The case against basketball in ‘raincouver’
By Mo Hussain, Sports Reporter
Over the past couple of weeks, we have explained some of the reasons as to why Vancouver doesn’t have an NBA team anymore, and the case for bringing an NBA team back to Vancouver. However, in this final piece of our mini-series on the Vancouver Grizzlies, we play devil’s advocate. We are going to be looking into some of the reasons as to why the NBA shouldn’t consider bringing a team back to Vancouver.
I’m sorry, how much?
In 2001, the Grizzlies were sold for approximately $160 million (US). If an NBA franchise was sold for that much in 2020, the NBA and the federal government would have to conduct an investigation.
According to Forbes, the average NBA team is worth approximately $2.12 billion. This, in addition to the cost of approximately $109,140,000 per season just maintaining the team’s salary (current soft cap), would mean it would be quite a hefty investment.
If a single investor, or a group of investors decided to financially back up an NBA team in Vancouver, they would not only have to figure out how to fund the team, but also try to estimate whether paying that price would bring them a reasonable return on their investment.
How about us?
Vancouver is not the only city looking for NBA basketball. Cities such as Seattle, Las Vegas, Kansas City, and Louisville also bring a legitimate argument as to why they should get a crack at the NBA.
Seattle, for example, who lost their team in 2007, has seen its population grow by 22 percent since 2010, and have a group of investors who are willing and capable of investing in a venue capable of holding both an NHL and NBA team.
Las Vegas can also make an argument as a sports city that can bring an NBA team, seeing as how they have already recently brought both an NHL and NFL team to town.
What would be different?
Even though Vancouver has changed a lot since 2001, there are still a couple of factors that have not changed since then.
Vancouver is still geographically much further away from a lot of US cities, some people still dub it as “raincouver,” players still must go through customs due to the city being in another country, taxes are still high, etc. These, in addition to having to find the talent necessary to help build a winning team, are some concerns prospective investors and NBA officials will have to keep in mind when considering whether or not to bring a team to Vancouver. In the meanwhile, expanding or relocating current teams to other cities is likely not at the top of the NBA’s list of priorities given the ongoing pandemic.
However, until then, we Grizzlies fans still hope that by the time the league does open that conversation up again, Vancouver will find a way to be the first city they have their sights set on.