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NBA in St. Louis


rebelx

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I'm curious to know, is there any good reason that St. Louis doesn't have an NBA team? Seems like one could thrive there; it's a great sports city. Did the NBA really completely give up on the city after the Hawks' departure? That's silly, because that was years ago...

Maybe people from SL could enlighten me on this.

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I can't really answer your question but when the Hornets moved from Charlotte, they were considering St. Louis. Maybe Seattle, or Portland or whoever moves in the future can go to the STL.

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Thing is, St. Louis was considered not just by the Hornets, but by the Grizzlies as well. I don't understand how both clubs passed the city up for (in the Grizzlies' case) an unproven market and (in the Hornets' case) a city with a history of poor support for professional teams. Go figure. :blink:

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Well, there is question as to whether or not St. Louis could support another major sports franchise, and more specifically whether or not it would support a major basketball franchise.

Still, I have to think we could and would.

Bill Laurie who recently sold the Blues, bought the Savvis Center and the Blues around 1999 with the hope of bringing an NBA tenant to the town. I'm not gonna bash Laurie like everyone else loves to do, because I think he truly put a ton of his money and himself into trying to get the team a Cup (though he pretty much screwed everyone over this year), but basketball has always been his top sport, and that's where a good amount of his focus was directed.

He just never could do it though. We seemed to be a serious option for the Hornets, but later found out that the owners were just using St. Louis as a bargaining chip to get things better for themselves elsewhere.

Of course when the NBA expanded, St. Louis was never an option, it was pretty much a gurantee that Charlotte was getting another franchise.

And New Orleans may or may not be able to support the Hornets for much longer (and that was in question even before the hurricanes), but Oklahoma City has obviously become the clear cut choice for their new home.

Laurie all but had the Grizzlies, but the NBA said they had to stay in Vancouver for at least 5 years before they could be moved. Laurie backed out, and then the NBA decided they were cool with letting the Grizzlies move to Memphis the very next year. (I know there's another part to that story, I'll let someone else explain.)

And now Kansas City is building a new arena and working hard to get an NBA and/or NHL franchise. If they get the NBA franchise, you have to wonder if that would take St. Louis out of the running for a while.

Dave Checketts, the new Blues owner, is a guy who's been involved with the Jazz and Knicks, so he very well could desire an NBA team, but he'll likely wait for the Blues to get back on solid footing before he persues one, if at all.

Right now I'm just hoping St. Louis lands one of the new MLS franchises. It's a great soccer city, and I'm certain it would support that team.

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We seemed to be a serious option for the Hornets, but later found out that the owners were just using St. Louis as a bargaining chip to get things better for themselves elsewhere.

Further proof that George Shinn is a jerkwad. One of the worst owners in the NBA, if not the worst. What the hell was so attractive about New Orleans to him?

You know who I wouldn't mind seeing move to STL? The Raptors. We'll have to see if their fan support is better once Colangelo inevitably remakes their roster. If not, then maybe it's time for them to vacate Toronto...

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I think the NBA wants to go where there is no other winter sports team. In St. Louis you have the Blues who have been there a long time. A NBA team there would probably take a back seat to the Blues. I don't think the NBA wants that.

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Further proof that George Shinn is a jerkwad. One of the worst owners in the NBA, if not the worst.

Where's that "bowing down / we're not worthy" smiley when you need it?

If somehow STL were to get an NBA team, they should 100% be the Spirits of St. Louis.

Except that's probably not possible...but whatever. Buy the rights.

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I think the NBA wants to go where there is no other winter sports team. In St. Louis you have the Blues who have been there a long time. A NBA team there would probably take a back seat to the Blues. I don't think the NBA wants that.

I would seriously doubt that. Now maybe this isnt very p/c to say, but considering the amount of urban minorities that St. Louis has, its perfect for an NBA team. It would dominate over a hockey team.

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I think the NBA wants to go where there is no other winter sports team. In St. Louis you have the Blues who have been there a long time. A NBA team there would probably take a back seat to the Blues. I don't think the NBA wants that.

I would seriously doubt that. Now maybe this isnt very p/c to say, but considering the amount of urban minorities that St. Louis has, its perfect for an NBA team. It would dominate over a hockey team.

It wouldn't dominate over the Blues because of the fan base the Blues have established over the past almost 40 years (bad year all around last year...not representative of the team or fan base at all), but I do think an NBA team would succeed and certainly not be overshadowed by the Blues.

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I know this is off topic, but I heard something a little less then a year ago about the Orlando Magic possibly considering Norfolk, Virginia as a relocation spot in the future. Anyone heard about this other then me?

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I'm torn on whether or not we could support an NBA team. I used to really want a team here but in the past 5 years or so my interest in the NBA has declined sharply and that seems to resonate through the city. Granted I can't speak for all St. Louisans but there's not a huge push for an NBA team around here. Honestly I think we are perfectly happy with the Cardinals, Rams and Blues.

However the optimist in me says that STL is a great sports city period and would support an NBA franchise very well. Watching some of the young guys like LeBron and Dwayne Wade I think maybe the NBA's image is on the way back up.

