It might seem like a generation ago, but there was once a professional basketball team that called Kansas City home.
Nearly three decades ago, the Kansas City Kings were one of three professional sports franchises that represented the heart of America. At the time, the Kings were the first and only NBA expansion team that Kansas City ever had.
The Kings spent 13 seasons as a franchise in Kansas City before disbanding due to not having enough money to fund the team. But now, Kansas City has the financial stability and fan support for a professional basketball team to thrive here.
As an avid fan of basketball myself, it only seems right to have a basketball team in my own backyard that I can actually call my own.
This is 2016 after all, and there are new-age and advanced concepts to grab fans’ and visitors’ attention that Kansas City can provide. The downtown ambiance that Kansas City presents will draw attention from our community through the countless bars and restaurants that are everywhere for fans’ accommodations to be met. Also, make sure you don’t forget about the attractions this city has.
The Sprint Center, which has held thousands of live events in the past, is the centerpiece of what Kansas City’s downtown district offers. Ever since it opened in 2008, the Sprint Center has appeased basketball fans’ interest. In addition to hosting NBA exhibition games every October, the Sprint Center has hosted the Big 12 Tournament in March eight times since 2008.
Over the years, the event has drawn massive fan support. And after being held last year, the Big 12 Tournament was second nationally in conference tournament attendance, averaging 18,993 fans per game. Not bad, if you ask me. So, in other words, the following of basketball is strong enough for a bigger, broader audience here in Kansas City.
Through it all, it’s apparent to recognize Kansas City’s rich fan base and alluring culture. After the recent success of the past seasons from the Royals and Chiefs, this city is ready to support another major sports franchise right around the corner. All of us know about the Royals, who took Kansas City fans on an unimaginable ride the past two Octobers, a run that galvanized fans new and old to improbable heights. All of us know about the Chiefs, who have an established professional football franchise and are coming off their first playoff win in 22 years.
Kansas City is a growing city and over the past several seasons, has received the support by fans to ensure that a professional basketball team can come here. This isn’t hard to find when looking at the attendance of Royals Games last season. During the regular season, more than 2.5 million fans made the trip out to Kauffman Stadium.
Even after losing the Kings 30 years ago, there’s always been ripe discussion of bringing an NBA team back to Kansas City. In 2010, the Kings considered leaving Sacramento to come back to Kansas City. At the time, Kansas City was one of four cities in the running, so in an attempt to lure an NBA franchise back to Kansas City, the Kings’ front office asked the five richest people in Kansas City if they were able to purchase it. To no avail, the Kings’ value was too much to be accepted.
Nevertheless, the biggest and most underlying question isn’t the location, but how much it will cost. Out of all the 30 NBA teams, the average price for one is $2.2 billion. I have faith that the right price can be attained several years down the road. Kansas City is a smaller market city and with that can gauge their price point similar to the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks, who are on the lower end of the price spectrum. Milwaukee is the 30th valued franchise in the NBA, worth $1.4 billion. Because Kansas City is a growing sports town just like Milwaukee and Oklahoma City, I believe that Kansas City can hold the financial responsibility of a professional basketball team.