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NBA team in Lousiville? “It looks very good.”


The Courier-Journal is reporting that J. Bruce Miller, the attorney hired by the city of Louisville to potentially bring an NBA team to the city, met with NBA comissioner David Stern yesterday in New York.  After the meeting, Miller said “I think it looks very good” and told the paper that he’s in talks with a group of foreign investors, who would pay to renovate Freedom Hall.  Yes, you read that right.  An NBA team in Louisville would not play at the Yum! Center.  It would play at a renovated and updated Freedom Hall, which you would have to assume would add a lot of spice to the Rupp Arena debate.

via Courier-Journal

Article written by Thomas Beisner

73 Comments for NBA team in Lousiville? “It looks very good.”

  1. LookingForward
    9:07 am February 11, 2011 Permalink


  2. LookingForward
    9:09 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I would love to see it happen! So, what could the team be called??

  3. Sooooo
    9:11 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Why it’s there a nation of blue picture?

  4. Sooooo
    9:11 am February 11, 2011 Permalink


  5. kyeric
    9:18 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Agreed. Basketball at any level in Kentucky is a good thing! This has been debated for years, but I believe most people would be excited to see a professional sport in Louisville. Very cool, hope it happens!

  6. BPM
    9:22 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    The NBA is not going to bring a team to Louisville to play in Freedom Hall – i don’t care what J Bruce Miller says. Ridiculous.

  7. Wildcobb Salad
    9:24 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I’ll believe it when the Louisville/Kentucky whatevers play their first game. Then I’ll go buy a hat.

  8. NBA Scout
    9:25 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    The Louisville Thoroughbreds


    The Kentucky Racers

  9. john
    9:30 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I love the idea- but it makes NO sense to play their games at Freedom Hall. Even the city would be, or should be, against that. There are plenty of dates for both UL and a pro team to play at the YUM center.

    I can’t imagine having a pro team in Louisville and the team not playing in downtown Louisville. STUPID.

  10. Common Sense
    9:33 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    A savvy GM would sprinkle some popular UK and UL players on this team if they really want to see good turn outs for the games. Imagine Boogie or Wall on a KY based team….

  11. bung
    9:34 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Kentucky Colonels(again)

  12. C Pullem
    9:34 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    #9 – I agree totally.

  13. Galtoid
    9:36 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Kentucky Stampede

  14. TrashCan
    9:36 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Renovating Freedom Hall is an idiotic idea. Good luck eradicating all the rats and removing the stench of horse filth and state fair. Freedom Hall is and always will be a complete dump.

  15. bung
    9:37 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Hope we can get people to think of the team as in Kentucky and not in Loo-vul

  16. bung
    9:38 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Kentucky colonels …starring…Enes Kanter

  17. Kemp's Gold Chains
    9:38 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    If this happens, it should be an unwritten rule that they draft at least one Kentucky player each year. And they should trade for BOOGIE

  18. bung
    9:39 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    yep…I like Ky Kings also…

  19. Just saying
    9:39 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Freedom Hall renovation wasnt even considered a good idea for UL, so now a NBA team is going to move into a renovated 40year old building and have to compete with convention and State fair sites!!

    He’s saying this because if he started talking about bring a team to Yum, UL and Pition/Jurich would derail it

  20. Galtoid
    9:40 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Could very well be a UK-laced NBA team. Now, that would be awesome.

  21. BigBlueFan31
    9:40 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    The NBA will never survive in Kentucky. Who can afford it and support the college teams? People who want to watch basketball, in this state, will pay to see UK or UL. Plus, there will be almost half of an NBA team playing in Rupp next year. Gilchrist, Teague, Davis, Wiltjer, and possibly Knight, Lamb, Liggins and Miller (if he gets his head out of his A$$!!). I mean, seriously, we have an NBA minor league team already.

  22. RUPPSrhetoric
    9:40 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    14) Freedom is a dump, and smells like Sypher afterbirth… (Too much?) But its a PHENOMENAL place to watch a game. MUCH BETTER SIGHT LINES THAN RUPP… But a renovation would pretty much be taking it down to steel and rebuilding, which I suppose is possible. They did the same thing with Bryan Station and their gym. Gutted everything except the bones. But it would take that type of renovation to make it “NBA” quality…

  23. Just saying
    9:43 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Maybe theyre willing to renovate Freedom Hall to move UL back into it!!

    No NBA team will play in a renovated old building that is owned by the STATE of KY!! NO WAY!! NO SIR!!

