A few months after an emotionally devastating vote against selling a stretch of Occidental Ave to Chris Hansen — which indefinitely stalled the Seattle Arena project — the NBA is adding expansion escalators to its next CBA.
According to SonicsRising, there are 14 votes on the NBA’s board of directors (at this time) that are in favor of expanding; and that’s without Seattle having a viable arena deal at this time (thanks Seattle City Council). But the most startling quote to come out of Kevin Nesgoda’s article is that Seattle is one of the league’s preferred spots for an expansion franchise.
“An hour after Seattle approves their arena, they’d have an offer in hand.”
It’s also apparent that Seattle is a major part of the league’s expansion plans as well.
“If Seattle had a new building, they would pass expansion.”
It definitely sounds like the NBA wants to be back in one of the fastest growing markets in the country, especially since the league and the players are working on the new CBA.
With the NBA wrapping up its negotiations on the newest CBA, it’s becoming apparent the new contract is designed to make it financially beneficial to add other team’s to the league. This isn’t the first time that the league has included potential expansion in its negotiations, as it’s rumored the league’s TV contract also has these “expansion escalators”…and that deal was put back together in 2014.
The league has been telegraphing its desire to expand for the last two years, yet that was ignored by the Seattle City Council when they voted against vacating Occidental. Their vote was confusing then, and it’s extremely frustrating considering the NBA’s continued flirtations with expansion.
It’ll be interesting to see how Chris Hansen will attempt to take advantage of the leagues desire to expand, and what he’ll do about getting he city back on board — the county council has continued to publicly support the deal. Nearly a month ago, Hansen has finalized the purchase of the land for a future parking garage.