Possible Cities for NBA Relocation

D.Michael LeeSenior Analyst INovember 6, 2008

With the prospects of the NBA expanding a distinct possiblity in the near future, where exactly should they expand?

Most feel David Stern wants to bring the league overseas, and put a professional team in Europe or China. But what about back home in the U.S.? Of the 30 current NBA host cities, who would be in danger of losing their current franchise? One comes to mind very quickly—Memphis.

Why Memphis? Nothing personal, Grizzlies fans—it's strictly business. Memphis is the smallest television market in the NBA, and attendance at home games has dropped consistently faster than my 401k balance. So if David Stern were to move the Memphis franchise, what are some possible destinations within the country for them?


1. Seattle

The former home of the SuperSonics wants desperately to get a second chance at hosting a professional team. Many feel that Seattle would be first on the list of relocation cities for Memphis, or any other possible franchise.

The city of Seattle has a storied NBA history, and many compare bringing a new franchise to Seattle similar to how the Ravens franchise revived the city of Baltimore after the Colts left them in the middle of the night.


2. Baltimore

Speaking of BMore, this wonderful city currently is home to some of the best sports fans in America, as they support their beloved Ravens and Orioles. But is BMore a basketball town? That remains to be seen. Many have given Baltimore the same knock they give Pittsburgh—it's a great sports town, but not a great basketball town, and they would not be able to support a pro team.


3. Las Vegas

When the NBA hosted their All-Star Game in the Sin City, this was a very hot topic. Unfortunately, too much red tape and other politics will get in the way (right now) of Vegas becoming a permanent home for any franchise.


4. St. Louis

The home of the Rams and Cardinals could make room for a pro basketball franchise, right? Interest was initially sparked earlier this decade from locals in the city, but it did not go far.


5. Hampton Roads, VA 

The seven cities in this region (including Norfolk and Virginia Beach) currently have no professional major sports team, and are home to a very diverse population of sports fans. Many locals have proposed various plans for years, trying to find ways to bring a team to the area, but how and who would fund the project has yet to be resolved.