The NBA Finals might be getting a big makeover in 2014, returning to an old format that’s better for business.
Since 1985, the NBA Finals have been played in a 2-3-2 format, which mean two home games, then three away games, and then two more home games. The 2-3-2 was adopted when the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers were meeting in the NBA Finals seemingly every year.
Now, the NBA Finals will return to a 2-2-1-1-1 format; two games at home, two away, one at home, one away, and one at home. The reason 2-2-1-1-1 was replaced in 1985 was because of the travel. Flying back and forth from the west coast to the east coast was tedious and tiring for the players.
The NBA sounded excited about the format change. On Sunday, league spokesperson Tim Frank said, “The idea was raised at the competition committee and was well-received and the committee ultimately unanimously voted to recommend the change in format.”
According to sources, the NBA Finals format change will be voted on in October, and if passed, could be implemented as soon as 2014. The league expects the change to pass.
The 2-2-1-1-1 format is also better for business. Because of home field advantage, the likelihood of the NBA Finals going a full seven games increases. The more games there are, the more tickets the NBA can sell, among other financial benefits.
The NBA Finals format change seems small, but it is actually very large. Home field advantage is a big deal in sports, and teams tend to play better in front of their home crowds. I don’t think fans will complain about longer series if it means they get to root for their team for one more game.
What do you think about the NBA Finals format change?
[image via Wikimedia Commons]