Mar 18, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) reacts in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Report: LeBron James worth $500 million to local economy

The $500 million man. It’s amazing what LeBron James can do without having to lift a finger. When LeBron decided to return to Cleveland, the local economy will receive a $500 million per-year boost, Bloomberg reports.

The projected figure is a estimated through ticket sales and other spending. To put it into a little perspective, writer Mark Miquette notes that the 2016 Republican National Convention should bring $200 million.

Via Bloomberg:

Based on calculations by the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office, James’s return will increase the benefit from Cavs games alone to about $268 million. Average attendance increased from about 12,000 before James joined the team to about 20,500 during his final season, the county said. Although attendance has slipped, officials expect sold out games next season with James on the court.

Everyone knew that he’d be bringing his freakish athleticism and his basketball IQ. We all knew that he’d cost Cleveland a max-contract. But it was hard to expect that he would help the city gross so much money. It gives some perspective, however, about the net worth of a superstar.

When teams reach out to nab a talent like LeBron, Carmelo Anthony or even Kevin Love, they’re getting more than just talent. Players are assets — it’s odd to think of people in terms of worth, but teams are willing to spend a max-contract on a player, because they know that he will gross them an even greater sum.

The Cavaliers were the league’s 19th most valuable franchise at $515 million this January. As estimated by a Bloomburg source, LeBron James just made them a billion dollar franchise.

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