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Thread: NBA Expansion Possibly Forthcoming

  1. #26
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    Adam Silver STILL insists expansion is not in the NBA's pursuits speaking in Oakland at the NBA Finals. Deny all you want but you know--and we all know--it'll eventually happen in several years, say, 2020. Why several of the potential markets like Seattle (sure thing), Louisville, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Vancouver, and Mexico City are bandied about putting forth maximum effort in several cases for that inevitable time? Silver, that said, is more focused on keeping all the 30 NBA teams financially stable:
    https://basketball.realgm.com/wireta...uing-Expansion

    MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murran brings up an interesting rumour by projecting an NBA franchise will eventually move to Las Vegas within 5 years' time--adding that he knows who the potential suitors are but doesn't say who here:
    https://lasvegassun.com/news/2018/ma...team-within-f/
    https://www.givemesport.com/1312298-...next-few-years
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  2. #27
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    The tremendous expansion success of the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights, currently in a Stanley Cup Final series with the Washington Capitals and being by far the greatest expansion team ever in the four major North American pro sports leagues, inspires iSports to conjure up its own NBA version. So, what if the NBA ACTUALLY expanded for the coming next season instead for, in all likelihood, the reborn Seattle SuperSonics? Not thinking about another expansion NBA team certain to join the SuperSonics. What would Seattle look like with the players already on NBA rosters from other teams using current expansion team roster rules dating back from 2004 with the Charlotte Bobcats? Draft picks aside It wouldn't be reasonably close to Las Vegas in terms of talent because the NHL allows a shorter players list from each team to attract better and unearthed talent for Las Vegas (and for very possibly Seattle in a couple of years when it arrives), meaning lots of NBA players exposed to expansion are more inconsistent in their games at the NBA level. Which means a team like the revived Seattle SuperSonics, reflecting these deficiencies, won't be able to take off and gel right away as a team and not even be made ready for the postseason for a long time. Maybe whoever is the Seattle GM and coach in the very distant future would like to have a direction of youth on their side to grow and nurture with a few vets and experienced coach to guide/teach them. Unless the NBA decides to improve the competitive balance league-wide with amended expansion rules:
    https://www.isportsweb.com/2018/06/0...eam-look-like/

    By around the time NBA expansion finally does occur in the future, the NBA Draft's rounds could get expanded itself for the first time since the NBA reduced them to two in 1989, consisted of 3 in 1988, and had as many as 10 rounds all the way up to the 1980s. Second round players drafted may wind up with guaranteed contracts and roster spots like first-rounders currently enjoy. With the G-League system in place and the deeper player selections not just in the NCAA system but some young and promising overseas talent generating interest since the late 1980s, I say why not expanded a round. Still "very, very preliminary", says Adam Silver:
    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/...ry-discussions

    Haven't talked about my hometown St. Louis and its NBA prospects yet until now. Already just touched on Kansas City and may likely will revisit soon. But St. Louis on the other end of Missouri hasn't tasted NBA action even longer--about 50 years when the Hawks were bought by a group of Atlanta businessmen including real estate developer Tom Cousins and former Georgia governor Carl Sanders and remained there in Georgia's fast-rising capital city ever since. Far longer than even any other city the Hawks existed in combined, be it in Buffalo as the Bisons (1 year), the Tri-Cities as the Blackhawks (now the Quad Cities Region, 5 years), Milwaukee (4 years) and St. Louis (13 years). Though consistently successful than it's ever been up to that point with their only championship in 1958, owner Bob Kerner grew impatient over arena issues with their home the aging Kiel Auditorium and the larger and occasional home St. Louis Arena (maintenance problems from sporadic use from the 1940s were a factor that wasn't used more frequently). Kerner sought greater revenue for the Hawks and felt he couldn't cut it with the now-demolished St. Louis Arena, even when that place got heavy renovations in time for the NHL's St. Louis Blues' accommodations to arrive in 1967. The city's leadership rebuffed him, and Kerner turned to New Orleans with a group that involved future talk show host Morton Downey Jr. But that deal collapsed. It was this arena situation after temporarily taking the Hawks franchise off the market that led to Atlanta getting them. Previously during 1946-1950, St. Louis had the red and white-clad Bombers that saw limited success in this post-WWII span.

    But back to the present, a prominent local mover and shaker in and does so much for the St. Louis pro sports scene (like more recently trying to get MLS soccer here but disappointingly), David Peacock, doubts St. Louis will ever taste the NBA on a more full-time basis, although he loves the NBA. Because of our medium population size, per capita income average, and market, an NBA expansion team here, he says, would feel the squeeze if it's a not a very strong, well-strong, and well-supported franchise to start with--if not years down the line should no on-court progress gets made--the Blues and Cardinals competing for the bucks, thus possibly stretching the limits. Nor is it really a growing one. We're certainly not a city that's a one major sports team city like San Antonio, Sacramento, and Memphis all are. So there's too much risk with us at this time. I agree on all counts. Indeed, there's nobody locally willing to even publicly attempt to take a crack at the NBA club that will likely call the newly-renamed Enterprise Center downtown home (formerly the Scottrade Center/Savvis/Kiel Centre), which is not exactly a sparkling new arena nowdays but undergoing renovations. May require a new arena for just the St. Louis NBA expansion to jumpstart hopes. Filling the void left by the Shams three years ago might work there yet. A lot changed in the pro sports landscape since St. Louis left in 1968. There are reasons why Kansas City is more into the NBA's sights and gets discussed than St. Louis has; among them: a newer and younger arena in the Sprint Center, higher per capita income level, recent attempts at courting NBA and NHL franchises to KC, a more recent NBA loss than St. Louis, a growing market with solid upside, a strong college basketball history there ready for some top-level pro basketball action again, and no other strong pro fall-winter-spring team already filling the void. We St. Louisians, if we want that NBA fix, will have to travel along I-70 were KC gets in:
    https://www.101sports.com/2018/05/24...for-expansion/
    https://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2016/10...is-be-in-play/

