The NBA above all else, is a business. It’s a business before it’s a basketball league. This is because if the NBA, the people who own the team, and the networks that broadcast the games, aren’t making money then the league can’t exist. This is something that should be considered when the question is posed “should Louisville have an NBA team”?
In the past five years there has been a lot of rumors and speculation that there may be an NBA team headed to Louisville in the future. And on the surface it would make a lot of sense. The KFC Yum! Center is relatively new, Kentucky is a state that loves basketball both the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky have beloved basketball teams, and the city of Louisville is growing both economically and in popularity.
However, with the average NBA team being worth 1.1 billion dollars, there’s a lot more to consider besides a state’s love for basketball and a new arena, not to mention all the obstacles in the way of an NBA team coming to Louisville.
Even though Louisville wouldn’t be the smallest market in the NBA if a team were to come here, it would still be considered a very small market. This wouldn’t matter so much if it weren’t for the Indiana Pacers being so close to Louisville. The proximity to another team wouldn’t normally be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that the Pacers are considered a small market franchise and with Louisville also being considered a small market it may be difficult for the two organizations to retain a large enough fan base to exist.
In order for the league to expand it would need the approval of the majority of the NBA owners to approve. Herbert Simon, being the owner of the Indiana Pacers would most defiantly not approve and would use his influence to keep a team from coming to Louisville, so that his small market Indiana Pacers could keep their level of popularity in that area.
Something else that should be considered in the event of an NBA expansion is something that cities like Las Vegas, Seattle and Pittsburgh all already have, an NFL team. Cities with multiple professional sports teams already have proven markets with customers that can afford the prices of tickets to professional sports teams.
Louisville is a college sports town and has always been that way. the Uniservity of Louisville was one of the first schools to go to ESPN and say that they are willing to play football games on Thursday nights. This was how Louisville got big as a college sports town and more imporantly its how the University football team got on prime time television during the week, and thus making the University money and putting the city on the map.
In reports related the the prospect of an NBA team coming to louisville, both Rich Pitino and Tom Jurich have expressed concern over the idea of a Louisville NBA team and weather the city’s sports fans could afford it. It makes sense, U of L, currently is the top dog when it comes to sports in this city and a pro team would defiantly threaten that title and the status quo.
However, even though it seems that people who are in charge of athletics at U o f L would have an alternative motive to express concern over the city’s ability to afford the team, there is actually sone truth to that as well. tickets to an NBA game are both double the price of college basketball game and an NBA team would also play more than double the amount of games than a college basketball team.
Being top dog in the largest college sports market in the country automatically rules out any competition in the same sport and with two polarizing figures in Pitino and Jurich at the helm it is difficult to imagine a scenario where an NBA franchise is obtainable for the city.
The University is some sense is the professional team of the city. Kentucky is a state without any professional sports teams so college basketball is king in the commonwealth.
With all this being said, the CardsEyeView Sports team find it unimaginable for an NBA franchise to be placed in Louisville.