Posts Tagged ‘NBA Expansion’

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Fourteen of the NBA’s 30 franchises lost money last season before receiving revenue-sharing cash from the league, and nine of those teams still ended up in the red after that, according to confidential financial records obtained by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe.

The report appears to confirm suspicions that despite record income from national television contracts, some teams are having trouble turning a profit – and not just in small markets.

The nine franchises to reportedly come out in the red, by the league’s accounting, after revenue sharing are: the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Washington Wizards.

The Spurs and Cavaliers may raise eyebrows given their combined runs of success, but it was already widely reported the Cavs lost $40 million during their 2015-16 championship season – due in part to a $54-million luxury tax bill.

At the end of the day, small cities such as Memphis and Milwaukee cannot compare to markets like Los Angeles. However, Brooklyn is part of New York City, and Washington and Atlanta rank as the nation’s seventh- and 10th-largest media markets, respectively.

At least one owner brought up the idea of expansion as a way to increase team income, the report states. An expansion fee – likely over $1 billion per team – would be divvied equally among NBA owners and not subject to the 50-50 basketball-related income split with players under the collective bargaining agreement.

Commissioner Adam Silver is on record as saying expansion is not a priority, although markets such as Seattle may be soon waiting in the wings for a new team. Relocating less profitable franchises is another option, something a handful of richer owners have suggested, according to Windhorst and Lowe.

The chasm between the NBA’s most profitable and weaker franchises will be discussed at the league’s next Board of Governors meeting at the end of September, sources told ESPN.

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Seattle could someday have an NBA team again.

In a Players’ Tribune interview with Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum last week, commissioner Adam Silver said it’s possible the league will bring a franchise back to the city, but he doesn’t know when.

“I think it’s just a question of when the right time is to seriously start thinking about expansion,” said Silver.

“I don’t want to put a precise timeline on it, but it’s inevitable at some point that we’ll start looking at the growth of franchises. That’s always been the case in this league, and Seattle will no doubt be on a short list of cities we’ll look at,” he added.

The Seattle SuperSonics entered the league in 1967-68 and captured an NBA championship in 1979. The club relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008 and became the Thunder.

Several Sonics greats have been strong proponents of the city regaining a team. Gary Payton said last year that Seattle “deserves” an NBA team and he’d be interested in becoming an owner, while Ray Allen echoed those sentiments in May.

“I still can’t believe that there is no basketball in Seattle,” he wrote in a post on Instagram. “This city is too great not to have a hoops squad. Come on everybody we need to rally and bring the NBA back to Seattle.”

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International expansion may not be in the NBA’s immediate plans, but it’s not unrealistic to believe that a franchise could end up in Mexico City down the road.

While commissioner Adam Silver made it clear that a move wouldn’t happen in the next few years, he did say the league is looking into adding a team further south.

“Mexico City, in terms of international markets, is one we’re looking more closely at,” Silver said Friday at MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, according to Liz Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The NBA has hosted five regular-season contests in Mexico City since the 1997-98 season, with the Phoenix Suns playing back-to-back games there earlier this year.

Silver also previously stated that he’s entertained the idea of organizing a midseason tournament in Mexico City, in hopes of increasing the NBA’s popularity in North America’s most populous city.

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SEATTLE – Investor Chris Hansen stressed patience and optimism Thursday in his ongoing effort to build an arena to house a possible NBA or NHL franchise in Seattle’s stadium district.

Hansen’s interview with The Associated Press represented his first public comments in nearly two years about the efforts. Hansen acknowledged his investment group was surprised by the City Council’s decision last May to deny a proposed street closure that would have moved the project forward with some public investment.

Hansen said his group re-evaluated the situation after the vote and decided to turn the project into a privately financed facility. Hansen said there would be other investors in addition to the five made public so far – including Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

The new proposal still requires the same street closure that was denied a year ago.

Louisville v North Carolina

A local councillor in Louisville says he is working on a resolution to bring an NBA franchise to the Kentucky city.

“Now is the time,” Dan Johnson said, according to WDRB-TV. The official had tweeted on Tuesday that he was “working on getting the NBA” to come to town.

Expansion talk from anywhere except the NBA itself should be taken with a grain of salt. The league has been on record as saying it is not currently in expansion mode, although it’s predictable they would do due diligence by keeping an eye on markets like Seattle and Las Vegas.

Louisville, a college basketball hotbed that is home to the Cardinals, is a fairly new entry into the pro sports expansion conversation. The city ranks 30th in the United States in population and 49th by television market, but has an 11-year-old, 22,000-seat arena, the KFC Yum! Center.

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MEXICO CITY – An NBA franchise in Mexico City? Not so fast.

A couple of days after the Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that he was in favor of a team playing south of the border, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday that it will not happen, at least not in the immediate future.

Before the Mavericks beat the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night in Mexico City, Cuban said that a team in Mexico would help the sport while he praised the Arena Ciudad de Mexico and added that the distance from the United States isn’t a factor. Mexico City’s governor, Miguel Angel Mancera, has also said that he’s in favor of the idea.

”The next step before we start talking about a franchise in Mexico City is to bring more games here, and we have this two regular-season games and whether we bring additional regular-season games next season or do some sort of tournament with several teams playing each other, that is something that we are looking at,” Silver said a press conference before the Spurs and Suns took the court.

Including preseason, Mexico has hosted 24 NBA games since 1992, that’s more than any country besides the United States and Canada.

”In terms of a franchise here in Mexico City, it is something to look at,” Silver said. ”Obviously, it’s an incredible market with over 20 million people, the largest market in North America and, while we have no immediate plans to expand, one of the things that we look at, it’s whether expanding will be additive to the league as a whole and clearly coming to Mexico City, not just because the population of the city but as a gateway to the rest of Latin America could potentially be very important for the league.”

The game Saturday was fifth regular-season game in the country. Four of them have been played in Area Ciudad de Mexico, a glass-clad state of the art arena that was built in 2012 that hosts over 20,000 fans.

”As I said before there’s no market more important for us than Mexico, we already have discussions earlier today about bringing other games here,” Silver said. ”But ultimately it will make more sense to bring more teams rather than just have two teams play each other for a single event to maybe bring multiple teams and to have some sort of midseason tournament, sort of like a round-robin tournament.”

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If an NBA team comes to Seattle, Russell Wilson doesn’t just want to be involved – he wants a piece of the ownership.

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback is part of an investment group hoping to build an arena for potential NBA and NHL teams. On Thursday, Wilson said he would like an ownership stake if a basketball team returned to the area.

“Yeah, I will. Yes, for sure,” Wilson said about being an owner, according to ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia. “It’s going to be an exciting thing.”

Wilson said he’s been considering the option for awhile and feels like, despite his young age of 27, he can contribute to the franchise.

“I met (investment group leader) Chris (Hansen) a few years ago, and we were having a great conversation,” said Wilson. “We were talking, and I’ve told you guys I’ve been really authentic about wanting to own a team one day and being a part of something really special and doing that.

“And even though I’m young, I definitely have a business mindset. And I want to be able to help people and give back and help change this community, continue to change this community for the better.”

Seattle has been without an NBA team since the SuperSonics left in 2008. Along with Hansen, a Seattle-area hedge fund manager, Wilson is excited about the idea to bring another franchise to the city that’s supported him so much.

“For a long time, I have wanted to own a team and be part of that and all that kind of stuff,” Wilson said. “Really for the past year I’d say, really kind of been really processing it and thinking about it and trying to understand, and trying to get information from the people of Seattle.”