Ticket brokers in the Cleveland area are hoping that the Cavaliers will be competitive enough to still attract fans this season, now that star...

Ticket brokers in the Cleveland area are hoping that the Cavaliers will be competitive enough to still attract fans this season, now that star player LeBron James has joined the Miami Heat.

The team may have won its home opener Wednesday night, October 27, against the Boston Celtics, but brokers are concerned that the product on the court may end up not be entertaining enough for many fans, which could severely impact secondary ticket sales.

Scott Merk, president of MerkTickets.com, told WKYC-TV that he is seeing fans act cautiously before buying tickets. “Last year, we had major entertainment, NBA entertainment for major dollars. Now we have entertainment, and we don’t know if it’s going to be good, bad, or in between, and nobody wants to pay for underperforming value.”

Merk said his business could lose about $1.5 million in revenue this season due to James’ decision to leave the Cavaliers for the Heat, and he is fielding calls from Cavs season ticket holders desperate to unload tickets. See the video below.

“You don’t have those superstar names, MVP All-Stars here anymore. You have the Cavs. And it’s Kobe versus the Cavs. It ain’t Kobe versus a star anymore. You don’t have that marquee superstud player we need to fill the seats now,” he told WKYC-TV.

Area bars and restaurants also are concerned, but owners are more optimistic because James and the Cavaliers were not their major source of revenue. “Maybe it’ll be a little less, but we’re very optimistic about the season,” Jim Connell, owner of Flannery’s bar, which is near the Quicken Loans Arena where the Cavs play, said in the report.

By Alfred Branch Jr.