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NBA Expansion Looming: Seattle and Las Vegas or Vancouver

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I am not adamantly against the NBA being in New Orleans, but presented with the binary of "Bennett's gang buys the Hornets and leaves the Sonics alone" and "the league holds onto the Hornets and Bennett's gang buys the Sonics," I would have gone with the former. Of course, Stern should have cut this whole thing off at the pass by muscling Shinn out of the league when things got bad in Charlotte in order to protect the market, but Stern was always loyal to a fault when it came to mid-market owners who didn't go into business for themselves. Would Team #30 have gone to New Orleans, Oklahoma City, or neither? idk, don't really care, I just think not disrupting Charlotte and Seattle should have been more important.

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22 minutes ago, the admiral said:

I am not adamantly against the NBA being in New Orleans, but presented with the binary of "Bennett's gang buys the Hornets and leaves the Sonics alone" and "the league holds onto the Hornets and Bennett's gang buys the Sonics," I would have gone with the former. Of course, Stern should have cut this whole thing off at the pass by muscling Shinn out of the league when things got bad in Charlotte in order to protect the market, but Stern was always loyal to a fault when it came to mid-market owners who didn't go into business for themselves. Would Team #30 have gone to New Orleans, Oklahoma City, or neither? idk, don't really care, I just think not disrupting Charlotte and Seattle should have been more important.

Exactly this. The league should've done what they did for the NOLA Hornets when Shinn decided he was done and they took over for a bit. I'm sure the Bobcats group would've been able to simply buy the Hornets after maybe a year or two of league control, most likely complete with MJ. Team 30 becomes either an OKC team (unlikely, since the Hornets proved the viability of it as an NBA market), the reborn Sonics (again, unlikely given that they only moved because of the Hornets), or maybe even a Vancouver team after the Grizzlies left. Or maybe they expand to New Orleans instead and we get the Pelicans from the start. Either way, it's hard to argue that it wouldn't have been better for the league to prevent the move to New Orleans given the current headache they face in regards to the history of the Hornets, the struggles of both Charlotte and New Orleans, and the loss of Seattle.

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16 minutes ago, GDAWG said:

How much is the current TV deal for the NBA?  

It's worth $24 billion until 2024-25, meaning the league earns $2.6 billion a year since 2014. Splitting that among 30 teams is worth about $87 million a year, whereas a 32-team split would be worth about $81.25 million per team per year under this TV deal. I expect that deal would increase when they renegotiate, especially if the NBA is back in Seattle, a pretty large media market. I don't know how else a two-team expansion would affect the revenue-sharing pie that each team gets, but that $6 million a year seems pretty trivial to me.

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3 hours ago, B-Rich said:

I'll pile on.  Atlanta: Braves in 1966, Falcons in 1966, Hawks in 1968, Flames in 1972. 

 

Granted, the Dolphins were already well established, but Miami got the Heat in 1988 and then both the Marlins and Panthers in 1993.

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Re: NBA expansion.


No doubt Seattle would be a shoo-in for no. 31.  It rights a clear wrong from when Stern allowed the team to be sold to Clay Bennett and after a season move the team to OKC, and puts the Seattle Supersonics back in their rightful place in sports world. A suitable arena is now FINALLY in place. And Seattle would takes their rightful place in the hierarchy as one of those cities with all four major league sports teams (five if you count MLS).

 

That hierarchy and another key point come to mind when thinking about locating the 32nd franchise.  Something that has NOT been mentioned yet in  this thread.  And that point is that both basketball and hockey share the same season, almost exactly. 

 

And when you think of places that have BOTH basketball and hockey teams, it never works as a two league city and rarely as a three-league city.   As of now,  IT IS THE FOUR LEAGUE CITIES that have both of those sports, mainly because they are big enough to maintain BOTH during the winter season:

 

  • New York
  • Boston
  • Philadelphia
  • Chicago
  • Detroit
  • Minnesota/Twin Cities
  • Washington, DC
  • Miami / S. Florida
  • Denver
  • Dallas
  • Phoenix
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Los Angeles

(Now, for arguments' sake I am not considering Canadian cities in this equation, due to the nature of hockey as the national pastime in that country, and the CFL/NFL situation.  Toronto is a three-league city and has both basketball and hockey.  But Vancouver was a two-league city with JUST basketball and hockey as their major league sports, and that only lasted 6 seasons).

 

In the US:

  • You had Denver (well before they were the humongous metro area they are today)  as a a three-team city with basketball, hockey and football for only 6 years, and then the hockey team left.  
  • You had Buffalo with basketball, hockey and football for only 8 years, then the basketball team left. 
  • For the entirety of the time Kansas City had two winter sports teams, they were a four sports town (Chiefs, Royals, Kings, Scouts). 
  • For the entirety of the time Cleveland had two winter sports teams, they were a four sports town (Browns, Indians, Cavaliers, Barons)
  • Washington, DC was kind of the outlier; they got their hockey team right after the baseball team left and for 33 years they were a 3 sport town with 2 of them being winter sports teams. But they were ALWAYS trying to get a baseball team back. 

