NFL is by far America's most popular sport and it's often said that waiting for NFL is the country's second most popular pastime. Despite that, LeBron James is biggest name in US sport.
So that is why it was such a coup for the Cleveland Cavaliers to lure James back to his home state and the team which he left back in 2010. How big a deal this is for the city of Cleveland has been quantified by figures reported by Bloomberg.
James' return home will mean an annual boost of $500 million for the Cleveland economy. This will be due to increased attendances at Cavaliers games and increased spending at restaurants, hotels and other local services. It is also believed that the acquisition of James means that the franchise's value will be bolstered from $515 million to over a billion dollars.
The player himself is going to earn $43 million over his two-year contract.
In his Sports Illustrated essay announcing his decision to return to Ohio, James said of the state:
I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can.
He's giving them more than hope, he's giving everyone a real monetary boost too.
h/t Slam Online