How the Celtics got Red Auerbach to sign off on cheerleaders

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  May 25, 2011 05:01 PM

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The Business of Boston Sports breakfast featured Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, Bruins principle Charlie Jacobs, Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca, Pat Moscaritolo, president of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitor's Bureau, and Jonathan Paris, executive director of the Massachusetts Sports Partnership (left to right).


Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca told an amusing story at this morning's New England Business Xpo kickoff breakfast, entitled "Playing for Profits: The Business of Boston Sports."

Pagliuca got to talking about the in-game experience and how when his group first purchased the Celtics, they met with former coach and general manager Red Auerbach at his Washington, DC office to talk about their plans for the team. Auerbach was staunch in his opposition to having cheerleaders.

Fast forward a few years, and every team but two had cheerleaders, and the Celtics wanted them, too. So they paid another visit to Auerbach, this time explaining that they wanted to add cheerleaders, and had a sponsor lined up for a half-million dollars. The money, Pagliuca said, would go toward player salaries.

"That's a no-brainer," Auerbach said.

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