Over the last decade, the NBA really hasn’t moved in terms of franchises and locations. This exclusivity has only allowed 11 to 30 teams to be part of the NBA. The league has wanted to expand mainly due to the potentially of increasing its revenue. It appears that they are close to doing just that.
The chances of them expanding though looked grim after the league moved the Seattle Supersonics to Oklahoma City and nothing else happened afterwards. However, it seems as if brighter days are ahead as the league reportedly is looking to finally expand to two new cities.
According to reporter John Canzano, the NBA’s television deal is set to expire in 2024. This so happens to be right around the time the expansion will reportedly occur.
Las Vegas and Seattle seemingly are the two frontrunners with Seattle being very interesting since it’s could mean the return of the Supersonics. Of course, nothing has been officially announced and changes may occur at any moment. Still, it’s a least bit exciting for basketball fans.
Interestingly, the pandemic forced the league to consider expanding over the next few years. NBA commissioner Adam Silver explained that the financial impact of the pandemic caused the league to reevaluate their stance on expanding to new cities. Expanding would mean a new billionaire owner and having to deal with a $1.5 billion dollar expansion fee. The idea of expanding wasn’t their number one priority, but according to Silver it definitely became something that was talked about a lot after the pandemic.
I’d say it’s caused us to maybe dust off some of the analyses on the economic and competitive impacts of expansion. We’ve been putting a little bit more time into it than we were pre-pandemic. But certainly not to the point that expansion is on the front burner.
The NHL expanded to Las Vegas and Seattle, so perhaps the NBA sees something that has proven to work and wants to capitalize. It will be interesting to see if the league does consider expanding to other cites outside of the U.S. such as Mexico City and Quebec. However, it does seems unlikely for Quebec since many players reportedly dreaded going there. Still, the possibility will always be available.
Are you excited for the NBA’s next move? Sound off in the comments section below.