Mayor Michael Coleman sent a letter to the NBA expressing desire to have a professional team in Columbus, 10TV’s Kevin Landers reported Thursday.
Coleman sent the letter to Commissioner David Stern on May 3.
In the letter, Coleman said that the pro team could call Nationwide Arena home. The city of Columbus purchased Nationwide Arena late last year for more than $42 million.
“Columbus has demonstrated it has the fan and corporate support to make an NBA franchise successful,” Coleman said in the letter. “I hope to continue to engage you and your office about bringing an NBA team to Columbus, and I look forward to our continued dialogue.”
The NBA said that no new teams were in the works, but that Columbus could lure a team to town.
In 2005, Oklahoma City temporarily took on the New Orleans Hornets because of Hurricane Katrina.
Three years later, the city landed its own NBA team, the Oklahoma Thunder, formerly the Seattle SuperSonics, Landers reported.
“Where the team has helped us the most is through the branding of the city,” Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said.
Coleman said his push for an NBA team was exploratory.
“You can’t get discovered unless you first explore,” Coleman said. ‘This is about positioning our city for the future for any potential NBA opportunities that come along.”
Cornett said that he thought there could be a conflict with the Blue Jackets more so than the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I think the hockey franchise would be a greater obstacle than the cavaliers,” Cornett said
The Sacramento Kings have recently expressed a desire to relocate. Five NBA franchises have moved since 1985.
According to the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, only four states have multiple NBA teams and getting one in Columbus would be an “extreme long shot.”
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