Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Seattle vs. Sacramento and professional basketball: why can't the NBA just expand?

Is it necessary to pit Sacramento, a mid tier city that has a professional basketball team, the Sacramento Kings, against Seattle?

The Sacramento Kings went through an iteration related to building a new arena last year, but the owners, the Maloofs (you can see one of the family members on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills") junked the deal.

Later, hedge fund owner Chris Hansen decided to build a new arena in Seattle--the previous owners of the Seattle SuperSonics used lack of a new one to justify a move of the team to Oklahoma City--and to try to buy the Kings.

In the meantime, a different financing group proposes to keep the Kings in Sacramento. See "Kings saga becomes billionaires' tug of war."

Now I know why the League isn't interested in just adding new teams, rather than forcing the musical chairs of team moves, because otherwise they can't keep pressure on various cities to succumb to team demands for publicly-financed arenas.

But it isn't fair to cities and citizens.

As I have said before, if Congress weren't already in the pocket of team owners, ideally national laws would be passed that forbid this kind of blackmail.

-- Field of Schemes website on stadium and arena deals

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At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Alex B. said...

Forget laws.

This would have to happen in court. There is no reason you would have to force a league to expand. Instead, as the history of pro sports indicates, you might see an entire rival league pop up. If the legal system forced equity between them, then that league might stand a chance of eventually merging.

However, consider the history. In baseball, the American and National leagues are fully merged. In Hockey, the WHA challenged the NHL for a short time, then folded. Some of the WHA teams were incorporated into the NHL, but most folded. In football, the USFL tried to compete with the NFL, but that was financially unsustainable as well.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

... you've forgotten about the merger of the ABA into the NBA.

But I wasn't talking about forcing them, just that ideally, that would be the course of action that the NBA would follow.

2. The USFL might have been able to survive if they hadn't gotten stupid and shifted to a schedule that would compete with the NFL in the fall, rather than in their different time frame (Spring?). Then again, I can't claim to be able to handicap that--whether it would have really worked.

After all, the CFL expanded to some US cities briefly, in an attempt to serve mid tier cities without NFL teams, and that didn't work out either.


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