  24. Bayoucat
    9:44 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Freedom Hall?!?!!!!! What an erroneous notion. No wonder our state/country’s economy is in the toilet. People consider outlandish ideas like this. When you step onto the fairgrounds/freedom hall area, it’s like you’ve been transported back to the mid 20th century. No NBA franchise would want that. Move along, nothing more to see here.

  25. D Stern
    9:45 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Jurich against MOI………….bring it on……NBA team to the Bucket….U of Loserville gets mad and goes back to play on the blue Freedom Hall floor…..

  26. bung
    9:45 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Kinda like Utah

  27. beau
    9:46 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I’m all for ANYTHING that could potentially bring Boogie back to Kentucky.

  28. Not Mr. Photogenic
    9:50 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Putting a team in Freedom Hall would be a national embarrassment and disgrace. Tax Payers do not need to pay for another arena in Louisville, especially with the Yum Center being the crown jewel of the region. The Kings have to play in the Yum Center or else they need not come here, period.

    Also I think if Lexington/UK gets a new arena, I could easily see this NBA team playing several games a year in Lexington.

  29. suthurnrocker
    9:50 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    miller and anyone else that believes an nba team can be successful here is an idiot….does louisville have $$$ to throw away on a “study” like this?????

  30. ThankfulCat
    9:51 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I can see it now, little Tardinal children lining up outside the arena with buckets on their heads and in their hands taking up donations for a ticket……………

  31. theoledog
    9:51 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    should be fun watching the fur fly on this one…
    not all the playa’s in Louisville are on the same page on this one….

  32. rhettzi
    9:54 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Not gonna happen. And “Kings”, turble name, completely awful name. Bring an NFL team, no one wants an NBA team, we have amazing college basketball in this state, so much better than an NBA team.

  33. Scared to be a fan
    9:55 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Louisville can easily support a team. And the city needs a team to attact more jobs into the state. Does noone realize that Louisville sits on the connecting routes to the East & West and North and South? Louisville is positioned to grow, just needs additional attractions for business…#1 Pro Team!

  34. BoomKentucky
    9:55 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Let college basketball reign here. Bring in an NFL team, it would do better. I would think overall cost for season tix holders would be cheaper for football. But people do say louisville has not shot at NFL since the colts, bungles, titans, and rams surround us.

  35. Cats R Back
    9:59 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    1st of all this city cannot support and NBA team. There aren’t enough people in this city who can afford to go regularly and it would have to compete against UK and UL. This area is COLLEGE Basketball and always will be. 2nd, there is no way an NBA team would not play in the Yum Center. Renovating Freedom Hall is not an option, there is no way an NBA owner would play in that building when a brand new state of the art arena is just down the street, lol, what a hilarious notion.

  36. Cats R Back
    10:00 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    33…wake up to reality someday, you are a ding dong

  37. The Fan
    10:09 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Nothing like getting a NBA team and losing the first 50 games. I just don’t a lot of people really caring about the NBA here.

  38. Japrick
    10:11 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Amazing how we as Kentuckians despise Louisville and say things like “trade Louisville for Cincinnati” but as soon as something good in Louisville happens or has the potential to happen, we want Kentucky’s name all over it. Forget “Louisville Kings” or “Louisville Stampede” or “Louisville Colonels”. We only want to claim Louisville when it brings notoriety to the state not the city. Louisville Derby??? FYI, I hate Louisville, but what I hate even more is hippocracy.

  39. Pup, MD
    10:13 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    If New Orleans can support an NBA team, Louisville can support an NBA team and free ponies for everybody.

    Come on, Charlotte has had two NBA teams (and was so attractive that after one failed, another came!). Oklahoma City has one. If you don’t think Louisville can support an NBA team, you’ve failed both geography and econ.

  40. UK_Football_Fan
    10:15 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I would be like this mat. With different conclusions on it. That you could jump to.
    Seriously, how long do you think David Stern listened to this pitch after he learned that Miller couldn’t even deliver the state of the art facility in town?
    Despite Yum having been built almost entirely with public money, Louisville’s lease is so flexible and favorable that an NBA team could not play there without it being reworked.

  41. Pup, MD
    10:16 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    38) Is hippocracy rule by horses? It is rather hypocritical of you to suggest that the Kentucky Derby should be renamed the Louisville Derby, and then imply that you hate a government run by horses.

  42. Blue Virus
    10:17 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    38- you don’t speak for everyone. I am true blue all the way, but absolutely love the city of Louisville. I welcome any positive news that would affect any city in our state. I also cheer for UL when not playing UK.

