It has since been reported the NBA discussed adding two teams—both of which would come with a $2.5 billion expansion fee that would be distributed among the league’s current group of governors. Silver participated in Sportico’s NBA valuations event on Tuesday. The commissioner was “not ready” to confirm the number of teams or the price point the league would seek if it were to add clubs. He said it “doesn’t feel like the right time” to focus resources or attention on future growth with the league still trying to navigate the pandemic. But Silver did say that “clearly [the] valuations [show] some of the reported numbers [for expansion fees] are very low in terms of the value at which we would expand.”
It was surprising to hear Silver suggest $2.5 billion would not be enough to bring a team to Seattle, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Mexico City or any other rumored expansion market. $2.5 billion sounds like an astronomically high price—particularly when one considers no North American pro sports team has ever sold for more than $2.35 billion (see: Joe Tsai, Brooklyn Nets). Sportico valuations authority Peter Schwartz agreed noting that $2.5 billion is greater than the average NBA team valuation. “That’s not in accordance with pricing on past expansion fees paid in sports—with the slight exception of Seattle in the NHL.”
Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis told Sportico’s Eben Novy-Williams and Peter Schwartz during Tuesday’s event that down the line, NBA teams should be worth significantly more money than they are today. “When you look at how big the [potential] marketplace is, [the NBA is] still a small business,” Leonsis said. “When you think about [there being] 8 billion people around the world, 6 billion now connected with high-speed connections [there are many potential fans out there]. Our cable ratings—even though we’re pretty much the top rated show up and down the line nightly—are still small” from a penetration standpoint. The league, he said, still has “a lot of upside.”
DECATHLON, one of the world’s largest sporting goods retailers, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced a new multiyear merchandising partnership that makes DECATHLON an official licensee of the NBA across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America and marks DECATHLON’s first partnership with a North American sports league. The partnership will feature a dedicated range of NBA team and league-branded base layers, accessories and footwear* designed by DECATHLON and sold under their basketball brand “TARMAK.” The collection will be sold exclusively in more than 1,200 DECATHLON stores worldwide and online at http://www.Decathlon.com. Products will be available for pre-order beginning in March 2021 ahead of the April 2021 launch in stores.
The Atlanta Dream are on the verge on being sold. Co-owned by former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the team has been embroiled in conflict over her remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement. Dream players were open in their support of the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who defeated Loeffler in a runoff election for her Senate seat earlier this month.
A WNBA spokesperson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “As it relates to the Atlanta Dream, we understand a sale of the franchise is close to being finalized. Once the sale negotiation is concluded, additional information will be provided.”