Recent comments by David Stern indicate that, as far as he sees the NBA, expansion is off the table (sorry Peter). He also commented that Seattle DOES NOT HAVE an APPROVED ARENA PLAN, putting it pretty much equal to Sacramento in the race of things. On top of that, David chose to offer hope to several other cities that have been said to have contacted the NBA recently. (Google Cache of the article “Stern Sees Continued Prosperity for NBA” is one way to read the article directly and avoid the Houston Chronicle paywall)
Q: Closer to home, you’ve been proud of the success of small markets in the NBA. If the sale and move of the Sacramento Kings goes through, how will you feel seeing a team that has been so successful leave a market?
Stern: I’m going to claim executive privilege on that one. The idea of leaving Sacramento is not a good one. The idea of going back to Seattle is a good idea. We’ll have to see how that plays out.
Q: If you end up with two viable ownership groups and arena plans, is expansion a potential solution?
Stern: I haven’t heard anything about expansion from our owners. They have discussed contraction in conjunction with the last collective bargaining agreement. I don’t think (expansion) is an option. Right now, we have no approved plan for an arena in Seattle. We have a very good potential ownership group and set of plans, but there’s a lot of work to be done. I keep a little green book with a list of all the cities interested in NBA teams and could respond pretty quickly. There’s all kinds of stuff going on in Pittsburgh, Columbus, Louisville, Virginia Beach, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Mexico City, Kansas City.
Silver: You left out the European cities.
Stern: This is all for Adam to work out. The league is going to have some good decisions to make.
Another AP article posted to ESPN has this to say:
Stern said that Johnson will attend an April 17-18 owners meeting in New York to deliver his proposal, but the league expects to have heard it by then.
“We have an April 17th meeting of the board, but if the Mayor follows through on what he’s told us, we’ll have it comfortably by March 1,” Stern said Thursday.
Johnson is trying to line up investors to buy the Kings and keep them in his city with a new arena, rather than watch them move to Seattle.
Speaking at an All-Star weekend event, Stern also said he doesn’t currently see “a push for expansion” among owners, knocking down the idea that both cities could end up with teams.
“My statement about expansion is talk to Adam next year,” Stern said, with commissioner-elect Adam Silver standing behind him. “I don’t have any plans to champion expansion between now and Feb. 1, 2014. That’s up to the ownership and the commissioner.”