  43. mgcat
    10:17 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Pro basketball attendance is down. Pro football would be a better option I think, especially if we are trying to raise football’s profile in the state. JMHO.

  44. iCe
    10:17 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Anyone who thinks an NBA team wouldnt do well here is mistaken. It would do better than a lot of teams in the NBA now. Look at Memphis for example. You hardly see anyone in the stands. The quality of NBA games has increased greatly over the past 10 years. You can actually watch good regular season games. I know quite a few people who buy pacer ticket packs. 4 seats 16 games and they’re not that expensive (one only makes $15 an hour ) Last year he paid $1400 for 2 tickets front row upper deck. You look at the minor league teams weve had here alone in Lexington like hockey/football and we could easily fill 12,000 seats a night for an NBA game. I’m not saying 12,000 fans went to those a night. More like 3500, but there is hardly anything to do in Kentucky and it’s not far fetched that an NBA team could do well here.

    When big players/big teams come in. The building will easily sell out. My friend sold his Cleveland pacers tickets for $500 a piece when they played Indiana last year (front row upper deck). It payed for almost all his other games. 15 games 2 tickets 400$ spent.

    NFL not possible and we would never get approved. I don’t even think Louisville has the required population. I’d love it, but it won’t happen for a long time.

  45. Dusty Mills
    10:19 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    The Pistons saw this coming all along…that’s why they experimented with the horse logo a few years ago. Tayshaun Prince says the chances of Detroit relocating “look very good”.

  46. SoccerCat
    10:20 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Louisville is a great city, period.

  47. Computer Blue
    10:21 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Absolutely no way an NBA team plays in Freedom Hall. I think one of two scenarios is the truth:

    1) The lawyer has fabricated this story to justify all the money Louisville (i.e. the taxpayer) has paid him to explore getting an NBA team.
    2) The lawyer is trying to keep Jurich from fighting his efforts until later in the process when he has momentum and can backdoor his way into Yum.

  48. Pup, MD
    10:23 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    What happens if Cal wants an NBA team in Louisville so he can coach it?

    /stirs the pot.

  49. timer
    10:31 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I hope it happens. Kentucky needs a pro team – basketball is the obvious sport. Louisville needs a pro team downtown.

    The pro team would play in Freedom Hall for the first couple of years, then the downtown hotels and merchants would begin to clamor for having the games in the Dum! Center. If the team is successful – and I believe it would be – within five years the pro team would have the option of choosing where they want to play. Who knows, they might even want to move to Lexington….

  50. slicky ricky
    10:45 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    best names for team:
    the Louisville Mistake erasers
    the louisville 15second speedsters
    the Louisville Schma-schmortions
    the Louisville sypher’s loose snatches
    the louisville crabs
    the louisville karen’s camel toes

  51. Matt
    10:49 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Kentucky Kings will be great for this city and state…Kings for King Louis…When you mix blue and red you get Purple… and Big Cuz= Perfect Fit

  52. SanDiegoDave
    10:50 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Louisville Moose Knuckles

  53. Wow
    11:09 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Louisville could support a pro team and should get something of that nature. We have been passed up by cinch for god sake if they can support pro teams we could. The difference is Louisville and the state of Kentucky have always had incompetent people running our government. All the people saying louiville could never bring an NBA team here or never would ha I guess you people are on the board of this or speak to j Bruce personally. You think the people of louisvile would hire such a person like this if they didn’t think they could do it? Get real Louisville needs to become a big time city like all the other ones that have passed us up. Other people outside the state will come to games and invest in a team like that. It’s not just people in the city of louisville that have their hand in the financial aspect. Let’s Do It!!! Beat Vandy!!’

  54. Patrick
    11:17 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    The Kings and more importantly the Maloofs are not gonna move the Kings anywhere east of Las Vegas. If the Kings move it will be to Vegas. The Hornets, Raptors, or Bucks would be more likely to move than the Kings, plus as others have already said there is a zero percent chance that an NBA team will move to a renovated Freedom Hall when a state of the art arena is down town. And if foreign investors are interested in an NBA team wouldn’t they be just as interested in building a new Arena in Vegas or Seattle or KC were there is a ready made fanbase without competing against college programs for popularity and dollars. It would make more sense to build a new facility in Florence and attract the Cincinnati area as well as the Louisville and Lexington crowds. This Lawyer is just keeping his employers on the hook for an easy payday that produces nothing.

