By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
September 21, 2012
A group of community leaders in Louisville recently met with the city’s mayor to discuss the possibility of acquiring a NBA franchise. Louisville already has a NBA-ready arena in the KFC Yum! Center, but any deal would have to include an agreement with the University of Louisville, which keeps a majority of suite sale revenue and controls scheduling at the facility. The city is not currently engaged in negotiations with a team willing to relocate.
Louisville is a bigger media market than current NBA cities Memphis and New Orleans, but it’s also much smaller than prospective NBA cities Seattle, Anaheim, and Virginia Beach. Also troublesome for the city’s prospects is the problems KFC Yum! Center is having paying construction debt. Every city WANTS a pro sports team, but in Louisville’s case, they’ll likely be on the outside looking in.