NBA Expansion: Seattle and Other Markets Ripe for League Expansion

The Seattle Super Sonics could be making a return to the NBA very soon as the Sacramento Kings could be relocating there very soon. Who is the real winners here? It’s hard to say. Sacramento might be better off getting rid of the NBA’s worst franchise and arena.

But, then again, losing a pro sports franchise is always a bad thing. Just ask Seattle, who has watched their old team become one of the NBA’s best teams with one of their best young duos. When they were the Sonics, they were a perennial loser. The city, fan base government leaders, etc. apparently were willing to watch them walk. They now regret that decision. So now they are willing to take a dog of a franchise to replace the contender they should have right now.

Now, there are surely other cities, some who once had NBA franchises and some who may never have had one, who see what has happened in Oklahoma City and maybe think their city could be next. What cities might these be?

How about Louisville, Kentucky? Louisville was once the home of the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA. The Colonels were a fairly successful franchise as far as ABA teams go. But there was a lot of politics involved in which teams were brought into the NBA when the two leagues merged, and they did not always mean the most successful ones made it.

But college basketball is king in Kentucky. Many residents of the state have absolutely no desire for the NBA. It is a basketball crazed area, but would pro basketball make it there? That is questionable. But, the Pacers have done well in equally college basketball-mad Indiana.

Las Vegas might be a great possibility. But then there is the gambling element/sports thing going on. Could this be a problem? It seems to be as Vegas still has no pro sports franchises in a thriving city.

Kansas City is the former home of the Kings and has not had a team since the early 1980s. Could they be ready to give it another go? That is a city starved for a winner and if they could get one in the NBA, they could rule that town.

Nashville? A Nashville-Memphis rivalry could be an interesting one. They have the NFL and NHL there. They could use the same arena as the hockey team.

the problem is to get a team, they will likely need to lure away and existing team since the NBA has been talking about contracting in recent years instead of expanding. So we can rule out teams such as the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz who have fairly new to almost brand new arenas. So you’d have to target teams such as the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks or Detroit Pistons.

How many of those cities are going to let their teams leave? Maybe New Orleans? Memphis maybe? Other than those, I can’t see too many. Portland and Utah are not letting those teams leave town. They are the only teams in those cities. Like Orlando, those cities will give the teams whatever they want to stay, including building them a new arena.

So other than the Kings move to Seattle, I don’t see any more cities getting a team in the near future.



One Comment;

  1. Laramie said:

    Living here in Oklahoma City and watching the Thunder take roots has been a remarkable experience. The team currently plays in the 18,203-seat Chesapeake Energy Arena and since 2010-11 the franchise has had in excess 100 consecutive sellouts.
    If it means building a new arena (ours opened in 2002 and will be 12-years old in June 2014) after 2020, you can bet that the voters will get behind the financial backing and float another penny sales tax to build whatever type of facility this team needs.
    Having an NBA franchise in our city has certainly brought a lot of positive attention to Oklahoma City. You couldn’t buy a better advertising package on New York’s Madison Avenue with the $210 million this city has invested in the NBA’s Thunder.
    Seattle’s loss has certainly been our gain. If they had to do it over again, they should have kept the Sonics from leaving the Emerald City.