The Seattle Supersonics left the city of Seattle nearly a decade ago, but the love for the team is unending even today. There have been numerous attempts to bring the sport back to Seattle, and for good reason. Seattle is a city with a large enough market for the NBA, and with a new arena, fans young and old would flock to see the team back for the first time since 2008.
Rather than relocating another team already in the league, the NBA should expand and add two more teams to the league. This would allow a team to be put in Seattle without stealing a team from another city and their fans, and it would also allow another city the right to have an NBA franchise, such as Louisville or Las Vegas.
The NBA sends sixteen teams a year to the playoffs, which could potentially be great for an expansion team. Within the first three to five years of coming back, a team from Seattle could sneak into the playoffs, which would cause a rise in viewership and marketing. This would cause a domino effect and see players want to start playing in Seattle and within the first 10 years of the expansion team, Seattle basketball fans could see a Finals caliber team.
With the fall of powerhouses like Golden State and Cleveland once Lebron James and Steph Curry retire, the league will start to see more of a balance between the teams, which proves to be beneficial to a future Sonics team. An expansion team, in its first couple years in the league, is bound to get a few lottery picks in the draft, and having a young superstar pair up with a couple of old veterans for cheap on the budget is a sure way to get the franchise restarted on the right foot.
As of right now, entrepreneur Chris Hansen is pushing for the building of a new arena in the SODO district just south of Safeco Field. The first proposition was voted down 5-4, but for the next one a major change is coming out of it: no public tax for building the stadium. This new change could sway a couple more votes in the Seattle City Council and allow a new arena to be built not just for NBA basketball, but for an NHL team as well. Renovating Key Arena is also an option, but the NBA doesn’t feel like it is viable to bring a team back, as it would not bring in as much revenue, and the traffic could spell trouble for the city itself.
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