Las Vegas and Seattle seem to be the two top contending cities for an NBA expansion franchise.
For National Basketball Association customers in Las Vegas and Seattle, it appears that it is hurry up and wait in terms of getting an expansion team. The thing stopping the NBA from expansion? Getting a new American TV deal. The NBA’s present American national TV partners are Warner Bros. Discovery and the Walt Disney Company’s ESPN. Both of those businesses are in cost cutting modes with Warner Bros. Discovery dropping video elements of its company and ESPN laying off personalities. But the NBA is always attractive to media companies and marketing partners. The league wants to get the media deal or deals as soon as possible and then the expansion process will start.
“We will turn to expansion once those new media deals are done,” said Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, about a possible expansion. “It’s not a sure thing but, as I’ve said before, I think it’s natural that organizations grow over time.” The NBA does a lot of business in Las Vegas and knows the market very well as it conducts its summer league in the city. There seems to be another arena that will be built in Las Vegas. Meanwhile the league is quite familiar with Seattle which was a good market until the league could not secure a new building in town. “We will look at (Vegas),” Silver said. “There’s no doubt there’s enormous interest in Seattle. That’s not a secret. There are other markets that have indicated interest. For the people who hear or read about this interview, we are not engaged in that process now. We’re not taking meetings right now with any potential groups. What we’re saying to everyone, privately is the same thing I’m saying publicly that there’ll be a very open process at the time already to consider expansion. But that’s not yet. That’s not yet now.” Expansion is coming to the NBA.
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