The NBA is looking at the possibility of expanding beyond 30 teams as the league grapples with the financial fallout of the pandemic.
“It’s sort of the manifest destiny of the league that you expand at some point,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Monday. “I’d say [the pandemic] caused us to maybe dust off some of the analyses on the economic and competitive impacts of expansion.”
Another NBA franchise would almost certainly have an entry fee exceeding $1 billion, which would be distributed evenly across current teams. That could provide some relief after the league missed 2020 revenue projections by $1.5 billion.
The average value of an NBA team is $2.2 billion, up almost sixfold over the last decade. The New York Knicks have the highest valuation at $4.6 billion, while the Memphis Grizzlies have the lowest at $1.3 billion.
The NBA hasn’t expanded since the Charlotte Hornets paid $300 million to join the league as the Bobcats in 2004. The team is now worth $1.5 billion.
Where To Go? Seattle is a top contender in the NBA’s expansion plans after losing the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City in 2008.
The Seattle Kraken, who paid $650 million to join the NHL in 2021, will play in the new $930-million Climate Pledge Arena — designed to also accommodate a basketball team.