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NBA looks at $2.5bn expansion franchises to offset COVID-19 losses

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is floating the idea of a US$2.5 billion price tag for two expansion franchises for the league, according to ESPN.

NBA $2.5bn expansion franchises offset covid-19 losses adam silver basketball

The report states that the NBA is considering the move in order to help offset some of the losses incurred amid the coronavirus pandemic that continues to disrupt the sport.

League commissioner Adam Silver hinted at a possible expansion of the current 30 teams before the 2020/21 campaign began at the end of December.

It is estimated that a $2.5 billion expansion fee for each team would net the 30 current franchises about $167 million each.

The NBA has already distributed $30 million to each of its teams, forcing the league into raising its borrowing allowance from $650 million to $1.2 billion back in March 2020 when the pandemic first started to take hold globally.

Cities, including Seattle and Las Vegas have been touted as potential locations for the expansion franchises.

Seattle has an illustrious history within basketball, having previously has the SuperSonics, who won the 1979 NBA championship and three conference titles, before they relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008, where they now play as the Thunder. The return of an NBA franchise in Seattle is thought to be popular amongst basketball fans in the city.

Out of the two, it appears less likely that a franchise would appear in Las Vegas, having already added the National Hockey League's (NHL) Golden Knights and the National Football League's (NFL) Raiders, who relocated to Vegas in 2017 and last year respectively.

The NBA has not expanded since 2004, where the Charlotte Bobcats were introduced to the league, who now compete as the Hornets.

Author: Jake Wilkin