So, that being said, despite so many on this board fawning over Las Vegas as the 'flavor of the month' and a slam-dunk for NBA expansion, I have my doubts.  I agree with those who say, too much, too fast...  Vancouver as an expansion site would be the same scenario as before;  limited fan dollars being chased in the same season...  Montreal ain't going to work, either for the two winter sport thing or the whole cultural thing (an NBA team going up against les Habitents?)...  St. Louis already has a hockey team and just a baseball team; the Hawks have been gone for over 42 years, and the Spirits didn't do so hot in the ABA...  Pittsburgh is not big enough to be a 4-team city...  Nashville not going to happen with Memphis having the Grizzlies in the same state,  same as Tampa Bay not going to happen with the Magic just down the road...  Jacksonville is far too small, really, to even successfully be a host to just the Jaguars. 

 

I'd think more about the following:

  • San Diego -- 17th largest metro area in America; arena plans are in the works, only has ONE TEAM right now which is the opposite season than basketball;  local (more-or-less) deep-pockets ownership would be needed.
  • Kansas City -- has very new arena in place built to host major league sports; has schedule room for a winter sports team; big metro area that at one point had all four sports teams, but again, local (more -or-less) deep-pockets ownership would be needed.
  • Virgin territory -- NBA has a history of being the league to put the first pro team in a city (Seattle, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, Utah, Sacramento, Orlando, Charlotte, OKC)...  Louisville, most likely would be in the works (pretty new 10 year old arena); maybe the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  Mexico City would be a stretch to me, but who knows with the NBA? I'm still remembering in the late 1980s when it was projected that the NBA would be the first league to have a European division by now. 

But clearly, the return of the Seattle Supersonics is job 1, which makes me happy (pre-Hornets/Pelicans, they were one of my favorite teams)

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I didn't even know until recently that Mexico City was supposed to join the G League as a non-affiliated team this year (pushed back til next year, obviously). Seems like the clear test case for a future NBA team there, but not sure if you'd be able to gather enough data from that in the timeline before a 32nd team.

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1 hour ago, B-Rich said:

Re: NBA expansion.

 

I'd think more about the following:

  • San Diego -- 17th largest metro area in America; arena plans are in the works, only has ONE TEAM right now which is the opposite season than basketball;  local (more-or-less) deep-pockets ownership would be needed.
  • Kansas City -- has very new arena in place built to host major league sports; has schedule room for a winter sports team; big metro area that at one point had all four sports teams, but again, local (more -or-less) deep-pockets ownership would be needed.
  • Virgin territory -- NBA has a history of being the league to put the first pro team in a city (Seattle, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, Utah, Sacramento, Orlando, Charlotte, OKC)...  Louisville, most likely would be in the works (pretty new 10 year old arena); maybe the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  Mexico City would be a stretch to me, but who knows with the NBA? I'm still remembering in the late 1980s when it was projected that the NBA would be the first league to have a European division by now. 

 

 

I really used to admire the NBA for its willingness to be the only game in town in so many cities. That worked really well when it was still a fringe league trying to gain more exposure. (The MLS has done well with this, too, in recent years.) I question, though, whether that model would still work in the modern NBA, especially the way the league's superstars tend to favor playing in major media markets. 

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I'd love to see the NBA come back after the Grizzlies were such a mess here in Vancouver, but I have major doubts there is ownership with enough $$ here. I think it would have to be the owners of the Canucks, with external backing. The Canucks ownership has been tight on cash during the pandemic, there have been major job cuts in non-sports staff during the pandemic

 

Jim Pattison has the money, but is, well, 92. 

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7 hours ago, QCS said:

It's worth $24 billion until 2024-25, meaning the league earns $2.6 billion a year since 2014. Splitting that among 30 teams is worth about $87 million a year, whereas a 32-team split would be worth about $81.25 million per team per year under this TV deal. I expect that deal would increase when they renegotiate, especially if the NBA is back in Seattle, a pretty large media market. I don't know how else a two-team expansion would affect the revenue-sharing pie that each team gets, but that $6 million a year seems pretty trivial to me.

 

And somehow the TV deal isn't enough to recoup losses from expansion

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10 hours ago, B-Rich said:

Just got finished going through the whole thread. My first response post....

 

 

GDAWG, with the responses to date, I'm thinking either your recall or knowledge of history is not that good😛:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'll pile on.  Atlanta: Braves in 1966, Falcons in 1966, Hawks in 1968, Flames in 1972. 

 

No.  It's that a city like Las Vegas doesn't deserve even one major league team.  All of those other cities likely deserved teams in all of the leagues.

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19 hours ago, QCS said:

Exactly this. The league should've done what they did for the NOLA Hornets when Shinn decided he was done and they took over for a bit. I'm sure the Bobcats group would've been able to simply buy the Hornets after maybe a year or two of league control, most likely complete with MJ. Team 30 becomes either an OKC team (unlikely, since the Hornets proved the viability of it as an NBA market), the reborn Sonics (again, unlikely given that they only moved because of the Hornets), or maybe even a Vancouver team after the Grizzlies left. Or maybe they expand to New Orleans instead and we get the Pelicans from the start. Either way, it's hard to argue that it wouldn't have been better for the league to prevent the move to New Orleans given the current headache they face in regards to the history of the Hornets, the struggles of both Charlotte and New Orleans, and the loss of Seattle.

