Clarence Blair Wants An NBA Team In Hartford

Seattle is expected to get an NBA franchise.

The team would also play games in Springfield, Massachusetts.

When the National Basketball Association finally does decide to expand, it is expected that Las Vegas and Seattle investors will get teams. But there is a guy in New York who thinks that he can convince NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the league’s 30 owners that putting a regional franchise in New England would be a better alternative. Clarence Blair, the founder and creative director of B.L.A.I.R. Creative Marketing, is aware that “it’s a crazy and wild idea.” But Blair thinks having a team, named the New England Founders, with Hartford, Connecticut as its primary home and using Springfield, Massachusetts as its secondary home would work. Springfield is where Dr. James Naismith, then a Springfield College instructor and graduate student, invented the game in 1891.

There are many hurdles ahead for Blair in a bid to land an NBA franchise in Hartford. The league already has a massive New England presence with the Boston Celtics as the region’s franchise. Boston Celtics games took place in Hartford from 1974 until 1995. Celtics games have been played in Springfield. To the south is New York and Fairfield County, Connecticut which is a well-heeled New York City bedroom community that features New York Knicks fans that is not close to Hartford. Then there is the matter of finding investors who are willing to spend billions of dollars to buy a team to play in Hartford. Then there are arena situations. The Hartford Civic Center is not a state-of-the-art facility and in Springfield, the local arena seats about 8,500 people. Blair would need to find money for a modern facility and he thinks one could be built between Hartford and Springfield in either Enfield or Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The Hartford-Springfield-New Haven TV market is not enticing to the NBA. Blair’s dream is just that, a dream.

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