Millennials! They’re always so busy with their avocado toasts and Snapchat and whatever else we claim millennials are spending their money on instead of acting responsibly—yet they’re also the lifeblood of our economy, the generation that makes up more of the workforce than any other, and the people that every city needs to remain competitive for the industries of the future. Amazon’s HQ2 shortlist is full of cities populated by millennials. (Indeed, most cities are full of the emotional-support-animal-clutching, casual-dining-killing generation born between the early 1980s and the mid 1990s, while areas further from the urban core tend to attract members of previous generations.) And Mark Cuban, who at 59 years old is just outside the date range for Generation X, knows that millennials are the key to Dallas’s economic future.
To that end, the Shark Tank billionaire urges young folks to consider taking their selfies, buying their brunches, and spending exorbitant sums on apartments in Dallas. To sweeten the deal, he’s got a relocation offer for them: Move and he’ll give ’em free tickets to see the Dallas Mavericks.
Standing outside the American Airlines Center in a promo video for the Dallas Regional Chamber’s “Say Yes to Dallas” campaign, Cuban gushes about how fun the city is. He spends a minute talking the various “corridors” within the city, and helpfully notes that it’s in the middle of the country, which is good for “productivity.” (No word on if the city of Lebanon, Kansas—the actual geographical center of the United States—plans to respond.) Then he makes the offer: “You know what? If you’re thinking about coming to Dallas, Texas, come to the Mavs game,” Cuban offers. “First two tickets are on me, beer’s on you. We’re gonna have fun.”
It sounds like the sort of thing that he might have tossed in off-the-cuff, but the Chamber is taking the offer seriously—they launched a sweepstakes, applicable to anyone interviewing for a job in Dallas, or who recently moved to Dallas for work, in which tickets are awarded to entrants seven days before each Mavericks home game. According to the rules, each game has one prize winner, and it doesn’t say where the seats are.
If they’re trying to entice people to come to Dallas, forcing hapless jobseekers to watch the Mavs might backfire. The team, currently tied for last place in the Western Conference, is 26.5 games out of first place and hasn’t advanced past the first round of the NBA Playoffs since 2011 (when they won it all). The Mavs’ current win percentage is an abysmal .320, and Cuban’s not providing beer—which means that the lucky winners will play sports arena prices for your drink. And since it’s a Mavs game, they’ll likely need a lot of it.
As promotions go, this one isn’t exactly offering an exclusive experience. Did you move to Dallas for a job before December first, the contest’s cut-off date, but still want to go see your new hometown team play? Worry not, tickets for their home game against the Indiana Pacers on February 26 currently run at $7 on StubHub (and they come with a free Dirk Nowitzki bobblehead!). Busy that day? Go on March 6 and you get see them play the Denver Nuggets for $6.
On the other hand, the fact that tickets to see the Mavericks are so cheap is actually kind of a selling point for Dallas. Want to get into the arena for a Houston Rockets game? You’ll be spending at least three times what it costs to see the Mavs, and often a lot more. (Tickets to see the second-place Rockets play the third-place Spurs start at $50 on the secondhand market right now.) Living in a city with a good NBA team might make going to the games cost-prohibitive, but in Dallas, millennials can afford their unicorn toast, fidget spinners, and tickets to see what is technically still a professional basketball team. Take that, other cities.