  55. MemphisCatFan
    11:30 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    #44. I agree (your Memphis example caught my eye). I think an NBA team would do fantastic in Louisville. As a native Memphian (currently living in Lex), I will say there are some things to be wary of in regards to public opinion, revenue, etc.
    The citizens of Louisville and the surrounding area will have to accept up front a massive investment into the team, whether they like it or not. Depsite what you may think, Memphis has overwhelming fan support in the city, but that took a few years as the initial investment to the taxpayer was astronomical to have the team even consider the move. No NBA team will even consider the notion unless they know the city is footing the bill from top to bottom the first 3-5 years. The one thing Louisville has going for it (and, believe me this is a MAJOR INCENTIVE) is the existence of the Chicken Bucket.
    I know the taxpayers are in for the Chicken Bucket already, but a NBA team will look at that as one less major risk involved if they choose to relocate.
    For Memphis, the biggest hurdle was the FedEx Forum (which by the way is really nice).
    I also agree with your comment on begin able to sell out, or at least make the attendance factor a less invasive issue to the team’s overall investment. Like you said about surrounding teams and something a lot of people debating the issue don’t know. The majority of the fans you see in an arena for a NBA team (the ones sitting mid to upper level) are, in fact, your lower middle to upper middle class taxpayers with season tickets year in and year out.
    Yes, for TV sake, a team wants to have those seats filled and that is why they are relatively reasonable to afford. This is because the bread and butter are in the suites and other higher dollar areas. For example, Memphis doesn’t even need to worry that much (beyond TV exposure) the filling of mid to upper level seats. Fed Ex Forum is loaded with 3 different types of luxury suite options, 2 full size restaurants and bars that enconmpass space between the mid and upper level seating, etc. (Next time you have a chance to see a Grizz home game on TV…god luck by the way, notice how FedExForum is desinged, specifically the areas directly above the mid level seating on each side of the court…it is genius). I haven’t been to the Chicken Bucket, but I think anyone trying to build an arena should definitely model after FedEx Forum –> (Are you listening J. Gray, Barnhart, Cal, wtc.?)
    The other less well known factor that people do not think about and would have to accept is a seriously massive increase in consumer prices for downtown and surrounding areas in regards to commerce and living areas, etc. Truth be told, I lived in downtown Memphis for most of my teenage to adult life and when the Grizz moved in, the lease rate on the condo I had downtown went from $1050 a month to $2400 + a month as soon as the first Grizz player expressed interest in leasing a condo in my building (my condo was 2 blocks from FedEx Forum).
    Sorry, I am loquacious. But, more or less my point is that although the hardest hits lie within the smaller, unoticeable things like cost of living, consumer prices, etc., the long term investment for a NBA team in Louisville would be a god send for local and state revenue.

  56. Kanter Banter
    11:35 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I think a NBA team in Louisville would be great. However, the revamp of Freedom Hall blows me away. The YUM Ctr is supposed to be the worlds best venue yet its only for UL. Sounds like wasteful money being spent. As long as no tax dollars is used go ahead but I have a feeling that the City and the State will be kicking in a lot and that pisses me off. I hope the city and state govt do not make big concessions to bring a team in…if the owners can’t support it then screw’em!

  57. Big Blue 66
    11:52 am February 11, 2011 Permalink

    no way they will play at freedom hall, they are trying to not piss off Ricky baby before they have the deal. Yum is not going to spend what it spends on naming the new arena and not have it be the dual home of both UL and an NBA team. The freedom hall thing is a smoke screen, if they come, they will be in Yum.

  58. BigBlueBubba
    12:09 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    No wonder Kentucky gets talked about negatively. An NBA team locating in Kentucky would benefit Kentucky as a whole in multiple ways. Yet the only thing some of the backward hillbilly’s in the state can say is that Kentucky can only support college basketball. Did you ever think that you can support more than one team? Get a clue!

  59. Brian
    12:17 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I would love to see an NBA team in Louisville and I think it would be great for the city BUT I think it is a horrible idea to waste any money updating Freedom Hall. Take whatever money you would waste on Freedom Hall and cut a deal with UofL. The experience as a whole would need to be enjoyable for and NBA franchise to be successful in Louisville. Going to the fairgrounds on a Tuesday night, in a part of town that is not attractive and only has a Burger King and a couple other crappy places to eat, IS NOT A GOOD EXPERIENCE.