    St. Louis produces some solid NBA-level talent over the years since the Hawks' departure: Bradley Beal, David Lee, Steve Stipanovich, Anthony Bonner, Jahidi White, Ben McLemore, Larry Hughes, Darius Miles, David Thirdkill, and more recently Jayson Tatum. We can certainly hold our own considering the move--we still have over 2 million in population with talent against the bigger cities. The last big-time pro basketball team we had is the ABA's Spirits of St. Louis, when it was at the time the largest city without a pro basketball team, from 1974-76. Had the ABA lasted for another season, it's very likely the Spirits would've left St. Louis and moved to Salt Lake City becoming the Utah Spirits (or the Utah Rockies) though. Since that, it's been an assortment of semipro/minor teams over the years that didn't last: the Stunners, the Swarm, the Skyhawks, Flight, Rottweilers, Pioneers, Phoenix, Streaks, River Queens. Last two are women's teams. We got a couple in MPBL like the Trotters but nothing mainstream sports catching. We also have the St. Louis Surge semi-pro women's team as the defending league champs. Tried to get the Vancouver Grizzlies and later courted the Charlotte Hornets early in the last decade but didn't work obviously.
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 24-07-2018 at 07:10 AM.
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  3. #28
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    If Kansas City returns to the NBA, local billionaire Cliff Illig is the man widely expected to seriously make that happen with his pro sports operating experience, connections, and success in MLS' Sporting Kansas City and his undying love of KC. So is Illig open and interested to bring it play at the Sprint Center? No, he says, not right away and knows how uneasy and very complicated this sports venture is. Understandable to be skeptical for a myriad of reasons like would KC's market size be able to absorb it and make it work long-term, the amount of devotion and time involved with it in front of the existing demands, and his focused protectionism to what's presently existing.

    Illig won't say completely no. Assuming he gets attention to help out, Illig says he'll pony up some cash up to 60% but needs 4-5 other investors as co-owners to consider the NBA. He'll never trumpet his interest to attract other people though:
    https://www.kansascity.com/sports/sp...212818264.html

    At the other end of Missouri, I need to point something else about my hometown St. Louis. Tell you a quick story: I used to periodically ask my dad why St. Louis doesn't have the NBA. He would respond that this city wouldn't be able to support it. I would deny this, but as time went on I began to understand his stance. Though if conducted properly, it could work. St. Louis doesn't quite have the per capita income and market size, somewhat similar to Kansas City's, needed to stretch the money over and maintain a solvent cash base. We've had attempts over the past 3 decades to no avail, most recently with the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Charlotte Hornets over the previous decade for the then-Scottrade Center downtown.

    Then there's the racial and class aspect here. Let me explain. When the St. Louis Blues hit the ice in 1967 at the St. Louis Arena as part of the great NHL 1967 expansion, it's believed that the white (and richer) St. Louis sports fans in this racially segregated city shaking off Jim Crow policies and gave them an excuse to turn away from the Hawks as it was starting to have black players on the roster like Hall of Famers Zelmo Beaty and Lenny Wilkins and started enthusiastically supporting the all-white (but predominately Canadian) Blues. They became the darlings also helped with the instant success and built a great fan base since behind the Cardinals in the local pro sports pecking order starting in 1967...still starving for the Stanley Cup. Not for a lack of trying certainly there. It was the modest beginnings of the NBA moving away from the white superstars like Bob Petit, Easy Ed Macauley, Richie Guerin, Cliff Hagan, and Clyde Lovellette that would really take root the next decade. Despite very largely being an on-court success, I already mentioned the Hawks owner Bob Kerner tried but failed to have the St. Louis Arena as its home. How would they co-exist if that happened? With the transition, I don't think the Hawks would be able to have priority over the shiny new favo(u)rable toy that was the Blues; the St. Louis Hawks may had to fight for prime home dates like the Buffalo Braves later did with co-tenants the Sabres. Nor would fans think the St. Louis Arena as a nice, intimate venue like the Kiel Auditorium. Demographics and era are different now than back in 1967-68 with more integration here save for the still-lingering class and race segregation going on. 50 years is indeed a very long time to assess this legacy. Overall we St. Louisans of every colo(u)r are a lot more embracing of basketball players of every race since. But that clearly isn't enough for us...
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  4. #29
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    Crickets. Just crickets and silence as far as the Las Vegas NBA question is concerned in the aftermath of the incredible Golden Knights' first season success. Even with the annual Las Vegas Summer Pro League is in town. Matter of fact, Adam Silver faced no local sports media when asked at a carefully-staged local press conference with them banned. NBA still holding all the cards with NBA expansion. Agreed that it will be a matter of time when Las Vegas gets in:
    https://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/nba...ion/1295206146

