NBA in Vancouver – 2014 Update

Well it’s now 2014 and the talk about the NBA has really amounted to zilch. Hardly surprising when you look at what happened just south of us at Seattle. Heartbreak for that city for sure. The NBA has some history in these parts with heartbreak it seems.

Let’s get on to the most current update as to where we’re at regarding the NBA in Vancouver BC.

There is one major, and I say major issue or roadblock to Vancouver getting a NBA team. That would be? Seattle. Based on their motivation, backed by a massive financial offering for the Sacramento Kings, it’s impossible for anyone to suggest that Vancouver beats out Seattle for a new franchise. There is just no way that’s going to happen. Should there be a relocation or expansion discussion, Seattle is it. In reality, that’s obvious and that’s the safest option for the NBA to go.

So the hopes right now are hinging on 2 new cities getting NBA franchises. Vancouver and Seattle. Could those happen at the same time? Seems a bit unlikely. Why would other NBA owners want to split their revenue? They are rich for a reason and inviting 2 new teams around the same time will give them less money and it will ultimately water down the talent pool for the league.

There is one possibility out there right now and it’s regarding the Milwaukee Bucks. That is a franchise that could see a move out of town. The Bucks need a new building and their lease expires in 2017. This means a $400 million investment for a new building which requires the hard to come by public funding. That’s a tough sell no matter how you look at it. The current owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, Herb Kohl was interested recently in selling a portion of the team, provided that the new investor wouldn’t move the team. The bottom line is that Milwaukee is a sketchy situation right now. If that franchise moves, then that really creates a lot more hope for Vancouver and getting the NBA.

The other issue when it comes to possible expansion in the NBA is that their TV and digital rights deals are expiring in 2016. This is a key because those revenues are divided up like a pie and the more NBA franchises, the less money for everyone. The question really comes down to how valuable the NBA product is right now and will it fetch more, less or the same than in previous deals. It’s impossible to expect expansion talk from the NBA until those deals are in place. That puts Vancouver NBA a long while off. Sorry to be depressing, but this is the reality.

The Milwaukee Bucks going to Seattle would mean a chance for Vancouver. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where the NBA chooses Vancouver over Seattle. Yes, we have the building and that’s about the only difference. Vancouver is NBA ready and Seattle is not. Perhaps a major detail of a possible Buck relocation? If Seattle were to get the Bucks, we could get an expansion franchise. The furthest and most unlikely scenario is that the NBA will expand by 2 teams (Seattle and Vancouver) and that the Buck stay put in Milwaukee. That about sums up where we are in 2014 folks!

[source: ESPN]

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