Magazine article Black Enterprise

ABA Returns with Black Ownership

Magazine article Black Enterprise

ABA Returns with Black Ownership

Article excerpt

Blacks do more than dribble in new b-bail league

Three decades after they lit up the high school basketball courts in the suburbs of Detroit, Gregory Terrell and Arthus Blackwell have joined the short list of African Americans to own a basketball franchise in a professional league. They are co-owners of the Detroit Dogs, one of the eight teams that is part of the new American Basketball Association 2001 (ABA).

Blackwell, is part owner of Greektown Casino in Detroit and Terrell, who also owns a Detroit accounting firm and settlement company, obtained the ABA franchise with a $1 franchise fee and a league assessment fee of $150,000 to support the league office for administrative purposes. But Terrell said the operating budget for the team, which wilt play a 56 game schedule, is about $2.5 million to $3 million. The operating budget is supported by corporate sponsorships, season ticket sales, and promotions.

Greg Davis, owner of the Chicago Skyliners, is another African American owner in the ABA. He plans to show everyone that the Windy City has enough fans for the Chicago Bulls and his team. "You have a city with eight million people in the Chicago metropolitan area. There is a good opportunity to reach college kids and others who are looking for wholesome entertainment."

Davis, 52, who owns several radio stations in Columbus, Georgia, and Davis Broadcasting Co. in Charlotte, North Carolina, said very few African Americans own any sports franchises, even though they make up the majority of the NBA market. "The key is marketing and promotion; we plan on being out in the community. …

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