    Louisville's NBA prospects recently takes a serious hit with longtime local visionary Bruce Miller, a man previously seen kicking the tires with New Orleans and Houston, quit because of problems with one of the prospective owners who forked over lots of cash. Now with possibly a would-be investor in John Schnatter of Papa John's Pizza fame resigning in disgrace as CEO over his admitted uttering a racial slur about blacks (and subsequent apology) during a company conference call, Louisville's NBA entry prospects may take an even greater hit. Must point out Schnatter isn't even rumored to be a part of this group, as I understand it. Just maybe seen to be looked into:
    https://www.sportstalkflorida.com/nb...major-setback/
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  5. #30
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    Dwayne Wade likes to own the Seattle Supersonics someday when it's ready for NBA re-entry in several years. He continues to work on his side hustle in several things:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...-in-on-seattle

    More on Golden St. bringing back the last great Supersonics star in KD with them after a decade of missing NBA action to the Key Arena as the last scheduled event there with the Sacramento Kings this October 5 for a preseason game before the newest $600 million renovations from the Seattle Post-Intelligencier. Tickets gonna sell out within minutes as fans miss their NBA in Seattle and the NBA will get lots of attention:
    https://www.seattlepi.com/sports/mor...l-13091969.php
    https://arenadigest.com/2018/07/23/k...reseason-game/
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 24-07-2018 at 08:46 AM.
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  6. #31
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    That Seattle Key Arena renovation will now cost up to $700 million instead of the originally-planned $600 million due to a variety of reasons like the need for permanent NHL-standard locker rooms for the expected Seattle NHL expansion franchise, the Storm, and the hoped-for SuperSonics return, and an additional 50,000 square feet added for storage and an additional premium club space added at the top of the building with a view of the Space Needle. Don't forget this new renovation will result in the floor being dug a further 15 feet than presently located and expanded outward. To 58 feet below ground. Fans won't be on the hook for this however:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/...ally-expected/
    https://arenadigest.com/2018/07/30/k...ow-around-700/
    https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/...vate-keyarena/

    In a related story about Seattle NHL, we could see a name chosen for it come first quarter 2019 thanks to a Tim Leiweke tweet with Don Muret @breakground.

    Skanska and AECOM Hunt were chosen by Oak View Group on Tuesday as the Key Arena renovation contractors. The latter recently-merged company oversaw newer arena and stadium projects in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Detroit:
    https://www.king5.com/article/news/l.../281-579041827
    https://arenadigest.com/2018/08/01/s...on-contractor/
    https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/...-skanska-hunt/
    https://www.seattlepi.com/sports/art...A-13120967.php

    ESPN recommends that the NBA should expand to Mexico City, a city that I'll discuss soon, instead of Seattle apparently because the NBA wasn't enamored of the Key Area renovations to accommodate the incoming NHL expansion team as opposed to Chris Hansen's planned new SoDo arena. Less desirable because the NHL team would limit the SuperSonics' revenue streams. Surely, Seattle, wealthy as it is, can afford the SuperSonics, the NHL, and the Storm:
    https://www.seattlepi.com/sports/art...A-13120967.php
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 03-08-2018 at 06:05 AM.
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  7. #32
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    Aside from the NBA Summer League being based there, Las Vegas' other present connection towards the NBA lies in Team USA offseason player camps and exhibition games. Oh, and that new WNBA team called the Aces moved from San Antonio. Many top NBA players camped there in Sin City note that city will eventually embrace the NBA with an expansion or existing team just like it has with the NHL's Golden Knights (of which I'm a fan of) towards the best major league expansion season ever:
    https://www.givemesport.com/1362407-...-nba-expansion
    https://sports.yahoo.com/could-nba-t...230010308.html
    https://www.reviewjournal.com/sports...-in-las-vegas/

    Interesting and insightful look as to why the NBA isn't currently ready to plot expansion details and the derby itself with downplaying through multiple factors like revenue sharing, the multi-billion TV contract with respect to a changing media platform and consumption landscape, questions over enough league-wide high-level talent, and the dilution of the gravy train/golden goose wealth for reluctant current NBA owners than needed. Maybe this could spark those markets who failed to gain entry into forming its own league, which is actually rather difficult starting up:
    http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nb...xpand-the-nba/
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  8. #33
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    NBA officials aren't really gung ho about expansion right now, as already stated here. Yet they know it's been constant talk especially when you see Seattle's strong efforts with the upcoming renovations of the Key Arena at the Seattle Center that would make it up to code by NBA arena standards, and with everyone knowing Seattle's being first in line for the SuperSonics' return as an expansion team with other markets vying for the second slot. Publicly, it never set up a timetable yet and prefers to focus understandably on the existing 30 NBA teams for various reasons to make sure everything's stable.

    Nevertheless, concerns arise centering on the New Orleans Pelicans' future. Some have said the Pelicans won't last much longer at the Smoothie King Arena with its lease up in 2024 and thus deemed to be the NBA franchise most likely to relocate. Like 10-15 years beyond that. Owner Tom Benson died earlier this year on March 15 with his widow Gayle looking after things and preparing herself for years for this stewardship with long term concern regarding her continuing interest. She has said for now they're staying put and are steadfastly committed to the Big Easy--and they've been far more successful there in NOLA than the Jazz and the ABA Buccaneers combined, setting roots. Not to mention that 1994 attempt of moving the Minnesota Timberwolves there from Top Rank's Bob Arum. Yet, with a rising franchise star in Anthony Davis and solid players around him like Jrue Holliday, Nikola Mirotic, E'Twaun Moore, Darius Miller, Solomon Hill, and Jordan Crawford hopefully making consistent postseason appearances here on out with perhaps deep playoff runs guided by coach Alvin Gentry, it is concerning with her walking away with more money from the franchise sale. They do support the Pelicans/Hornets for 18 years now--imagine if Demarcus Cousins was still there, championships would be forthcoming perhaps. I would hate to see the Pelicans move from that city with possibly Las Vegas being a likely moving option. Brings a Cajun charm to the NBA and watch it continue to see it prosper. Too lazy to say New Orleans is just a one pro sports city with the NFL's Saints, also owned by the Bensons, because there's a local culture in various sports there regardless of degree and dismisses other sports that has local fans that can be quite potent when harnessed properly and taken the time and given a solid chance that lasts for decades. Serves no respect to the likes of the Pelicans (or any other actually major/minor pro sports team for that matter) portrayed by some sports fans as a minor league distraction until the Saints hit the gridiron. NO of course tasted pro basketball, even women's pro basketball long ago. And the Smoothie King Arena could use some upgrades here and there. Even hosted three NBA All-Star Weekends over the past 15 years. The NBA's revenue sharing structure keeps them afloat and there's no financial incentive to sell them. What kind of legacy she would do to her late husband if she forsake New Orleans? Why not emulate for the long run what, incidentally, the Utah Jazz did in putting an endowment for the Pelicans franchise?

