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The effect LeBron James’ Cleveland exit has had on economy

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LeBron James and the city of Cleveland. Those two entities have been synonymous with each other ever since the Cavs used their first overall pick for James in the 2003 draft. It hasn’t always been a perfect relationship, though it has been mostly fruitful.

They’ve had a love-hate relationship from that point. A brief rift occurred eight years ago when LeBron decided that “he’ll go South Beach.”

But it appears as though the city has already forgiven King James for abandoning them, as he was able to bring home an NBA title for them.

His departure affected not just the Cavaliers’ performance for the season, but also their number of fans that attend their home games and the businesses that surround the Q. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Kennedy School, the number of drinking and eating establishments within the one mile radius of stadiums that James plays increases by 13%.

Not to mention, the increase in employment by 23.5% in those surrounding areas.

There was also a sharp decline in the number of fans watching home games at the Quicken Loans Arena in James’ in 2012 as per ESPN.com. Now with LeBron moving once again, expect this things to take place again.

James is a proven draw in the NBA. Some fanbases simply support whichever team he plays for. In boxing terms he is a “pay-per-view attraction” who can provide big buy rates.

Now playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, it can’t be denied that the businesses surround the Staples Center would experience the same boom that he brought in Cleveland and Miami.

The second largest city in the United States welcomed James last summer, and it hopes he can provide the same spark that turned around the fate of two franchises.