buy a membership or become a team sponsor, buy a corporate/family box. Do it this month! Do it now so you have a team to support next season. Every team needs your support.

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Isaac  
Years ago

Perhaps could have got the front foot a little earlier?
Perhaps so, but he also does make the point that any amount of indicating troubles has been largely ignored. Sometimes you do need to make some noise to get taken seriously and he may have avoided doing this during the season to not distract players.

I imagine that the writer wasn't too keen to save Hubbard embarrassment, but that "Busy" response kinda shows you the level at which these basketball entities all co-operate.

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SamCro  
Years ago

Isaac - This is an owner who makes a habit of sacking coaches in season (Lucas & Buckle). Wouldn't that constitute a distraction to his players during the season?

Look I tip my hat to VM because anyone that is putting 3.5 million in & getting no financial return for his investment certainly deserves some kudos from the basketball community.

We should also address the 'elephant in the room' as well & acknowledge the self serving interests of VM having somewhere for his daughter to play in the WNBL as well. I would have some serious doubts that Angela would get a contract (on her own merits) at any other WNBL team besides Adelaide, IMO.

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Big Kid  
Years ago

Agree with FUBR... We purchased a family season ticket this year for our WNBL side, mainly because one of my teenage daughters is now heavily involved in basketball, and i wanted her to have some role models. Show her something to aspire too...

I am fairly new to basketball, but we loved watching the games. The players are in many cases national/Olympic level, the skill level is high, the sport is played hard, the players are down to earth and approachable after the game, all for less than $150 a season. Yes, there is politics and egos, but it is mainly top level women's sport. Compared with the other 'role models' young women are exposed to these days, its the best $150 i've ever spent...

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Happy Days  
Years ago

To give you an indication of player salaries in local footy in Melbourne it ranges from 50k to $500k a season. Unfortunately everybody is chasing the dollar striving for success.

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Isaac  
Years ago

SamCro, I think a guy making decisions with his heart as much as his head might be the only reason we've had the Lightning around or at least competitive. He certainly could've just given his daughter $500k/year and ignored the WNBL!

Yes, rash decisions with coaches might give some reason not to jump to his defence, but I don't know that the situation would be any better had he not stepped in to buy the club.

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SamCro  
Years ago

Isaac - His daughter wanted to continue to play in the WNBL & this arrangement as VM as the Owner of Adelaide Lightning allowed her to continue to play in the WNBL. Would VM continued to tip in his own money if his daughter wasn't playing for the Lightning? That is a rhetorical question (we all know the answer to that!).

We've got South Australian born & bred players who are choosing to not play for the Lightning because of this situation of Owner & Daughter!

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Bit of a chicken and egg scenario though SamCro.

Without Vince Marino there would be no Adelaide Lightning for the SA born and bred players to play for.

Even if there was, it would be unlikely that alternative ownership would have enough money to sign the top SA players. However, I appreciate that having an Adelaide Lightning with the budget of say the West Coast Waves would be better than having no Adelaide Lightning at all.

Reply #461187 | Report this post


Isaac  
Years ago

+1 to '187.

Maybe BSA takes it on and we fight with the Waves at the bottom of the table. I assume that would be an almost best-case scenario at this point.

From memory, there was interest from one other group when Vince bought it, but would that have been any more stable? If that interest still exists, then surely they could step in now and transition to what would have been or even the Waves-level team after a few years of at least being competitive regardless of the meddling.

Reply #461191 | Report this post


Camel 31  
Years ago

s.batkovic was on $100k here, e.g.
(g.tippett played wnbl, now plays anz netball champioship)

Reply #461260 | Report this post


KB3  
Years ago

If Vince was that narcissistic and Angela all about ego wouldn't Vince have just given her the 3.5 million he has dropped into the team?

Reply #461263 | Report this post


sixtiesrockstar  
Years ago

Many comments showing their ignorance of employing people and employers putting their money on the line. The same people who probably complain about Holden's shutting, yet drive a Kia or Subaru.
Without employers and people like Vince you have no jobs and no team to support. Even if he does it just for his daughter, the amount of people who are also benefit is huge. It's a sign of reality that you can't run a franchise with no help or corporate support. No one on this site would give their money away like that. People like Vince should be encouraged, the same goes for Dean at the 36ers. If he doesn't get corporate help he will go the same way.
And Samcro I bet if there was no other team to choose those same players would be grateful to join the Lightning rather than the dole cue.

Reply #461328 | Report this post


SamCro  
Years ago

sixtiesrockstar - Did you not read my first post & how I stated that VM needs to be acknowledged for tipping in 3.5 million since taking over the Lightning?

