The NBA is considering adding a pair of expansion teams, which would increase the number of clubs in the league to 32.
Expansion is viewed as a big revenue creator for the league during a period of economic upheaval.
Front Office Sports, which sums up its work as “the business of sports,” explained the NBA’s mindset on the issue on Tuesday.
“The NBA is discussing two expansion teams in the near future with an estimated price tag of $2.5 billion each,” Front Office Sports tweeted. “With revenue down due to COVID-19, that would generate $166.7 million for each of the 30 existing teams.”
If NBA expansion plans are implemented, which cities are the most likely candidates to be awarded teams?
At the top of the list: Seattle and Las Vegas, according to published reports. Other cities in the mix could include Kansas City, Louisville and Mexico City, NBC Sports reported.
Silver hints at expansion
In December, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver noted that expansion is something that will probably happen in the future.
“I think I’ve always said that it’s sort of the manifest destiny of the league that you expand at some point,” Silver stated. “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 Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) became the latest NBA expansion franchise in 2004. The NBA has had 30 teams.
If expansion gets the green light, expect some geographic realignment. For example, the Memphis Grizzlies would likely move from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference.