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NBA Returns to Seattle for Preseason Game, Fuels Sonics Speculation

  • Climate Pledge Arena will host an NBA ‘Rain City Showcase’ preseason game for the second straight year.
  • Seattle and Las Vegas are top candidates for expansion after the NBA settles its next media rights deals.
Seattle and Las Vegas are top NBA expansion options.
Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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Another NBA preseason game will be held this October at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, fueling speculation that an Emerald City expansion team may not be far behind. 

The Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz will play October 10 in a preseason matchup branded by the NBA as the Rain City Showcase. Last year’s preseason saw the Clippers play the Portland Trail Blazers in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,440 fans at Climate Pledge Arena, home to the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and WNBA’s Storm.

“Seattle is a world-class sports town, and fans continue to be hungry for NBA basketball,” Climate Pledge Arena GM Steve Mattson said in a statement. 

Seattle, home of the NBA’s SuperSonics from 1967 until their 2008 move to Oklahoma City, has been considered a top option alongside Las Vegas for NBA expansion. Las Vegas is home to the NBA Summer League and will host the upcoming WNBA All-Star Game, while Oak View Group is leading a $10 billion project to build a basketball arena in Las Vegas.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said that the league will “turn to expansion” once its next slate of media rights deals are completed. Silver said those negotiations are expected to begin next spring before the NBA’s current broadcast deals expire at the end of the 2024-25 season.

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