    Looking back I do think New Orleans moving from Charlotte in 2002 set the stage as a major Stern blunder for the later, bigger one of Oklahoma consortium to buy the SuperSonics and move them to Oklahoma City after New Orleans had to play there for a couple of seasons because of Hurricane Katrina to huge fan support. I'm starting to suspect this may explain why Adam Silver has been mum on Las Vegas lately when he was in town, even not allowing Las Vegas sport reporters at a press conference when he was in town; something may be kicking the tires over LV.
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 28-08-2018 at 09:51 AM.
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  9. #34
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    ESPN will telecast Kevin Durant's triumphant preseason return to Seattle with the Warriors at the Key Arena on October 5 10 years after the Supersonics' controversial and traumatic move to Oklahoma City as that arena's final scheduled event before the 2-year, $700 million renovation project. You know Seattle fans will pack the place one last time in its current form hopefully after another Storm WNBA title. Will be a great way to go out:
    https://espnmediazone.com/us/press-r...e-in-10-years/
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  10. #35
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    Demolition at the Key Arena won't start until the NHL officially awards Seattle an expansion franchise, say, sometime in October/November this year--and the Seattle city council approves the signal. Will be delayed but still hopes to be under the proposed timeline. Getting it will be a certainty. Again the NBA and the SuperSonics will still have to wait for a while:
    https://arenadigest.com/2018/09/11/k...chise-awarded/
    https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/...ion-this-year/
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  11. #36
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    Kevin Durant makes his triumphant return to Seattle as the final Key Arena event of the 1995-2018 era Friday evening--a rainy one, as you would expect there-- before the fencing around it and regutting inside it. Showing why he was missed greatly with his 26 points and more decorated a decade later since. Obviously SuperSonics gear was all out in full force with signs welcoming back KD and appeals to the NBA to bring the Sonics back. Yearning for big-time pro basketball in the decade since the controversial departure, playing on the Seattle Storm's court. Durant even pays tribute to Shawn Kemp in the 1995-1999 SuperSonics road jersey:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieosCrJzyc8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBItcph0jss

    Jeff Van Gundy talks to 710 ESPN Seattle Brock Huard, Brent Stegler, and Mike Salk saying that Seattle will instantly becomes attractive as a "top 10 NBA city" I have no doubts about that. But as with anything involving the NBA including Seattle boils down to cold hard cash:
    https://www.sonicsrising.com/2018/10...op-10-nba-city

    Was a celebration of SuperSonics history that Seattle native and Warriors executive Rick Welts help organize:
    https://www.sonicsrising.com/2018/10...bration-sonics
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  12. #37
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    When the NBA WILL expand? ESPN's Brian Windhorst says, from league sources and learning of prospective ownership groups meeting with the NBA ahead of that Kevin Durant Seattle homecoming, it won't until at least 2025 when a new TV deal strikes. Silver says at a board of governors meeting a few weeks ago Seattle is not yet in the immediate timeline plans, and its arena developments weren't even discussed then. Seattle wasn't even discussed at all. There's lots of moving parts including wildcard acts such as a potential future move of the Memphis Grizzlies if owner Richard Pera sells it with the lease being up in a few years and perhaps the need for a second Seattle arena with the SuperSonics acting as a main tenant.

    Seattle fans, you're just gonna have to wait much longer for your beloved SuperSonics as the NHL makes its way first into a renovated Key Arena:
    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2...ba-seattle-nba
    https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/...n-report-says/
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 01-11-2018 at 04:59 AM.
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  13. #38
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    NBA expanding in 2025? Dan Issel over in Louisville isn't concerned about that and senses the process could take longer. He thinks it could be 3-5 years from now if not 12 years prior to 2025 when the NBA unleashes the smoke signals as they work on getting the Louisville expansion awareness out statewide in Kentucky via pep rallies. Right now priority is getting a major investor/owner who can supply the $1.4 billion needed for expansion entry with $3 million already for startup costs. Interestingly, Issel doesn't believe Seattle isn't quite the shoo-in the city is made out to be:
    https://www.bizjournals.com/louisvil...pn-report.html
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  14. #39
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    Seattle's Key Arena massive renovations plans now projected will force a delay that will set completion back for a year. Nevertheless, the NHL awarded Tuesday as expected an expansion franchise to Seattle slated to drop the puck in the 2021-22 season in the renovated arena as the NHL's 32nd franchise being the major Seattle sports story right now. It was the only city the NHL ever accepted an expansion application from. Just yesterday, a renovation ceremony took place at the Key Arena to upgrade its interior. Will be brand new inside with the latest anemeties dug deeper but keeping that roof which is a preserved historic site from the World's Fair originally as the US Pavillion. But what does all this mean for the long-starved SuperSonics fans who wish to see the green and gold hooping it up again inside this very arena in the NBA? Sure some are happy for the NHL coming. But it doesn't feel right without the SuperSonics turning up eventually with the nameless NHL Seattle franchise and the Storm. For them, it's simutaneously cruel and optimistic because there's that 2025 timeline. And a little unfair that the NHL would come ahead of the SuperSonics. Seattle is high-wealth as a city. Just be patient:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/setheve.../#2b55ca993ff6
    https://www.sbnation.com/2018/12/5/1...cs-future-hope
    https://sports.yahoo.com/nhl-coming-...232529133.html
    https://www.nbcsports.com/northwest/...-how-about-nba

