Here's a question for NBA owners: if the dude at Rant Sports can vote yes for expansion to Seattle and Louisville, why can't you?
While I wait for their responses, let me address the rest of you.
The Rant Sports dude is Dave Daniels (@AllDave_AllDay), who posted an article called "Top 5 Reasons Why NBA Expansion To Seattle and Louisville Needs To Happen." I don't know how much pull Dave has with the NBA, but I'm grateful any time someone publicly advocates the return of the Seattle Supersonics. Definitely read the article. You might even tweet him a thank you, if you are in the mood.
You may recall that we reported over a year ago that the league was discussing this very idea behind the scenes. You may have noticed that the league has not yet chosen to expand and that every public statement since then has said something like "no expansion in the foreseeable future." Though we stand by our report that it was being discussed behind the scenes, and frankly still is, it doesn't seem nearly as likely as we had hoped.
Where does that leave us?
We are now inches from being shovel-ready on the SoDo arena, which is finally back in the hands of the councils. We are an inch or two more from being shovel-ready on an arena in Tukwila, which is in the middle of an EIS. Think about that. By January or February, we could go from zero shovel-ready arenas to two.
Furthermore, a league source tells Sonics Rising that there are three potential NBA ownership groups in the Seattle region, and that all three have been fully vetted. If and when opportunity knocks, we will have people ready to answer the door.
Yes, we missed out on the Sacramento Kings. Yes, we missed out on the NHL's Arizona Coyotes. Yes, the Milwaukee Bucks are staying where they are. Yes, our local ownership groups failed to submit an NHL expansion application.
But no, I haven't given up hope. No, I haven't stopped believing.
I hope and believe that, at some point, one or both of these leagues will say yes to us. One just never knows when an NBA franchise will come up for sale. There are a few NHL franchises that are ripe for relocation in the next few years.
On the NHL front, our ownership groups didn't apply for expansion for one reason: they couldn't line up enough cash to pay the exorbitant expansion fee and pay for an entire arena, in the case of Tukwila, or pay for an NHL-first option, in the case of SoDo.
Let me point out, however, that NHL relocation might not require an ownership change, and would likely be cheaper than expansion even if such a change were required. A fully approved arena in Tukwila could look mighty inviting for an owner looking to change his circumstances. A fully approved arena in SoDo with an NHL-first modification could be too tempting to resist.
We're still in this game, folks. Don't give up hope.