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New hope for an NBA team in Louisville?

Could Louisville be trying to lure an NBA team again? During the recent Metro Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer told the crowd that if Louisville had the opportunity to land an NBA team, he would “pursue it with full force.” Our old pal Thomas Beisner reported on the luncheon, in which Fischer said that he has met with the mayors of Oklahoma City, New Orleans, and Sacramento and informed him of his intentions to go after an NBA franchise: “They (NBA teams) don’t come available every day. So we need to be in a position to be ready if we take that leap.”

The timing makes sense. The Yum! Center is struggling financially, with the city eager to renegotiate the University of Louisville’s lease agreement in hopes of creating more availability for non-UofL events to generate revenue. Fischer admits that he hasn’t been approached by any NBA teams directly to discuss relocation to Louisville, but that “we are having conversations about possibilities so we are in a position to play when we want to play.” In other words, look for Fischer to make every effort to renegotiate the lease agreement with UofL in order to make Louisville and the Yum! Center as appealing as possible.

The Kentucky Hornets: too much to dream for?

[cn|2: Fischer Says Louisville Will Pursue Pro Sports Opportunites With “Full Force”]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

42 Comments for New hope for an NBA team in Louisville?

  1. blitzedanddazed
    2:08 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Tommy Turtleneck and Ricky Three Stacks would never let an NBA team in this city. They would let Louisville go into default before they would
    let a NBA team locate in Louisville. Fischer must be riding the Pineapple Express.

  2. Cats
    2:08 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky Hornets? I know AD back home would be nice, but what about OKC, almost a fuaranteed ship in the next five years. However, i thought OKC did well financially. I wonder why he spoke with them. Maybe just to see how a smaller market competes large rmarkets in getting a team.

  3. Bring the NBA to Louisville
    2:11 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    To learn more about the NBA and Louisville, Kentucky… be sure to ‘Like’ our Facebook page at


  4. Computer Blue
    2:14 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I got no problem with UofL getting a new arena to play in, but they were stupid to give them such a sweet deal. How much did UofL kick in?

  5. Big Blue 66
    2:16 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    good luck with that one. New Orleans is not moving with Benson buying it, OKC has the best small market fan base, forget that, Sacramento has straightened out its arena prob. Kansas City did the same thing Louisville did and tried the “build it and they will come” philosophy. Having said that, theres a better chance with the new company managing the Yum center, they dont give a rats a*s who Jurich or Pitino is and they will break the current deal with UL.

  6. Rhinepopper D. Butterwinks
    2:21 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky Hornets? No way will the city of Louisville & that bunch of loons running the place allow “Kentucky” to be any part of the name. They’ve never seen themselves as part of this state at any time in the last 50 years. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me, I’d just as soon see the whole city slide right into the Ohio River & vanish forever.

  7. T Jurich
    2:24 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I will allow this to happen, so long as the team is named Kentucky Turtlenecks.

  8. SteveM
    2:31 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Why would anyone take from this article that Louisville has any prospects for landing an NBA team? Fischer has not been in touch with any NBA team, only a few mayors from a conference. This is a non-story.

  9. Bicycle Seat Sniffer
    2:32 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I want to hear Matt tell the story about how Beisner screwed him over. I know it happened because neither of them follow each other on Twitter anymore and Beisner was removed from the top of the page after Matt “left” KSTV. Shed some light on the break-up, Matt.

  10. tyrus
    2:34 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    It would be a bigger mistake than the Miami Marlins. Even with the Marlins new stadium, the team ranks 18th out of 30 in attendance this year. I don’t think all or two thirds of college basketball fans are NBA fans as well. An NBA team will add very little to the local and regional economy of the Louisville area. Just go to any restaurant or bar in downtown Indianapolis and the workers will all tell you the same thing. There’s little to zero increase in business during home NBA games. I don’t see how Louisville will be any different than Miami or Indianapolis.

  11. RD
    2:38 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I live here in Louisville and have no desire to see an NBA team come here. I won’t go to the games unless someone has free tickets. Just don’t get into pro bball that much. Ticket prices would be off the chart.

  12. bill
    2:39 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Tommy Turtleneck and the dirty birds will stop this from happening any way they can. If an NBA team comes to Louisville that means UofL stops getting corporate sponsors. And the 5 louisville fans in the city will hate it when they become even more irrelevant in the basketball world in KY

  13. Ew
    2:41 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    9 there is probably a story but I’d say Beisner was removed from the top of this page because he no longer writes for this site. Idk about Twitter but makes sense as to why his pic isn’t on this page anymore.