    Kevin Durant expresses interest in a Seattle ownership and/or executive position after his playing days are over:
    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2...-seattle-owner
    https://957thegame.radio.com/article...a-team-seattle
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...newstopstories

    Dan Issel says the Louisville group is still looking into future NBA expansion. Wants to be major league. Done with minor league things. But talk is growing it may head into the Major League Soccer instead as it's cheapert for one thing:
    https://www.wave3.com/2018/12/06/iss...am-louisville/
    https://insiderlouisville.com/econom...in-louisville/
    https://www.courier-journal.com/stor...le/1998010002/
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  15. #40
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    Travel back to just over 30 years ago in the mid to late-1980s with this Charlotte Observer Hornets oral history when the Charlotte Hornets (along with the Miami Heat) were NBA expansion teams. Hard to believe now with Charlotte's subsequent mad success but there were serious doubts--some of it actually negative in the local media--as to whether Charlotte really could embrace having a major league pro sports franchise as new (but smaller) national market given its longstanding ACC basketball and football connections and loyalty and what else was in store. Nothing else but ACC sports and NASCAR in that region. It was a city on the rise with banking and barbeque being huge things for it. Kinda disagree with the assertion of Charlotte not tasting top-level pro sports: there was the Carolina Cougars (ABA, actually played home games in other North Carolina cities along with Charlotte) and the original Hornets (World Football League). But of course nothing like this.

    Believe it or not, there were people like Sam Russo who did not know where the hell Charlotte was. Meanwhile, there were players nobody else wanted the Hornets acquired like Kurt Rambis, Kelly Tripucka, Dell Curry, Robert Reid, Tyrone "Muggsy" Bouges, Earl Cureton, Brian Rowsom, and Tim Kempton forming their roster previously as role players who certainly feel they had a lot to prove for various reasons and still capable of playing lots of minutes. That they all still belonged in the NBA, as Rambis notes. All good people fans bonded with and became local celebs. In Kelly Tripucka's case, he got a new start after spending two years of purgatory in Salt Lake City with the Jazz. But all knew there was going to be lots of losing ahead as the players were new to each other in playing together. Became the talk of the town with the spotlight shining on them despite no true superstar to latch onto and the Cavs in town on November 4 at the since-demolished Charlotte Coliseum with fans decked in tuxes and evening gowns to check the shiny, new toy out...and the Hornets "got whipped" by 40 to Dell Curry's old team. Yet Hornets fans gave them an extended standing ovation. Nonetheless, the Hornets as an organization were smart in placing a lot of emphasis in fan entertainment value and marketing to excite the community in a virgin market like Charlotte and the rest of the Carolinas instantly realizing how the team wasn't going to win consistently from the jump like the popular Alexander Julien-designed teal and purple Hornets uniforms, promoting the visiting superstars, the Muppets-created Hugo The Hornet, the Charlotte Coliseum, the Honeybees, and particularly later on media.

    But NOTHING was quite like what was to come on Friday, December 23, 1988. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were coming to Charlotte. An exciting holiday gift for Charlotte Hornets fans to see one of its native sons, one of the most exciting star athletes in the planet coming back home to North Carolina for the first time ever as a pro since his famed Tar Heels days. With his family and friends turning up to see Air Jordan. People truly talked Hornets basketball along with the ACC variety now. Everything was jacked up. Fan interest, marketing, promotion, media. It was a sell-out. Plus, it was televised live nationally on Superstation WTBS that Friday night with Skip Caray and Steve "Snapper" Jones under the America's Game banner for TBS Sports (as part of the required every NBA team getting an appearance on Turner Sports quota back then) along with FOX 29 WTVB locally. That Jordan NC angle was going to get used with the Hornets seeking to put on a good performance. Even SC's governor initially was rejected but eventually got tickets to that. It got real as it was pro-Jordan there and when he took the ball. What was also was the fact the underdog Hornets actually won that thanks to Kurt Rambis' winning shot against MJ's 33 points that became the signature and stunning 103-101 win, among its 20 that year, of the expansion 1988-89 season. Loud, enthusiastic, and bedlam like never before then. Like the Hornets won the NBA Finals. That started a 364-game sellout streak at the Charlotte Coliseum. People truly wanted a piece of the action. Lead the NBA in attendance. An expansion team did that! Also paved the way for the Carolina Panthers' arrival seven years later. Can't really quite do that today--different era back in 1988

