Louisville, Kentucky is a great city and the whole state of Kentucky is mad about basketball. So, would it make sense to bring an NBA franchise to the city? Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says a group of community leaders that include former University of Louisville stars Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman and Darrell Griffith, as well as KFC Yum! Center personnel where the proposed NBA games would be played think so:
In a statement, Fischer said the meeting gauged the “level of interest” and the “conditions necessary to attract a team.”
“There was a lot of excitement in the room about what an NBA team could mean for Louisville’s global recognition and as a job attractor and economic engine. There are many elements involved in a journey such as this,” the mayor said. “This must be a win for the University of Louisville, as well as other stakeholders. I’m excited to be part of the dialogue and I continue to believe we should be ready if an opportunity presents itself.”
This is obviously in the very beginning stages as the Louisville group are only at the point of talking at this point. However, a major stumbling block in this happening is that whomever owns the potential Louisville potential franchise would be at the mercy of the University of Louisville, who control the KFC Yum! Center. I highly doubt a new owner would agree to play in a college arena, new (opened in fall 2010) or not.
Besides, at this point, I believe the city of Seattle would be at the top of the list of cities to be awarded an NBA franchise. The city sorely misses the former SuperSonics, now Oklahoma City Thunder, and Seattle has proven to have a strong fanbase. Louisville can try, but it seems too steeped in college basketball that an NBA team couldn’t thrive as well. Consider that the potential NBA franchise would have to play in a college arena under the control of a university. It just doesn’t seem like a good fit.
(H/T to NBC ProBasketballTalk)