2 Jan 2009

Lakers surviving in global downturn

11:19 am on 2 January 2009

The Los Angeles Lakers basketball teams impressive on-court form this NBA season has been matched by their robust resistance to the global financial crisis.

Although the U.S. recession has forced the National Basketball Association and the National Football League to cut jobs and Major League Baseball to freeze budgets, the Lakers have been remarkably unaffected.

While their players have again set the standard in the Western Conference with a stirring win-loss record of 25-5, Lakers' home attendances and the number of season ticket holders for 2008-09 have held firm.

Ranked by Forbes magazine as the second most valuable team in the NBA behind the New York Knicks, the glitzy Lakers have long been regarded as recession-proof.

Home games at the Staples Canter in downtown Los Angeles are regularly watched by Hollywood actors such as Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington and Cameron Diaz and rising prices do not appear to be too much of an issue for Lakers stalwarts.

The Lakers are led by league MVP Kobe Bryant.

The cheapest ticket to watch the Lakers is about 60 New Zealand dollars.