  60. BlueFins
    12:19 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Pro team playing in Freedom hall, is that the the same paragraph of the contract that states UK will, basically, never play a game in Yum Center. Does the Turtleneck also forbid a pro team from playing there? That megalomaniac and his crony coach would fight til the death to keep a Pro team out of Louisville. Does the Turtleneck even have enough dates to pay for the bucket?

  61. Jerimy
    12:21 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I would LOVE this, I’ve dreamed about it for 10 years or so, I think it would be an amazing idea. I think the folks in kentucky would adore this. I just don’t want to get too hyped about it until it’s more solid.

    The freedom hall “update” would be sort of silly, cut a deal to play at the Yum! center, and you would pull in tons and tons of folks. I would actually drive up (100 miles or so away) to see some nba basketball.

  62. Realist
    12:33 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Yea, an NBA team like Sacramento is going to leave their facilities, which are extremely similar to Freedom Hall, and move into a 50 year old building that seats about 2000 more fans than their current arena. Keep dreaming UofL, there is no way the city is going to allow a second rate basketball program, that is on the decline, to occupy an NBA style arena when they have the chance to attract an NBA team with said arena. Louisville has been talking about getting an NBA team for years, way before the Yum! center was even conceived. That arena was built to bring an NBA team to Louisville and the filthy cards will be back in a renovated freedom hall if a team decides to come here.

  63. Realist2
    12:58 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    Actually, the contract with UofL gives them priority. It is a “contract” so they will not be going back to FH. However, UofL would likely renegotiate to include a NBA team. Remember, today UofL gets $ from other events in YUM, so it would need to be re-written to give the NBA team $ from their events.

  64. 2020
    1:42 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    UL pimped the new football expansion and YUM to extract a horde of cash from its season ticket base… one reason so many of them were willing to sell their seats for good $$ to UK fans.

    UL will fight this tooth and nail because they aren’t cost competitive vs. an NBA team. $800 for upper decks seats to see Coppin State and DePaul, vs $300 for upper decks in Indianapolis to see the Heat, Celtics and Lakers.

  65. jim
    1:49 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    kfc yum is owned by louisville cardnials,,,not city,,so they make calls if they dont want nba team in arena is simple they dont

  66. bigbluecats350
    2:32 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    a lot of people are probably 99% correct when they assume it would be hard for your everyday working class fan to support a college team and a pro team. something that all these big citys have that louisville doesnt ( like L.A., new york, boston, etc.) is they have a lot of high paid actors and “entertainment” stars that go and can afford to support those teams. dont get me wrong. there are plenty of rich people in kentucky. but how many are going to immediately invest their time, hearts/passion and money in an un-established team. it would take more than a couple of former uk/ul players to get that support. if it works out then great. but if it doesnt, its going to be the tax payers, not the millionaire investors that take the hit

  67. Eli
    2:47 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    I picture Stern patting him on the back.

    “Sure, sure. We’ll DEFINITELY consider it.”
    “Surrrreeeee.” *leaves*
    “Thanks, Stern! You’ve made my new year!”
    *under breath* “Asshole.”

  68. louisville
    2:47 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    HATERS!!!! You guys need somethimg better to do with your lives… pathetic. Get off Louisville’s balls DAMN!

  69. louisville
    2:49 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    The YUM belongs to LOUISVILLE and thats the bottom line. I know yaw hate it but who the f cares what skank ass Kensucky thinks GET OVER IT!

  70. louisville
    2:55 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    62 we will see. Louisville owns the YUM and its our home INDEFINATELY. You dont know jack shit worry about that roach motel you call RAPE ARENA where yaw cheat often to win

  71. Realist
    3:45 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    69. You are actually completely wrong (which is not surprising for a UofL fan). The Yum! center is not owned by UofL, they simply are the “main tenants” with a contract (which can easily be terminated). The thing is, the KY State Fair Board runs the Yum! center and Freedom Hall. The “Louisville Arena Authority” deals with all the payments and financing for it and the city owns the arena. It would be very simple for the city/state to eliminate UofL’s contract in the Yum! center and move them to a renovated Freedom Hall. UofL didn’t even get to pick where the arena was placed! Tommy turtle-neck and Rick Pitino wanted it on campus and it was built downtown, shows how much UofL “owns” the arena.

  72. Geaux Cats
    4:21 pm February 11, 2011 Permalink

    NBA team to Louisville? Yawn….who cares? Just what Loserville needs is more whiney ass basketball players

  73. Japrick
    7:10 am February 12, 2011 Permalink

    If Louisville OWNS it, why did they give it that awful name? It’s not paid for yet