Wasn't New Orleans the top choice for the Grizzlies when they were moving, but the Hornets beat them there? I think I remember reading something about that. If that happens, it's more likely Memphis is the odd one out among the NO-OKC-MEM trio, as the New Orleans Grizzlies would still go to Oklahoma City after Katrina, which sets the stage for the successful Sonics audition. Team 30 is probably Louisville or something. Or maybe it's Memphis, and the league looks exactly like it does now, just with a couple of different team names.

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8 minutes ago, Magic Dynasty said:

Wasn't New Orleans the top choice for the Grizzlies when they were moving, but the Hornets beat them there? I think I remember reading something about that. If that happens, it's more likely Memphis is the odd one out among the NO-OKC-MEM trio, as the New Orleans Grizzlies would still go to Oklahoma City after Katrina, which sets the stage for the successful Sonics audition. Team 30 is probably Louisville or something. Or maybe it's Memphis, and the league looks exactly like it does now, just with a couple of different team names.

Actually, it was the other way around. Both teams applied to relocate to Memphis but the Grizzlies beat them there. New Orleans wasn't even one of the three cities considered after that, it was Norfolk, Louisville, and St. Louis. New Orleans was decided on after an arena vote failed (because our mayor vetoed a living wage ordinance, but that's besides the point) and the city made it known to the NBA that no arena would be built with Shinn as the owner of the Hornets.

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24 minutes ago, QCS said:

Actually, it was the other way around. Both teams applied to relocate to Memphis but the Grizzlies beat them there. New Orleans wasn't even one of the three cities considered after that, it was Norfolk, Louisville, and St. Louis. New Orleans was decided on after an arena vote failed (because our mayor vetoed a living wage ordinance, but that's besides the point) and the city made it known to the NBA that no arena would be built with Shinn as the owner of the Hornets.

If my memory isn't making things up, didn't it essentially come down to Louisville and Memphis? 

 

I remember there being a pretty robust debate right on these here boards (i've been here that long?) about two name proposals, which were largely driven by corporate backers: a return of the Kentucky Colonels (KFC is based in Louisville) and the Memphis Express (FedEx is based in Memphis.) 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, gosioux76 said:

If my memory isn't making things up, didn't it essentially come down to Louisville and Memphis? 

 

I remember there being a pretty robust debate right on these here boards (i've been here that long?) about two name proposals, which were largely driven by corporate backers: a return of the Kentucky Colonels (KFC is based in Louisville) and the Memphis Express (FedEx is based in Memphis.)

Yep, those were the two finalists for the Grizzlies mostly because they didn't have any other Big 4 teams.

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18 minutes ago, colortv said:

 

The quote in this story from Andy Dolich, a former executive with both the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies, in which he outlines the "ABCs" of what will make for a viable expansion market, should help frame this expansion wishlist. 

 

Quote

“The A is avidity: the market you’re picking has to be an avid sports market,” he said. “The B is simple: Who is your billionaire? If you don’t have your billionaire, you don’t have anything. The C is the community: the elected officials, the leading businesses who are going to support you and the fan base. The D [destination] is where are you playing? The NBA is not playing in yesterday’s arena. Those are the four key parts.”

 

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4 hours ago, QCS said:

Yep, those were the two finalists for the Grizzlies mostly because they didn't have any other Big 4 teams.

 

That, and the ability to build their own arena, which wouldn't really be a thing you could do in Louisville now. The Blues owner of the time tried to buy the Grizzlies first with the purpose of moving them to St. Louis, but that was scuttled due to the nakedness of the purchase's goal of relocation. Even if it's obvious that's what's happening, the NBA likes you to at least play pretend for a bit.

 

5 hours ago, gosioux76 said:

If my memory isn't making things up, didn't it essentially come down to Louisville and Memphis? 

 

I remember there being a pretty robust debate right on these here boards (i've been here that long?) about two name proposals, which were largely driven by corporate backers: a return of the Kentucky Colonels (KFC is based in Louisville) and the Memphis Express (FedEx is based in Memphis.)

 

They did try to go with the Express name, but the NBA said they couldn't name themselves after a corporation, so now the FedEx logo is just on the jerseys and the court and literally anywhere else one could imagine.

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“The A is avidity: the market you’re picking has to be an avid sports market,” he said. “The B is simple: Who is your billionaire? If you don’t have your billionaire, you don’t have anything. The C is the community: the elected officials, the leading businesses who are going to support you and the fan base. The D [destination] is where are you playing? The NBA is not playing in yesterday’s arena. Those are the four key parts.”

Cool MBA stuff. Is the E for exploitation or extortion?

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2 hours ago, the admiral said:

 

 

Cool MBA stuff. Is the E for exploitation or extortion?

I’m assuming the F will be self-explanatory.

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