So i'm talking in circles here, bottom line is I'd be interested to see a team in STL. After all I seriously doubt this city would do any worse than New Orleans or Charlotte.

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I think the NBA wants to go where there is no other winter sports team. In St. Louis you have the Blues who have been there a long time. A NBA team there would probably take a back seat to the Blues. I don't think the NBA wants that.

I would seriously doubt that. Now maybe this isnt very p/c to say, but considering the amount of urban minorities that St. Louis has, its perfect for an NBA team. It would dominate over a hockey team.

It wouldn't dominate over the Blues because of the fan base the Blues have established over the past almost 40 years (bad year all around last year...not representative of the team or fan base at all), but I do think an NBA team would succeed and certainly not be overshadowed by the Blues.

Well, while I don't think an NBA team would surpass the Blues in popularity, I think it could succeed in St. Louis. STL has a great history of supporting their teams, whether they do well or not and they did have basketball waaaaay back in the day with the Hawks. I think that St. Louis would do well regardless of this factor, but I'll say it anyway. With the NBA's emergence onto the hip hop scene, the NBA in St. Louis would sell greatly because of rappers such as Nelly and Chingy, both of whom have worn jerseys/apparel of each team from St. Louis in their videos. St. Louis should definitely be considered when the Sonics, Blazers, or whoever decide to relocate in the future.

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Isn't there some question about the territorial rights?

The owners of the Spirits of St. Louis own the rights to the city, but as part of the merger agreement with the NBA, they get television money anyway:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirits_of_St._Louis

In the summer of 1976, with the ABA at the point of financial collapse after nine years, the six surviving franchises (the Virginia Squires went bankrupt immediately after the final season) began negotiating a merger with the NBA. But the senior circuit decided to accept only four teams from the rival league: the Nets (the last ABA champion), Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs.

The NBA placated John Y. Brown, owner of the Kentucky Colonels, by giving him a cash settlement in exchange for shutting his team down. (Brown later used much of that money to buy the Boston Celtics of the NBA.) But the owners of the Spirits, the brothers Ozzie and Dan Silna, struck a prescient deal to acquire future television money from the teams that joined the NBA, a one-seventh share from each team, in perpetuity. With network TV deals becoming more and more lucrative, the deal has made the Silnas wealthy, earning them upwards of $160 million to date.

So basically, they don't have to spend a dime and they get TV money. That's why there isn't a team in St. Louis - whoever wanted to move there would have to buy out their territorial rights.

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At this time St. Louis would not be a good choice for an NBA franchise. Over the last ten years the area has lost a substantial amount of corporate dollars thanks to the McDonnell Douglas merger (and subsequent reduction in personnel) with Boeing, the relocation of SBC's headquarter's to San Antonio and the very recent purchase of May Company by Cincinnati based Federated Dept Stores. Factor in the fact that St. Louis's primary sports franchise, the Cardinals, just built a new stadium and hiked ticket prices by a decent amount and you've got an even greater drain on the potential money available to support the corporate skyboxes and seats that drive NBA revenues.

Add to this equation the fact that the Blues are the primary tenant at the only local venue capable of hosting NBA basketball with St. Louis University the secondary tenant (until at least 2009 when their as-yet-unbuilt and unfinanced arena is scheduled to open), and you've got a fairly unfavorable situation with respect to securing attractive dates for games.

I really don't think the NBA is interested in going into a market that already has 3 major league teams plus a good drawing Division I basketball program but has a base population well below 5 million and also has a dwindling corporate presence. It's just not a recipe for success.

The NBA would best be served by entering markets where it would be firmly entrenched as the #1 or #2 franchise and can enjoy a high level of year-round attention. The NBA has succeeded in the past in establishing itself in emerging sports markets - they were the first to Phoenix, Seattle, Indianapolis and Charlotte. They have traditionally enjoyed success as the only major league team in Salt Lake City, Portland, San Antonio and Sacramento and are drawing well in the emerging markets of Memphis and Oklahoma City. Clearly the NBA needs to concentrate on taking its product to locations where it can dominate from Day 1 and fans will be relatively patient with a developing program. Bringing a struggling or brand new NBA franchise in to St. Louis where the winter sports fans will already be dealing with the reconstruction of the Rams and Blues simply isn't a formula for wild success, especially when the local sports dollars are already maxed out and the corporate resources are shrinking by the day.

Would I love for my home community to be a four sport town again? You bet, however the realist in me says it would ultimately be bad for all four sports. Plus, I think the NBA recognizes St. Louis is not the future of the NBA - Oklahoma City, Norfolk, Louisville and Vegas likely are.

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St. Louis can have the Hawks back, if they want....

Nah, move them back to Waterloo, Iowa.

Hate to correct you, but the Hawks started out in the Quad Cities.

Tri-Cities, to be exact. Bettendorf had not yet established itself as a peer of Rock Island, Moline and Davenport.

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St. Louis can have the Hawks back, if they want....

Nah, move them back to Waterloo, Iowa.

Hate to correct you, but the Hawks started out in the Quad Cities.

I stand corrected. I remember seeing a "Waterloo Hawks" once, and with all the moving the Hawks did back in the day, I ass-u-me'd that it was the same franchise.

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