The 2 other points that I was making is that there is self serving interest by VM in play here with his daughter playing here. The other point is that quality born & bred SA players are choosing not to play for the Lightning whilst there is clear nepotism in play & no sixtiesrockstar these players won't end up on the dole cue because their quality players that are in demand within the WNBL!

Reply #461329 | Report this post


Mayor  
Years ago

"But no matter how often I tell people we are finding it tougher each season here, no one cares."

That's what Marino said a few days ago.

And almost three years ago from today he was saying the same thing, but nobody listened then either.

http://tinyurl.com/acxma5w

Reply #461346 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

Not many do care, whilst the blatant nepotism within the program exists. After the Chris Lucas affair, I chose to never go to another game while he owns the team, and I know quite a few who had similar thoughts.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

*IMO

Reply #461368 | Report this post


fan  
Years ago

Ditto Anon above - I have supported women's basketball since before the Lightning when local clubs were in the national league but have rarely been since the Lucas sacking. I did write to the club at the time expressing my disappointment with the decision and got a polite reply from Carla Boyd who worked there at the time.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Put Norwood in the WNBL and use the Easter carnival to fund a big part of it. Put a big push out to get all the div 1 2 and 3 teams in the comp to support SA having a WNBL team.... Only half joking

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anonymous  
Years ago

thats an awful lot of money just get his daughter on court, perhaps its time she paid her own way and got a job, then maybe others will take up the batton and get a good team going.

Reply #461449 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

"Teams do not get any funds transferred to them from Basketball Australia in fact WNBL teams pay Basketball Australia for what is referred to as a travel fund. To my knowledge no team has received any funds from the new league sponsorship. They also do not receive any funds from any broadcasting rights. Teams also have to comply with list of hosting responsibilities including minimum stadium requirements."

Your point? NBL puts up with the same non-funding by BA, in fact BA ripped $100k out of each NBL club to fund their other areas including WNBL.

Reply #461481 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

If the league folds so be it. Womens sport does not attract spectators. In theory if WNBL folds the sponsorship that used to go there could go the NBL's way? Wouldn't mind that.

Reply #461483 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

^^Dumb & Stupid Comment / Go Troll Elsewhere^^

Reply #461509 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

I thought $500k a year sounded too much to run a WNBL team.

Marino says running the club over seven years has cost him $3.5million - $500,000 a year - which I don't doubt for a millisecond.

But again, truth is Vince has been way too generous in a lot of instances.

His initial CEOs, for example, were paid probably more than any three other club CEOs together because - perhaps naively - coming from a business background, he believed a chief executive is generally paid a six-figure salary.

That may well be true of the business world. But a WNBL club?

Vince also has been extremely generous with a lot of the contracts and contract payments.

The cynical may say he has had to pay over-the-odds to get personnel to Adelaide.

The generous may contend he paid top dollar expecting top performance.

Whatever, the reality is a WNBL club can operate for half the cost Marino has been prepared to plough in.


http://www.botinagy.com/blog/grand-designs-for-a-fire-toast/

Reply #461523 | Report this post


Ricey  
Years ago

What about the new proposed Marion stadium that's meant to have a 500 seat retractable stand. That could work as a cheaper new option if somebody was a private investor and got returns from the stadium as a whole.

Reply #461561 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

Would be perfect size.

Reply #461580 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

BA need to do more than institute "a review" of the WNBL over the coming "months". They need to immediately launch an action plan to safeguard all current teams in the comp to ensure there is still a league next season with any credibility. Even the best marketing and admin tweaking isn't going to help if there are 5 teams in the 2014/15 season. Who's going to want to buy into a league like that from a sponsorship and media perspective? Sandbag all the current clubs and then the 2014/15 season really will be the last throw of the dice for making this great league sustainable. Let's hope it pulls through

Reply #462148 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

Totally agree with last post. Although my team finished in the middle of the ladder and while the lust for wins and titles will be ever-present as this is sport afterall, just having a team and being able to showcase the talent and role models of this league to my kids is the most important thing. If I lived in WA I'd still attend the waves games every week. Better to have a club that struggles to win than have no club at all. So yeah forget the expensive new media platform initiatives as exciting and long overdue as they might be. Put every last focus and dollar into ensuring there are still 9 teams around next season

Reply #462157 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

What is the latest news about the Lightning? Are they still playing in the WNBL next season?

Reply #465011 | Report this post


Lightning  
Years ago

Yes, I'm wondering too! Especially since March 24th was the apparent deadline, which is well past, and there has been NO news at all????

Reply #465137 | Report this post




 

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