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Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

Posted on: December 7, 2010 12:09 pm
Posted by Royce Young

If, and that's a big if, the Hornets don't stay in New Orleans, a number of cities will be lining up to grab them. And a report from FanHouse says the league is strongly looking at moving the team to Kansas City and the newly built Sprint Center.

Matt Moore laid out a number of possibilities that included Seattle, Anaheim, Chicago and Kansas City. What's the drawback to KC? Here's what Matt said:
That said, the jewel in their crown is pretty simple. It's the building. Sprint Center, built in 2005 and opened in 2007, has a capacity of 18,555 with a considerably higher number of available luxury suites and club seating due to how the building was constructed. Specifically, the arena was built to capitalize on how current arena economics work. Tickets are valuable, to be sure, but the money is made with sponsorships, and luxury seating. 

What's missing? A buyer. AEG who owns the Sprint Center, made noise early on about pursuing either a hockey or basketball team to fill the arena. But with the Pittsburgh Penguins using them as a straw man to get a new arena in Pittsburgh, there has been no team to arrive. Furthermore, it turns out the arena is making more money as a concert venue than it may with a regular tenant. With the recession having hit Kansas City well before the rest of the country and a lack of progressive technology firms in the area, finding a prospective owner outside of AEG is going to be a hard sell. Kansas City remains a viable candidate but it remains to be seen if either AEG or the city will commit to making a serious inquiry toward the Hornets. 
Other than the sentimental reasons to bring a team back to Seattle, Kansas City has to be the leader in the clubhouse. New building, big corporate city with a number of sponsorship opportunities and the potential for a great, dedicated fanbase. Like Matt pointed out, it all comes down to a buyer that wants to bring a team there.

The concern over it being a college town is a good one, but the same was said for Oklahoma City and I think we've all seen how that went over. Competing with the Jayhawks and the Missouri Tigers wouldn't be easy for a professional franchise, but in a market like Kansas City, there's always room for more basketball.

But it's not about those reasons. It's about the building. Kansas City has what the league likes and what a prospective owner loves: a brand new arena that can make money. If Seattle had something new, no doubt in my mind it would be the frontrunner. But the NBA is about money and by all appearances, Kansas City would have the best shot at making the most right now.

Since: Dec 13, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2010 1:50 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

Kansas City would be a prime location for a moving NBA team. Not only have they not had an NBA team since 1985, but they would have a fan base from two states considering Kansas City is in Kansas and Missouri and Missouri which neither of the two have a team.

Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2010 7:49 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

The Sprint center is amazing. If OK city can support a team I think KC can also.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2010 11:23 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

Key Arena needs more that a renovation.  It needs to be blown up and to start over.

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2010 10:41 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

This would throw a monkey wrench into the scenario.  Send the team to Columbus, Ohio - Yeah Columbus, there is more to life here now than just The Ohio State University.  There is a great arena downtown and a solid fan base and now that Lebron has went South - Ohio could use another shot of good basketball- professionally that is. 

So David Stern - Columbus is watching and waiting and we have some folks who can actually afford to buy the team locally as well. Call ME - LOL

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2010 10:18 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

They wont look at Louisville because it is too small, you had to merge the city and county just to get the population over 500K back in 2000. That being said, they did give a team to OKC which I dont believe their metro area is much bigger than Louisville, so who knows ,maybe you could? It really depends on if there is enough corporate support.

Since: Apr 28, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2010 10:17 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

As for the Royals...not a fair comparison. Actually, there are tons of fans here. People are all over the radio talk shows about the Royals until about the 85th loss each year. But two decades of pathetic teams does hurt the ticket fan base.  That said, I would be amazed if there were enough fans in this city to buy the number of regular tickets sold for 41 games. I hear this corporate sponsor talk, but I simply don't see enough middle class in this city. Hell, even the Chiefs still had empty seats this last Sunday, and you KNOW people are rabid about them. Also, I'm not buying the 'college town' talk at all! The writer of this piece is going on hearsay from hearsay. This place does not resemble a college town in any way. Lawrence is quite separate from Kansas City, even from Overland Park. Mizzou is practically an overnight trip away. There is very little impact on this city in the college town way, so I don't think an NBA team is necessarily competing with the Jayhawks or Tigers. I just think there simply isn't the volume of middle class money to fill an arena for that many nights. Again, I would be amazed if it worked out.

Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2010 10:09 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

Yea, that allstar game in Vegas went great, ask Pacman Jones...

Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2010 10:06 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

They were actually in Memphis in the movie, where they initially played after moving and before the stadium in Nashville was complete, and it would be they're or they are.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2010 9:38 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

Don't understand why Louisville is not even mentioned as a possible spot of relocation.  That of course is if the Hornets were to move from NO.  We have a brand new 20+ riverfront arena.  The fanbase is rabid, and has a track record of supporting a pro franchise when we had an ABA team.  How many people attend the Royals games?  Not so much right, so I would think they wouldn't be on the hot list.  Who the hell knows though.  Remember Tom Hanks in Castaway, "Let me get one thing straight.  We have a pro football team, but their in Nashville?"

Since: Feb 3, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2010 9:01 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

You know who is a potential owner with a lot of money?  Steve Ballmer.  You know where Steve Ballmer and his $1.4 billion dollars in recently sold Microsoft stock live?  The Seattle area.  Buying the Hornets and renovated the Key aren't near that much.  Appearances mean nothing to the NBA, money does.  Seattle has it, KC is cute, but not so much.  They'll get the Kings to come back anyway.  So KC will get it's old franchise back, and Seattle gets Chris Paul for Kevin Durant.  Sounds fair and simple enough to me.  Do it already.

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