Group meets to ensure Grizzlies stay in Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Group meets to ensure Grizzlies stay in Memphis

As the Grizzlies push to make the playoffs at FedExForum Tuesday night, Memphis leaders are fighting to make sure the team doesn't leave town. As the Grizzlies push to make the playoffs at FedExForum Tuesday night, Memphis leaders are fighting to make sure the team doesn't leave town.

(WMC-TV) – As the Grizzlies push to make the playoffs at FedExForum Tuesday night, Memphis leaders are fighting to make sure the team doesn't leave town.

The team's playoff run last year electrified all segments of the community.

The franchise also caught the eyes of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, one of the richest men in the world. He wants to buy an NBA team and move them to California.

"The Grizzlies are not going to be sold to Larry Ellison," said Kevin Kane, president of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. "There's no deal in the works."

Kane is also head of a new advisory board designed to keep the Grizzlies in Memphis. His advisory board met for four hours with team executives over the weekend.

"Markets have to do certain things to unlock shared revenue streams which could be up to $20 million dollars," Kane said.

The advisory board has three goals: increase season ticket sales by 3,000, advise the Grizzlies on involvement in certain local activities and, when owner Michael Heisley sells the team, be ready with an ownership group committed to Memphis.

"This is not a panic button being pushed," Kane said. "This is not a power play on the part of the ownership. This just good, solid business of the franchise letting us know the state of the franchise, the state of the NBA."

There are about $100 million in penalties if the franchise were to leave the Bluff City before 2021, but the focus of the meeting and the board is to make the Memphis Grizzlies a successful franchise in the city permanently.

"Our goal is to have the franchise here for 40-50 years, however long there is an NBA," Kane said. "Oklahoma City is a small market, but they are the fourth most profitable team in the NBA right now. We can do better than what we're doing."

The advisory board will meet about six more times this year to improve the Grizzlies support in the community and make them a better franchise financially.

It helps that they are winning this season and the team is poised to make another playoff run for the second year in row.

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