    Following is the Charlotte Observer's oral history of how all that, especially MJ's first arrival to Charlotte as the enterpiece, changed things forever for the Hornets on the 30th anniversary of that game. Too bad Jordan, now Hornets owner, declined to speak for this; it's not SI:
    https://www.charlotteobserver.com/sp...223406735.html
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    Even with the insurmountable hurdles ahead of him this time, you have to admire Louisville's J. Bruce Miller and his persistence with his Quixotic dream of bringing top-level pro sports like the NBA and hopes of a billionaire to deliver this to the city after 42 years of experience--and knowing about these said hurdles during this time. Not gonna happen here this time, sorry:
    https://www.courier-journal.com/stor...on/2387274002/
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  17. #42
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    Canada with Vancouver and Montreal aside, if the NBA wants to expand its international outpost as its players make things more global Mexico City would make plenty of sense acting as a gateway for Latin American NBA interest that's growing. But a lot has to go right there in terms of organizing, marketing, and executing with the hopes of recruiting some Latin American NBA players on the roster along with the rest of the league's teams for reasons like dealing with the ever-growing Spanish-language sports media outlets that's well making inroads in the USA and connect to it. It can exploit those social and cultural similarities and other great Spanish or Portuguese-speaking players the NBA hasn't had yet. No doubt Mexico City and to a lesser extent Monterrey creates a key to future NBA expansion with planted seeds for improved development and interest in Mexican basketball with a still-limited talent pool that can compete internationally, although it's firmly in the top 5 in the Americas, and cultivating a potentially solvent local fan base and a sustainable business model like with Toronto and (less successfully) Vancouver on the Canadian side. Haven't heard any new developments on the G-League front with Mexico City. Agree with Gerardo Rodríguez on the potential Mexico holds with the NBA in his case. But would it have to wait a bit?
    https://www.americasquarterly.org/co...ba-team-mexico
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  18. #43
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    Once again it's time to revisit the two Missouri cities--my hometown St. Louis and Kansas City--and their current NBA expansion prospects. Been 35 years since the entire state lost the NBA when the Kansas City Kings left for Sacramento, California's state capital city, thanks to a group of Sacramento-based businessmen headed by Gregg Lukinbill with help from Kings exec Joe Axelson after taking control on June 8, 1983 despite public declarations it wasn't going to leave Kansas City. Until the NFL's Shams, as I call them, returned to Los Angeles in January 2016 in a move that skyrocketed its franchise value, the Kings were the last major professional sports franchise to leave the state. The NBA, then just on the upswing of popularity, was cheaper but increasingly hot popular demand helped make it progressively expensive. In both cases, Missouri residents and, to a greater extent, the ownerships running them bailed out on the state. Both the Hawks and Kings actually arrived from different cities (Milwaukee and Cincinnati, respectively), so they never originated in St. Louis or KC when they got them. Not to mention dealing with the decades-long headstarts of other and more established local pro franchises ahead of them like the Chiefs and Cardinals (the baseball one not the Big Red football version in the NFL that came in 1960 from Chicago and lasted for 27 years before heading to Phoenix well after the Hawks left the St. Louis nest) with their fanbases, making not instantly popular. Never truly enjoyed this luxury. Unlike the NHL's Blues who came in 1967 as an expansion team and arrived and greeted with tremendous fanfare and immediate success

    35 years is a long time and a different era to now. Missouri has changed a lot in atmosphere. Sports bases locally are more diverse and varied now just like America's population. Perhaps it's time for Missouri to get a greater look for NBA expansion. Support from both St. Louis and Kansas City can happen. St. Louis billionaire Richard Chaifetz has a deep passion for basketball, and earlier this January says he would support bringing the NBA back to St. Louis being involved with ownership as part of placing a greater St. Louis footprint. But Andrew Wegley favo(u)rs here Kansas City as the most capable of the two Missouri cities at both ends of the Show-Me State. KC has a very strong college basketball heritage, a #3 college basketball market, and fan base bearing more of a pro-Kansas bent rather than Mizzou, Kansas St., and Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) that's seemingly ready for some regular pro basketball in their presence with an arena in the Sprint Arena ready to host it along with NCAA games come March. St. Louis is just as capable. But neither Missouri city, again, are sexier, desirable frontrunners like Seattle, Vancouver, Mexico City, Las Vegas, and Louisville. Maybe even Montreal. Being away from the NBA for at least 35 years (50 in St. Louis' case) could work against it. Patience is important here.
    https://sportsnaut.com/2019/05/why-d...e-an-nba-team/

    Deadspin takes a look back at how the Kansas City Kings' then-new incoming Sacramento ownership in June 1983 ultimately moved them after the Kemper Arena lease was up in 1985. Once tried but failed to get the Indiana Pacers. KC's reaction after 14 years was defeat, resignation, and muted in efforts to stay. The Kings were stealthily working on moving to Sacramento (despite public denials) that culminated in a West Coast trip detour, when the Kings weren't going to the playoffs at that point, to a regal Sacramento reception in a city that lacked a major pro sports team at the time that included showing where they would both immediately (but temporary) and eventually play. Actually plotting on the move even BEFORE purchasing the Kansas City Kings. Said were willing to stay if Kemper Arena attendance targets improved with hopes of a new, more favo(u)rable lease, tying the Kings' future to it. Important lessons on different cities becoming elated and heartbroken in franchise movement. More to the point interestingly of the US federal government getting involved through Congress submitting twin bills in the the House and Senate. Neither went to a vote after some testimony from including NBA Commissioner Stern in Washington:
    https://deadspin.com/a-history-lesso...lost-t-5978111
    http://www.valcomnews.com/joe-benven...o-kings-owner/

