Potential NBA Expansion into KC

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Fans in the KC metro area hold their breath for a team to call their own. Photo by Edgar Chaparro from Unsplash.

As the 75th anniversary of the NBA kicks off and the leaves begin to change colors, fans across the nation dive into their passion for the game and the history of their teams. For Kansas City sports fans, many remember the time when the Sacramento Kings were actually the Kansas City Kings, and many questions their potential return.

Adam Silver, the current commissioner of the NBA, stated officially that the NBA is looking to expand to a total of 32 teams with the motivation being to make up for the financial losses accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic. In terms of funding, they would likely take out a loan between $3 and 44 billion dollars. One city, Seattle, is already promising in the eyes of the NBA Administrative offices. Similar to Kansas City, Seattle also used to house their own NBA franchise: the Seattle Sonics. The Sonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, albeit much later than the move from Kansas City to Sacramento. 

However, infrastructure obstacles that have plagued the city’s attempting restructuring plans for years hold Kansas City back from being an obvious contender for a new team. Talks of Kauffman Stadium, where the Royals play, moving to the downtown area of the city have not yet left the corporate meeting rooms.

NBA Administrative Team President Andy Dolich uses a personal philosophy when deciding to add new teams: “The A is avidity: the market you’re picking has to be an avid sports market. The B is simple: Who is your billionaire? If you don’t have your billionaire, you don’t have anything. The C in the community: the elected officials, the leading businesses who are going to support you and the fan base. The D [destination] is where are you playing? The NBA is not playing in yesterday’s arena. Those are the four key parts.”. 

Despite Mayor Quinton Lucas’ advertising on his personal Twitter account, analysts at MSNBC say that offering an expansion team in Las Vegas is more appealing than the midwest. The NHL has added the Golden Knights and the NFL has moved the Raiders to their new stadium, with each achieving fan and financial success. 

However, what analysts believe is Vegas’s greatest strength is also its biggest weakness:  dependency on tourism. If Vegas were to ever take a dip in tourists, it would greatly affect the NBA as well. This gives Kansas City an edge in providing stability, as the T-Mobile center itself was built originally to house basketball games in its inception. 

Basketball fans in the Kansas City Metro area will need to keep their fingers crossed if they hope to be able to call a team their own one day. Until then, fans will have to make do with their Royals and Chiefs, which are both in good hands thanks to Patrick Mahomes.

Trent Brink

Trent Brink is the page editor for Sports on The Hilltop Monitor. He is a sophomore majoring in business administration.

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