  14. Hartline
    2:42 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Comments above are correct. There is no way they would allow the NBA team to say Kentucky in its name. Louisvillians think they are ten times better than everyone else in the state.

  15. jill
    2:43 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    #12…..LOL…#3 team in attendance has 5 fans…is it your hatred or ignorance?

  16. Jimmy
    2:46 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    #14 because we are

  17. Doug Johnson
    2:46 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Rhinepopper, do you know your history? Ever hear of the Kentucky Colonels? The fact is, if they had gone into the NBA, UK and UofL fans would do the same useless bickering that we always do, then the conversation would turn to the Colonels, and everyone would be in agreement. If you look at old videos of early UK games in Rupp, you will see the outline of a 3 point line. You will also see the red circle at mid court. They were there because the Colonels planned on playing some games at Rupp.

  18. UKBlue
    2:47 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    This is one thing about Louisville & KY in general that separates it from other places: we like to double & triple down on bad ideas. If Louisville tries to get or gets an NBA team, it will turn into a total financial disaster. The people thing UL prices are expensive, just wait until they see NBA ticket prices. People sure don’t have the money to support both an NBA team & UL, and UL is at least smart enough to know this hence the reason why they have fault an NBA team. People in Louisville & the surrounding area of Louisville can’t afford an NBA team. We can’t keep KY Kingdom open, the Yum Center is eventually going to have to file bankruptcy, and 4th Street Live is only still open because the city is using tax dollars to keep open a bad idea black hole.

    World is, if UL President Ramsey doesn’t go along with redoing the Yum Center contract, Gov Beshear will kick Ramsey out.

  19. blueaville
    2:53 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    an NBA team here in Lville would be cool however I think that the city would support a MLB team better than an NBA team. Prices are cheaper, Bats already outdraw a few MLB teams (or at least did last couple years before they sucked) and Lville has a huge baseball history.

    MLB would be my choice…maybe some money men could buy the Rays who avg like 13,000/game and bring them to Lville.

  20. Musehobo
    2:53 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I’m a fan of Ms. Tyler’s writing, but the title of this is misleading. The title should have been “Louisville Still Wants an NBA Team” That title probably garners hits though…so…good job?

  21. Jajshd
    2:58 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    There are more UK fans that live in Louisville than any place in the world, so watch your mouths.

  22. Bring the NBA to Louisville
    3:00 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    We need more positive support on this topic. I can tell you I was in the room when the Mayor spoke and when he asked for a vote the group (mostly made up of UofL fans) voted 8-1 in favor. As regards ticket prices, there are at least 6 NBA teams who sell seats for $13.50 or less per game. Feel free to check out the video at from the luncheon. The question is asked around the 28:38 mark and the Mayor’s support in favor of this cause is provided from the 31:20 – 33:55 mark.

  23. JLivermore
    3:04 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    It’s ashame Louisville wasn’t able to come up with the final $100,000 they needed to merge the Colonels into the NBA. The $1,000,000 price tag required back then would have been a bargain, and they already had a very talented and competitive team in place. I’m afraid if they did this now, they would severely overpay for a lousy team only to see the franchise be lured away by some other greater fool down the road. It only makes sense if you have a local, fully commited billionaire owner looking for a hobby.

  24. egdgsw7
    3:06 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    We have the dumbest fans in the world. How on earth would a NBA team coming to Louisville be a bad thing? What would it cost us? None of you clowns talking about ticket prices have a clue of how much an NBA ticket costs. If you have regular seats it’s cheaper to go to an NBA than a UK game at Rupp or a UL game at the Yum Center. Please stop talking out of your asses about shit you know nothing about.

  25. Yeah Okay
    3:08 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    16 you forgot to finish your sentence so I’ll do it for you. because we are ignorant. you’re welcome.

  26. Sarcasm
    3:10 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    hey 15 have you ever heard of me? No? Oh well that’s okay, you probably wouldn’t understand me anyway.

  27. tyrus
    3:14 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I think egdgsw7 has anointed himself as the expert. All hail the expert.

  28. Swoony
    3:21 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I was under the impression that the Kings were still in the market to move….just looking for a new home. The rich owners are already there.

