Originally Posted by phesto
A few thoughts:
-As long as David Stern is still NBA commissioner, I don’t see a team coming to Vancouver. There are other cities who would be vying for a relocated franchise and while the league doesn’t necessarily make the final determination, nor can they truly prevent a committed owner from moving a team, it won’t help that the league brass still feels that Vancouver was a mistake for expansion. The way things are going in the NBA though, I can see changes taking place that will ultimately lead to a fresh viewpoint, but even still…
-The NBA owners and the league are actually talking about contraction right now as a means of improving the quality of players and increasing profit. I’m not sure that will actually happen, but it just shows the level of risk that the owners are seeing and would they prefer that over relocation. Would Aquilini or another group really think the NBA in Vancouver is a ‘slam dunk’ as some here would seem to suggest? Obviously if contraction were a preferred option Vancouver’s hopes would diminish.
-I don’t really buy the whole argument that Vancouver has really changed in some fundamental way since the team left in 2001. Sure Vancouver has slightly more recognition and has grown moderately in population, but the TV market isn’t really any bigger, nor is the potential for corporate sponsors, which were both problems last go around. Season ticket sales cannot just rely on “the Richmond Chinese market” and it still competes with the Canucks for interest (who are much better than 2001 by the way).
- I was in Toronto last week to watch a Raptors game for the first time. It was actually the first NBA game I’d been to since the Grizzlies left town. Attendance was okay, but it goes without saying that the novelty of NBA in Toronto wore off close to 10 years ago and the team is still struggling somewhat to generate a consistent fan-base (albeit the loss of Chris Bosh and a rebuilding franchise should expect some difficulties). The TV market there is much larger. I don't have actual stats to prove anything here, but the lack of raptors jerseys and actual presence of leafs jerseys at an NBA game really speak to what takes first priority for live sports in this country, which will always be the case.
-As far as other factors that may have changed…The loonie is higher which is good. Seattle left which is bad because now Vancouver is more geographically isolated from a league that is predominantly located in the East and Midwest US.
-Ultimately I think the NBA would work here again with the right owner and proper management, but it will have to do so in a much different environment than in the mid-90’s.
There's no doubt that hockey is the first sport here in this country. Nobody is denying that. But surely, hockey is not the only sport we enjoy. Basketball has a decent following as well, and an NBA franchise, could go a long way in helping the grassroots level grow.
Tickets won't be simply on the richmond chinese people. that would simply be ludicrous. with that being said, management last time, barely did any kind of advertising towards that demographic. i agree with you, though, that with the correct owner (local preferrably), and the right management team in place, an NBA franchise here in this town could flourish. would the franchise have some difficulties like the Raptors are facing? sure they would. but I also think there is a lot of things to market to players from a Vancouver point of view.
I would think that the Aquilini's would want to try to fill in Rogers Arena with the other 41 home dates, when the Canucks are out of town. It makes financial sense (if they can manage the NBA franchise well, that is).