Five best cities to host a new franchise if the NBA adds expansion teams

Seattle is one of the leading candidates for an NBA expansion team. Photo from USA Today.

As the sports world continues to grow, so does the number of teams in each league. The NBA is no different as the topic of finding NBA expansion cities has been prevalent for a few years now.

The NBA is one of the two top sports markets in the United States. It almost seems crazy not to consider adding more teams. The NBA currently has 30 squads playing in the league, but very easily could follow in the footsteps of the NHL and add two expansion teams.

NBA expansion cities: Which cities could host a new NBA team?

The topic of NBA expansion cities was brought up recently when the Toronto Raptors had to find a temporary place to play this past season with the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada still had restrictions at the border, forcing Toronto to play elsewhere.

It does seem it is a when, not if, the NBA will expand the league to 32 teams. More teams equal more revenue. Plus, the sport of basketball has been ever-growing and the possibility of finding new markets is something that certainly should be explored.

Here are the top five NBA expansion team ideas.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is the most obvious choice. It was the home of the Seattle SuperSonics for years before the team moved to Oklahoma City. Whenever the term “relocation” comes up, Seattle is always at the top of the list.

There already is a home for a Seattle basketball team. The Seattle Kraken, the NHL’s newest expansion team, will be playing at Climate Change Arena.


Ironically, the building used to house the SuperSonics. With the Kraken, Seahawks, Mariners and Storm in the area, Seattle makes too much sense not to consider it a location for an NBA team.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is slowly becoming a hot spot for sports teams. The NHL put their 31st team there with the Golden Knights and the Raiders of the NFL recently moved from Oakland to Vegas. It’s become a hot spot for diehard sports fans. And it’s hard not to mention Vegas without the gambling.

The WNBA has the Las Vegas Aces there so it’s a location with a drive for basketball. A basketball team could potentially share the T-Mobile Arena with the Golden Knights.

Louisville, Kentucky

This might be a hard sell considering there are no major sports teams in Kentucky, but hey, you always have to start somewhere. There already is the large basketball following for the University of Louisville and Kentucky University. In fact, Louisville’s arena, the KFC Yum! Center, would be large enough to host an NBA crowd.

Louisville was rumored to be in the running to host the Toronto Raptors before they headed to Florida to temporarily play due to the pandemic. Plus, it isn’t too far away from St. Louis, a major sports city without a basketball team.

Tampa, Florida

Now this was the location that hosted the Raptors for a while. Tampa is home to the NHL’s Lightning, MLB‘s Rays and NFL’s Buccaneers. While the Rays tend to almost bottom out in attendance, the Lightning and Bucs have had recent success and driven the fan base up.

It would be the third NBA team in the state of Florida. Would the NBA be willing to do that? There probably are more desirable places, but Tampa already has the sports fan base on the bay side of the state.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville isn’t exactly the first city that comes to mind when you’re on the topic of basketball. Although, does anything else really come to mind other than country music and cowboy hats?

The city has seen success with both the Tennessee Titans in the NFL and the Predators in the NHL.

The Predators’ fan base has quickly become one of the more passionate ones in hockey. Adding a NBA team in Nashville could also create a rivalry with the Memphis Grizzlies.

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About Bryan Murphy 28 Articles
Bryan Murphy is an avid sports fanatic with an unhealthy addiction to Twitter. Big Boston sports guy and Tuukka rask defender.

2 Comments

  1. Seattle? Inevitable.
    Las Vegas? Very good odds.
    Louisville? They had an ABA team you know. Wouldn’t be surprised if they somehow sleeper horse their way in just to have a team in the East.
    Tampa? Orlando Magic will block that one from happening.
    Nashville? No. One Tennessee team is enough.

    Others to consider: Pittsburgh, Montreal, Columbus, Kansas City, Vancouver, Virginia Beach, Omaha, Mexico City.

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