    The St. Louis Hawks consistently presented a winning on-court with standouts during the 1950 and 1960s with some solid attendance in the 8000-plateau but...this piece cites playoff games attendance at the Kiel Auditorium (where the Enterprise Center presently stands) averaging under 6000 in struggling to attract fans by 1968 and the slow decline in the local pro sports pecking order as an also-ran with the incoming Blues and even the NASL's All-American soccer team the Stars (St. Louis holds a deep and rich soccer heritage in the USA) and for the local bucks. Those factors contributed to an Atlanta group led by real estate developer Thomas Cousins and former Georgia governor Carl Sanders to buy the Hawks from Ben Kerner for $3.5 million in 1968 to move to Atlanta, a more progressive and fast-rising city symbolizing the New South, when local St. Louis ownership failed to surface:
    https://retrosimba.com/2018/05/01/th...from-st-louis/

    Here's an interesting revelation that I picked up from Basketball: A Love Story. When the ABA-NBA merger was hammered out through negotiations back in 1976 and before that infamously genius Silna brothers TV revenue deal, David Stern, then a young lawyer, actually lobbied hard for the NBA to pick up the Spirits of St. Louis, a team with talented but some undisciplined players. At the time St. Louis was the largest American city without a top-level pro basketball team, a reason why Ozzie and Daniel Silna bought and moved the Carolina Cougars there in 1974. Still had a nice market size too. But the NBA owners wouldn't let St. Louis in for they did not see a viable future for an NBA franchise there. And that was the end of the NBA and St. Louis' relationship. How different things would've been for St. Louis basketball if that happened! Would still be here to this day with that catchy name (check out the nostalgia for it). Or it would've have moved since.

    Some people may wonder why Tampa Bay isn't part of the expansion derby. One reason: it's too close to Orlando and its beloved Magic. And second, personal finance company WalletHub deemed as the worst American pro basketball large city out of 290 using 21 metrics at #272 overall in a new report. Does actually have a capable basketball arena in the Amelie Arena, home to the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, that just hosted the NCAA Women's Final Four. Even with back in the early 1990s that the Tampa-St. Petersburg area filing an application for potential expansion, the NBA already deems the Orlando Magic as having a Central Florida stronghold. This idea of the NBA making Tampa a future NBA resident is unlikely. There's the Tampa Bay Titans in the TBL, but it's underreported even with making some appearances on daytime local television--and it's lower-level minor league pro basketball:
    https://www.wfla.com/news/local-news...ans/2018661803

    Wallethub Basketball Report can be found here:
    https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst...ll-fans/11034/
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  19. #44
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    Been quite a while since we were discussing Chris Hansen and his Seattle SoDo arena proposal. Now he's currently turning his attention in wooing the Seattle NAACP and other community groups to come to his side with his effectively in limbo project as the Oak View Group moves forward in its Key Arena renovation project underway in time for 2021, when Seattle's NHL expansion team hits the ice, and accommodate for the NBA's return. Hansen with his investment group prefers his proposed arena to primarily dedicated and specific to the NBA as more appealing. But will he succeed with city officials on Seattle having two arenas nearby each other?
    https://arenadigest.com/2019/05/23/s...-county-naacp/
    https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/sod...aacp/951607154

    Any Key Arena renovation cost increases to $900-930 million will not covered by the public or be on the hook with through taxes, Oak View Group reps says:
    https://arenadigest.com/2019/05/21/p...red-by-public/
    https://mynorthwest.com/1388773/nhl-...ouncil-update/
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  20. #45
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    Louisville's NBA expansion committee, NBA2Lou, is raising funds to attract the NBA right now. How? By making and selling one of Kentucky's best-known products: limited edition Kentucky bourbon:
    https://www.wave3.com/2019/06/30/nba...bourbon-sales/

    Adam Silver is back in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League. And once again this year like last year, he gets asked about Las Vegas' NBA prospects. Silver's response was as the same as before: no NBA considerations for expansion or for relocation (hopefully more of the former and less of the latter) at this time in favor of monitoring the health of all 30 franchises. When the league does, they analogize expansion/relocation to selling equity to potential markets. In Las Vegas' case, Silver did say that city makes it hard to resist in evaluation as an expansion candidate with people liking Las Vegas and the basketball played there:
    https://www.reviewjournal.com/sports...-says-1700687/
    https://clutchpoints.com/nba-news-ad...xt-best-thing/
    https://www.casino.org/news/nba-comm...ring-expansion
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  21. #46
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    An interesting proposal from Richard DeShay Elliott saying that Baltimore, the home of the Bullets, should return to the NBA as an expansion team but under community ownership control given the parasitic history of pro sports teams and municipal and state governments in Maryland.

    Nice idea. But realistically, it won't happen for a host of reasons. First of all, the Baltimore Civic Center, aka the Royal Farms Arena, is woefully outdated now resembling an overgrown stereotypical suburban middle school cafeteria with low capacity in seating by NBA standards nowdays partly because of that (12,29 even with renovations work recently in 2003. Also placing the Bullets back in Baltimore by prospective NBA owners could result in the Washington Wizards mandating, like with the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Redskins previously, an additional territorial rights fee in occupying the DC-Baltimore region for entry or not seek approval. So there's better be deep pockets to cover that. What's more Monumental Sports and Entertainment, owners of the Wizards, Mystics, Capitals,and the Capital City Go-Go, indeed have an important stake in the arena since it also operates two arena football franchises in both cities, the Washington Valor and the Baltimore Brigade. Also are the Wizards really willing to give up its records and history from even dating back to when it was the Chicago Packers in 1961?

