ArenaPlus: 20 Cities That Deserve an NBA Expansion Team

The NBA has seen significant growth over the years, with fan bases expanding and the demand for basketball increasing. Several cities across the United States show great potential for hosting NBA expansion teams. This discussion highlights twenty cities that stand out in terms of economic factors, fan interest, and historical relevance to basketball.

San Diego

  • Population: With a population of over 1.4 million, San Diego represents a large market that can support an NBA team.
  • Sports History: The city has previously hosted the Clippers and has strong fan support for other sports franchises.
  • Arena: The Pechanga Arena can be renovated or a new state-of-the-art facility can be built to host games.

Las Vegas

  • Tourism: Las Vegas attracts over 42 million visitors annually, increasing the potential fan base.
  • Economic Growth: Rapid growth and development make it a financially viable location for a new team.
  • Existing Support: Home to the NHL's Golden Knights and WNBA’s Aces, showing strong local support for professional sports.


  • Historical Relevance: The city was home to the SuperSonics, a team with a rich NBA history and a passionate fan base.
  • Tech Hub: Seattle’s booming tech industry can provide significant financial backing.
  • Arena Readiness: The renovated Climate Pledge Arena is ready to host an NBA team.


  • Basketball Culture: Known for its strong college basketball following, Louisville’s residents are passionate about the sport.
  • Economic Support: The city boasts a growing economy that can sustain an NBA franchise.
  • Arena Options: The KFC Yum! Center serves as a modern facility capable of hosting NBA games.

St. Louis

  • Sports Enthusiasm: St. Louis boasts a rich sports history with teams like the Cardinals and the Blues.
  • Population: A metro population of over 2.8 million offers a substantial market for an NBA team.
  • Proven Support: Successful support for other professional teams indicates potential success for an NBA franchise.

Exploring these cities reveals the diverse potential locales for NBA expansion. From the vibrant nightlife and tourism of Las Vegas to the tech-driven economy of Seattle, each city offers a unique environment for an NBA team. Analyzing these cities shows the extensive groundwork needed to ensure the successful launch of new franchises.

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