The NBA Should Add a Team in St. Louis [Opinion]


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There has been a pretty decent amount of talk over the past few years about the NBA expanding the number of teams in the league to anywhere from 32 to 36 teams. The league has only added three teams in the last 30 years, the latest being the Charlotte Hornets in 2004, and have stayed at the current 30 teams since. There are a plethora of reasons why expanding the league is a popular idea among fans, the main reasons are to spread the sport and to hopefully gain a team in their city. We’ve recently seen successful expansion from the NHL and MLS in the last five years, and this has only helped to fuel the fire for basketball fans wanting a team in their city.

The cities I hear the most talk about gaining a new franchise are probably Mexico City, Seattle, Las Vegas and San Diego. All of those cities have made very good arguments about why they should get one, but I believe that St. Louis is probably one of the best and most overlooked candidates to receive a team. I think St. Louis could not only support an NBA team, but if they added one here it would become one of if not the most successful and popular team out of the other candidates.        The city has a very rich history in sports, winning two World Series and a Stanley Cup just in my 18 year lifetime and a Superbowl shortly before I was born. There has also been an NBA title, won by the St. Louis (now Atlanta) Hawks in 1958 and nine other World Series won over the course of the last 100 years. 

Teams in St. Louis are never lacking support, with the Cardinals consistently being in the top-three for attendance and ratings and, even in a year where they’ll finish in the bottom 11, the blues are still top-ten in attendance for this season. I’ve seen my share of bad seasons from both teams, and even in those bad seasons I’ve never seen stadiums empty for sports games in STL. St. Louis also hosts the 20th largest Metropolitan area in the US at 2.8 million people, with Seattle and San Diego being the only other cities in the top-20 without a team. I think the ratings and attendance the team would pull in would more than justify the city getting an expansion team, but the hardest part would be securing an owner willing to bring a team to the city. If the NBA ever does decide to expand and there’s a willing owner, I think the great sports history of the city and the dedicated fans could more than justify a team being brought to STL.