The league has announced earlier this month a new $2 billion TV contract, more than twice the amount of the previous deal. This new money will increase salary cap space for every franchise in the league, meaning more money for the players and owners, but another interesting aspect of the new collective bargaining agreement, new teams will mean even more money.
Adding two more squads will open more spots for players, add more excitement to the game in cities that don’t currently have a team, and create new rivalries. Merchandise sales would be huge, making this a win-win situation for everyone, but where would these new teams play?
According to reports, Seattle would be first in line after losing the Supersonics to Oklahoma City. The biggest hurdle is a new facility in the pacific northwest, but if funding can be arranged, it appears a lock for the state of Washington to get a new franchise.
Several other cities are on a short list of potential sites. Louisville is rumored set with financing and an arena should the NBA come calling. The area is a hot bed for college basketball and would give the state of Kentucky its first major sports franchise in history.
These two cities are most deserving, especially Seattle after losing the Thunder because of money. The area supported a team that wasn’t always good and the recent success of the Seahawks definitely helps their chances. Louisville is new and that would create some great publicity and create a buzz with basketball fans in the region, but with any major deal in sports, it will likely come down to money.
There are a number of other cities that would have interest, including Las Vegas, St Louis, Vancouver and Pittsburgh, but if the league decides to expand, they need to look no further than the top two choices the experts already have in mind.