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Which of these potential markets can best support an NBA team?

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Do pro sports really work well in non-urban areas without great public trans to/from the arenas? Going to a game shouldn't be a hassle or something that you have to "plan a night" for, and it seems like that might be the case when arenas are built in sprawling "suburban"-ish areas.

For the most part, emphatically "no," but the Pistons were able to sell out the Palace every night when they were elite. Detroit's a special case in many ways, of course.

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The NBA's answer may well end up being "none of the above". They have historically had a thing for relatively small markets that were previously Big-Four-virgin territory (Portland, Phoenix, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Charlotte, Orlando, Memphis, Oklahoma City - that's one-third of the current slate of NBA markets right there, though it was the now-New Orleans Hornets, not the current Bobcats, that were Charlotte's first pro team).

Among currently untapped markets, Louisville has a still-fairly-new NBA-ready arena in the Yum! Center. Then of course there's Las Vegas, whose candidacy has been discussed to death already elsewhere; and the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads area now flirting with the Kings. They may be more likely candidates to land an NBA franchise than any of the ones discussed so far, except Seattle. Hell, even Omaha (which also has a somewhat newish NBA-sized arena and used to co-host the Kings with KC back in the day) could be in the mix.

I was going to bring up the NBA's penchant for "virgin markets" because I really don't see how being the only team in Viginia Beach/Hampton Roads is somehow worse than being the #4 option in Seattle.

Do pro sports really work well in non-urban areas without great public trans to/from the arenas? Going to a game shouldn't be a hassle or something that you have to "plan a night" for, and it seems like that might be the case when arenas are built in sprawling "suburban"-ish areas.

The Brewers seem to do okay despite our transit not being all that great (:censored: you very much Scott Walker) and the western Menominee Valley, despite physically being within the borders of the City of Milwaukee, is just as "out of the way" as an inner-ring suburb.

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The tailgating dynamic of Miller Park sort of mitigates the transit issue, I'd argue. Though you could go to a game without making it an event, so to speak, most people like to make it one.

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As has been mentioned above a couple of times, the NBA seems to thrive in virgin markets for the most part, such as San Antonio, Portland, Charlotte (Hornets), Sacramento, Indianapolis, Orlando, Salt Lake, OKC and I believe the Suns were Phoenix's first sports team.

I can't really think off the top of my head of a 'virgin market' that has failed for the NBA. Memphis has had rough patches, but seems to be getting there.

That being said, I really believe the Virginia coast would be an ideal spot for a team.

Seattle is an abvious candidate because of the history, and they will get a team within 5-7 years. The fans are there; they just need a facility.

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Memphis is getting there. It was always be a struggle since this is a poor city, but local ownership increasing their share if/when the Robert Pera deal gets done and team having success will help.

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I can't really think off the top of my head of a 'virgin market' that has failed for the NBA.

Charlotte failed the first time around, though the NFL's Panthers had also set up shop in the city and the NHL's Hurricanes farther upstate in Raleigh by the time the Hornets decamped for the Big Easy. Of course for that same reason, the Bobcats don't really count as a foray into virgin territory.

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Do pro sports really work well in non-urban areas without great public trans to/from the arenas? Going to a game shouldn't be a hassle or something that you have to "plan a night" for, and it seems like that might be the case when arenas are built in sprawling "suburban"-ish areas.

The Brewers seem to do okay despite our transit not being all that great (:censored: you very much Scott Walker) and the western Menominee Valley, despite physically being within the borders of the City of Milwaukee, is just as "out of the way" as an inner-ring suburb.

Ditto for Minneapolis/St. Paul, where from 1967 thru 1981 all three major league teams played at or near the current site of Mall of America (about 10 miles south of downtown Minneapolis) and had no more than bus service there. Then again, with two major cities instead of just one, even each downtown is "out of the way" to a large chunk of the local population on the other side of the metro.

Having said that, Viking games at TCF Bank Stadium (which, being on the U of M campus, is not only hard to get to but has all but nonexistent parking nearby, and no light rail access) are likely to become the mother of all traffic clusterf :censored: ks.

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I can't really think off the top of my head of a 'virgin market' that has failed for the NBA.

Charlotte failed the first time around, though the NFL's Panthers had also set up shop in the city and the NHL's Hurricanes farther upstate in Raleigh by the time the Hornets decamped for the Big Easy. Of course for that same reason, the Bobcats don't really count as a foray into virgin territory.

You really need an asterisk beside Charlotte on that one. True, it failed, but "failed" needs quotes because it was one person's fault. The Hornets led the NBA in attendance in 1988-89 and 1990-97, were second in 1997-98, 6th in 1998-99, 11th in 1999-00. The attendance didn't plummet until the George Shinn fiasco.

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If anyone says Columbus or Cincinnati this thread should be graveyarded.

Columbus AND Cincinnati

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Do pro sports really work well in non-urban areas without great public trans to/from the arenas? Going to a game shouldn't be a hassle or something that you have to "plan a night" for, and it seems like that might be the case when arenas are built in sprawling "suburban"-ish areas.

For football yes, since there's only a few games a year, usually on the weekend, and people make more of an event of it. For the other big 3, probably not so much.

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