In recent years, the rumors and discussions surrounding NBA expansion have captivated basketball enthusiasts. Cities like Las Vegas, Seattle, and even Mexico City have been mentioned as potential candidates to welcome new NBA teams. However, according to NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, expansion is not currently at the top of the league’s agenda.
Tatum addressed the topic, stating, “Right now, expansion is not at the top of our list. We recently completed our CBA deal, our agreement with the player’s association. The next major focus for us is navigating the national media rights deal, which has two years remaining. Once we’ve progressed through that, we will assess whether or not expansion makes sense for us.”
Highlighting the wealth of talent within the league, Tatum emphasized, “We really do have 450 of the best players in the world. There is certainly enough talent to go around. But it’s not a priority right now.”
When considering potential expansion markets, Tatum outlined the key factors involved. Infrastructure plays a vital role, including the presence of suitable arenas and practice facilities, accessibility for fans, parking, public transportation, and security measures. Additionally, fan interest, attendance, ticket sales, merchandise, and marketing partnerships are essential considerations. Travel logistics for all teams in and out of the market are also taken into account.
The NBA last expanded in 2004 when the Charlotte Bobcats (now the Hornets) became the league’s 30th team. Since then, the focus has shifted towards strengthening existing partnerships and exploring the future of media rights.
While the prospect of expansion generates excitement among fans, it seems that for now, the NBA is concentrating on other key initiatives. As the league progresses through its media rights negotiations, the possibility of welcoming new franchises will be further evaluated, ensuring a comprehensive analysis of all relevant factors.