DustDevil61, on March 16, 2012 - 16:18, said:
frosty06306, on March 16, 2012 - 15:28, said:
Anybody think the new owner will possibly rename the team to reenergize the franchise with a fresh start?
I wouldn't put anything past them, but please, no Hornets/Jazz/Grizzlies/etc. swapping business.
As for this deal, the Hornets have their work cut out for them if they want to get the fans back; Sportscenter commentators mentioned it when they played the Bobcats (I think) recently. You know you have problems when the team is league-owned and someone from ESPN, always aware of its image, says something about it.
As for Seattle, I'd wager that the next teams in line are Milwaukee and Memphis. The Grizzlies, if I'm not mistaken, have an opt-out come 2015, and if they can't replicate their run last year (or stay close and competitive), then it wouldn't be that much of a stretch.
They do have an opt-out, but it's not easy. From a Geoff Calkins column in the Commercial Appeal a few years ago...
"Even then, the city and county have the right to step in and buy enough tickets or suites to meet the minimums.
But say the city and county pass on that one. Say someone wants to buy the team and move it out of town. The city and county would still have the opportunity to find a local buyer to match the purchase price.
The hurdles are starting to stack up, aren't they, Velma? And we haven't even started talking about money yet.
Any out-of-town buyer would also have to pay off the debt service on FedExForum, a number that doesn't dip below $100 million until 2015. And the buyer would have to pay back FedEx for a portion of the naming rights.
And the buyer would have to get the NBA's approval and pay the NBA's relocation fee, which would surely be a good deal more than the $25 million the Grizzlies had to pay to leave Vancouver.
Translation: The team isn't moving anytime soon. It's just not. In this time of finger-pointing and misery, it seems important to recognize that."
Yes they could move eventually, but not in 2015. And the attendance benchmark is 14,900. The Grizz are averaging 15,410 this year. Memphis will always be a stretch to make the NBA work simply because of the population and income, but I think it will.
"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be." -Peter Gibbons
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