[Report] NBA Has Discussed A $2.5 Billion Fee For Possible Expansion Teams

The NBA hasn’t brought in an expansion team since 2004, when the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) became the league’s 30th franchise.

If the league is to expand in the future, it’ll cost new franchises a lot of money.

According to a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (h/t Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report) NBA officials have “floated” the idea of giving $2.5 billion fees apiece for two new franchises.

The NBA, along with the other major professional sports leagues, have been exploring various ways to make up for significant losses in revenue amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

It was noted that Las Vegas and Seattle have been discussed as possible locations for new NBA franchises. Each of the 30 NBA teams would reportedly receive around $167 million from the $2.5 billion fee per expansion team.

Seattle had an NBA team, the SuperSonics, from 1967-68 to 2007-08, before the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City; the team name was changed to the Thunder.

The city was granted the NHL’s 32st franchise in Dec. 2018, and they’re slated to begin play in the 2021-22 season. The hockey club later announced their team name to be the “Kraken.” They’ll play their games at Climate Pledge Arena.

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As for Las Vegas, the city has welcomed two professional sports franchises in just three years. The Vegas Golden Knights became the NHL’s 31st franchise beginning in the 2017-18 season, and they went on to reach the Stanley Cup Final in their first year.

The NFL’s Oakland Raiders relocated to Las Vegas beginning in the 2020 season. They play their games at the brand new Allegiant Stadium.

The NBA has only seen three expansion franchises dating back to 1990. The Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies were the only expansion franchises in the 1990s, having joined the league in 1995. The Grizzlies played in Vancouver until 2001 before relocating to Memphis, where they play today.

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