Are The Days Of An NHL And NBA Team Sharing The Same Arena Ending?

Sharing an arena has not worked for the Nets and Islanders.


The National Hockey League is probably going to set up shop in Seattle sooner than later which would allow the franchise owners to keep all of the revenue from a renovated arena. Is that a sticky problem for the NBA to overcome if the league decides to return to Seattle? Maybe. Apparently how revenue is shared in a building with an NHL and an NBA team inside could be a Seattle problem and has led some pundits to speculate that if Seattle gets an NBA team, another building would have to be constructed to get significant arena revenue. The same may hold true in Louisville where the University of Louisville has a lease that basically controls the city’s arena revenue streams during the basketball season making it extremely difficult for a potential NBA team to get the money needed to be successful. The backers of the NBA2LOU group claim they have a secondary plan should they be unable to work out a financial deal with the city and the university. Build their own place or get a renovated Freedom Hall where the American Basketball Association’s Kentucky Colonels were based between 1967 and 1976.

The Seattle and Louisville assumptions bring up problems for cities that are in the major league indoor sports business as partners. Is the indoor major league sports business heading into a phase where it makes no sense to have both an NBA and an NHL business in the same building, unless those businesses are owned by the same person or group? The trend is now moving to the single team concept with the New York Islanders proposed arena at Belmont Park near the New York City, Nassau County line and the Los Angeles Clippers proposed building just outside of Los Angeles in Inglewood. The arenas are being built by team owners but municipalities giving out incentives for the businesses.

Steve Ballmer

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer wants to keep all the revenue in a new building.