  29. Real UK Fan
    3:26 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    UL will do everything it can to keep an NBA team from coming to louisville. For that matter, why would an NBA team want to come to louisville? Just don’t see it happening.

  30. steve
    3:43 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    29. Same reason the bobcats hired the former OKC assitant GM, lots of small market teams see money in the OKC model. There is no reason OKC can have a successfull team and KY can’t have a decent one. KY is larger than OKC

  31. U of L Fan
    3:45 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    As to the Kings, their deadbeat owners screwed the deal on a new arena because they want to move to Anaheim. In the process they po’d Stern and the other owners so badly that there is no way that they are allowed to move for at least a few years. If they get new ownership, preference will be given to an owner that keeps the team in Sacramento. So, cross the Kings off the list of available teams.

    Charlotte and OKC are also staying put, Charlotte because the NBA put another team there for payback; OKC because the team is successful.

    Milwaukee, however, has unresolved arena issues and could be on the move, but, Seattle (if they manage to get their arena project going) would have first dibs.

  32. SoCal Will
    4:03 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    The City should think bigger and grab the Oakland Raiders who will move for a sweetheart stadium deal…..

  33. tim clark
    5:34 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    local ownership is key, the bats draw do to a fair price and locally owner. remember when the riverfrogs were in town. the ownership wished to concentrate on their baseball team moving into a new stadium and sold it to an out of state owner. it didn’t last long, also with hopes of louisville landing a nhl team. if we get an nba team nice, but the millions the city has wasted on all the studies etc. could had been used for many things, such as parks,police,garbage pick up. the mayor as of now is full of slogans and just jumps on a wagon every now and then, i would hope while speaking to the mayors the talk would have more substance than basketball.

  34. Jimmy
    5:38 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    How would LOSERVILLE suport a NBA team when the only time the sell out their DUMP arena is when they play UK? Look it up uavel didnt have over 20,000 at a one single game last season

  35. Head Bussa
    6:16 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Our state is crazy for some hoops. UK and U of L fans both would be attracted to an NBA team and I think if it can work in Oklahoma City (of all places) it can certainly work here in Louisville. It would be a risk but no huge investment comes without some degree of risk. As a Louisvillian for life, I would certainly be behind an NBA team and would buy season tickets as soon as possible. I’ve often thought about how awesome it would be to have an NBA team that people in our city and surrounding areas could all come together to support. I think it would energize this town in ways that it really needs.

  36. Formerly section 136
    7:13 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone really think this guy is serious about getting an NBA team? He sees the writing on the wall and wants to break the horrendous lease with the dirty birds. This is just an empty threat to be used as leverage. I smell an epic collision on the horizon between the Louisville Pols who fear voter retribution and Turtleneck who would rather see his own city go bankrupt rather than relinquish one red cent. ‘Scuse me while I grab some popcorn.

  37. jill
    8:07 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Rank School G Attendance Average
    1. Kentucky 18 426,978 23,721
    2. Syracuse 19 448,736 23,618
    3. Louisville 20 430,052 21,503
    Do the math….if you can. Also, you may like this too:
    The NCAA released its attendance figures for the 2011-12 basketball season on Thursday, and the numbers show that no basketball fans in the country saw more home action this year than Louisville’s.

    In combined average men’s and women’s attendance, U of L overtook Kentucky and Tennessee for the top spot:

    1) Louisville 32,173 (21,503 + 10,670)
    2) Tennessee 30,597 (16,543 + 14,414)
    3) Kentucky 30,003 (23,721 + 6,282)

  38. shelbyjoe
    8:36 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I would SO buy season tix to an NBA team’s games in Louisville. Just to see all the former UK players.

  39. putinrichie
    8:53 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I want a team, but I could care less what it is called. UK fans that say they wouldn’t support a team named after Louisville or UL fans that say they wouldn’t support a team named Kentucky are both completely childish groups of people. I would rather have a team than not have one and I could see logical arguments for calling it either one.

  40. Fred
    12:06 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    No one in the rest of the country respect nor want an NBA team in the crappy city of Louisville…that would not help the league or raise more TV money since it’s a joke of a TV market. The end…please shutup about this topic and move to a real city if you want a team.

  41. Fred
    12:06 am July 31, 2012 Permalink


  42. Paul
    9:18 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    #11 you had better look at what the average cost of tickets to a UL game including the donation..Somewhere about 300 per game…

    Ooh and yes there will be an NBA team here within the next 3 years…Guaranteed