Louisville is a basketball town. There is no question about it. On top of that, Louisville is it’s own cultural island in a basketball state. So why is there so much negativity among basketball fans when an NBA team is brought up? I’ve heard all of the arguments:
1. It’s gonna hurt UofL.
2. Louisvillians can’t afford to be at games/Nobody will go to games.
3. This is a college sports town
4. Small market teams don’t make it.
5. College and pro teams can’t be in the same stadium.
All of these arguments are bogus and so my partner in crime, Josh Bolus, and I have made it our mission to show you why. Hopefully in addition to proving the naysayers wrong, we can bring a more positive aura to the entire discussion. Josh has already addressed the first argument. If you haven’t read it yet, it comes highly recommended by both of us. Heres the link – http://intelligentevolution.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/the-university-of-louisville-and-the-nba-can-co-exist/
Now I am here to say an NBA team will pack the YUM! Center 30 out of 41 games a year.
The biggest thing that these Negative Nancy’s forget when they say nobody will go to games is that our NBA team won’t only be supported by fans of U of L or even the city of Louisville. NBA fans travel. This coming year I am going to a game in Indianapolis, Cleveland, New Orleans, and New York. I’m not the only one doing it either. An NBA team in Louisville will have rabid basketball fans coming from all over the state, as well as Cincinnati, Nashville, and Southern Indiana. The drive from Cincy to Louisville is much better than the drive to Indianapolis.
You may ask, what about an NBA team would cause people to travel to see them play? Mostly it will be star power. Even if our team is on par with the Charlotte Bobcats, that doesn’t mean that Lebron, Wade, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Melo, Stoudemire, Lin, and a slew of other superstars won’t be coming through on a week to week basis. Why else would I want to go to a Cleveland game? I’m gonna check out the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and then watch some “better” team beat the dog-shit out of the Cavs.
The other factor forgotten by many is that our team is going to be supported by two major sports towns. According to a study by Scarborough Sports Marketing ranking the top cities in America for avid fans of all sports (not just college basketball), Louisville is tied for fourth place with 62% of its adult citizens very interested in college and professional sports. Lexington is tied for sixth at 60%. In ALL OF AMERICA! Both Louisville and Lexington are in front of major sports cities like Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, and OKC. Louisville itself is ahead of Indianapolis. With Lexington only being an hour away, those two cities alone would be enough to support an NBA team for years to come.
Still not convinced?
Nobody would question Louisville or Lexington’s never-ending love for current and former players. Here’s a list of all the players that would be coming back through town and maybe even one day calling Louisville home:
Considering the fact that some of these guys are absolute highlight factories (Rajon Rondo, Eric Bledsoe), and that there is no end in sight to how many more are coming in, one would have to believe that tons of these so-called “college” fans will be making it to the Bucket in waves. That’s not enough? Imagine if we get the Sacramento Kings. Demarcus Cousins, Chuck Hayes, Francisco Garcia, and T-Will would be playing in Louisville on a weekly basis.
Last but not least an NBA team would give us two more months (best case scenario) of fantastic basketball. Do you want to know what it would look like if Louisville hosted an NBA playoff game? Watch an Oklahoma City Thunder home game and look at the crowd. If we, as a city and state, claim to love basketball as much as we say then who wouldn’t be happy to have more? Especially more of the top players in the world.
If you would like to tell me why you don’t want to see more basketball in our great city, email me at [email protected]. The best replies will be answered.