    Then there's the community ownership aspect. There are some pro sports franchises like the Green Bay Packers and some CFL franchise who operate under this model. But the NBA prefers the current ownership model with the chance to make money off that and not give it to the community route. Even if the public may embrace it as a trust and are tired of the political shenanigans involving top sports teams. Not to mention keeping some financial aspects from being public:
    https://www.marylandmatters.org/2019...ore-ownerless/
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  22. #47
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    How much would an NBA expansion team entry fee might cost should it happen in several years time? Something like around at least $2 billion given the Clippers, Rockets, and now the Nets sales reached that mark. Seattle of course has the wealth, per capita income average, the TV market, and very strong corporate base for the NBA's asking price. Kansas City could with its surprising wealth to buy in. Likely not Louisville unless someone deep pocketed swoops in and makes it a vanity purchase. Mexico City could with its own high wealth concentration--and the NBA definitely is giving the city every opportunity with a very long and good look and trail run regarding its viability as a basketball market (more on the city later here):
    https://sportstalkflorida.com/nba/nb...e-p81oan-1nai/
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  23. #48
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    Hobbnobbing with fellow Naismith Hall of Famers this weekend in Springfield, Dan Issel still managed to find some time to speak to anyone who would listen about Louisville's NBA aspirations and is confident about its chances and of its long term appeal despite the formidable competition ahead. Even with no timetable at hand. Seven different groups are reportedly involved in being the owners of this prospective Louisville NBA franchise with a deep-pocketed benefactor near readily. Issel adds, "exclusive access" to the large expansion money worth in the billions for the NBA owners, that is, not shared under the CBA 50-50 with the players in the Basketball Related Income which is "ticket sales, television (rights fees), all of that stuff". He aspires to see this Louisville-based team capturing an all-Kentucky fan base's imagination.

    Issel mentions an interesting tidbit regarding future international NBA expansion, particularly with London and much less Mexico City:
    https://www.kentucky.com/sports/spt-...234806622.html

    Also keeping up with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Famers and NBA expansion connection, Seattle SuperSonics legend and 1979 NBA Finals MVP Jack Sikma in his induction speech calls for a return of Seattle's green and gold by the NBA:
    https://sports.yahoo.com/supersonics...210051773.html
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  24. #49
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    Seattle's Key Arena's, or should I say the Seattle Arena project, $930 million construction led and financed by OVG is going along quite nicely with the summer 2021 target completion remaining intact. Summer 2021 is when to get the WNBA's Seattle Storm back there, the 2021 NHL Draft, and for the new Seattle NHL expansion to hit the ice later that year. Never costing higher. Interior completely gutted. The Key Arena pyramid-like 44 million pound roof is registered as a National Heritage Site dating back from the 1962 Seattle World's Fair and must be preserved and held up by a series of temporary steel support beams along the outer rim and a larger steel shoring beam directly in its center. All the interior grandstands inside and the adjacent smaller buildings are demolished. And, yes, the Key Arena will accomodate towards current NBA arena standards for the potential moment the SuperSonics rightfully return:
    https://arenadigest.com/2019/09/18/s...t-on-schedule/
    https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/...ad-of-rebuild/
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  25. #50
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    Going back to my St. Louis home for this kid sports fan writing to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch stating his case for St. Louis getting an NBA expansion team. More than 50 years has passed since the Hawks left--that's at least 3 generations have passed (myself included) since the Atlanta move and counting some younger Boomers that have not experienced regular local NBA content. Our population within the city limits has DECLINED in the past 60 years. We were among the 10 cities in the nation in the 1950s and 1960s to under this criteria currently at #64 having lost 64.0% of its population since the 1950 United States Census, the highest percent of any city that had a population of 100,000 or more at the time of the 1950 Census. And keeps declining. Detroit, Michigan, and Youngstown, Ohio, are the only other cities that have had population declines of at least 60% in the same time frame. Although I should note that the metropolitan/CSA area including Illinois' Metro East we're firmly among the top 20 with a 2.8-3.034 million population. That, and the per capita income average is lacking a bit while still being a decent-sized media market.

    The Enterprise Centre, home of the NHL Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues (BTW, they got an Aussie on the team on a two-way contract in Nathan Walker, who won a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals last year), recently endured a multi-phased renovation process and is a suitable arena to have an NBA franchise. Ryan Geiser suggests taking the New Orleans Pelicans, but the team might head for a positive and successful turnaround for years to come with a solid core of young players like dynamic franchise player Zion Williamson, Jrue Holliday, Lonzo Ball, JJ Reddick, Brandon Ingram, Derrick Favors, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and E'Twaun Moore--and may extend its Smootie King Arena lease. Just can't see it right now unless developments change soon and have moving parts; no aggressive effort in preparations to get ready like we're seeing out of Louisville, Montreal, Seattle, and even Mexico City. Even in KC things are quiet. Richard Chaifetz discussed interest in wanting to be the man who could do it. Perhaps he's taking his time planning. Who else as another prospective owner is willing to step in publicly? Biased here because it's my hometown, I would like to see the NBA come here with sustained local support and there were attempts to move established ones like Vancouver, Charlotte, and a short-lived kick around the tires back in the mid-1980. We just got a long-awaited MLS soccer team after several issues and false attempts and an XFL football team playing next February. But if things change on the St. Louis NBA front should the NBA publicly announce it is ready for expansion, we'll definitely know about it here. Maybe the population could start rebounding along the way:
    https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/mai...cf3cba869.html
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 26-09-2019 at 04:41 AM.
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