Canada could support the Toronto Raptors and a second franchise

Toronto Raptors: We the North (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors: We the North (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors: We the North (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Where a new team should be established

Finding the right spot for a new team would require an incredibly extensive search. It would also mean maintaining a balance between the Eastern and Western Conference. Canadian cities should be in the running.

Vancouver would likely be the first city explored in a search. The city has a growing population of nearly 2.5 million residents. Their biggest setback to getting another team would be their history in the NBA. Losing the Grizzlies only leads to questions that might be difficult to answer. Has an interest in basketball grown enough in Vancouver for a losing team’s accounting to end the year in the black? If the answer is “no” then the search must continue.

Quebec City has recently been trying to establish itself as a viable market for a pro sports franchise. They were pursuing an NHL expansion franchise. After a failed attempt, the city and ownership group could change directions and goes after an NBA club.

Quebec City would probably be the most non-traditional market in the league, but Quebecor Inc., led by President and CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau, might be interested in making basketball the new craze there. That ownership group, who were unable to secure an NHL team, manage a venue that can seat up to 20,000 spectators, The Videotron Centre.

The difficult part of establishing a team in Quebec City would be creating a culture around the sport. There are also under a million residents, which is why it may be best to look elsewhere in the province.

Montreal may be a more viable option thanks to its size. Known as a hockey enthused city, the fans are nothing if not loyal and passionate. There are over 3.5 million residents in Montreal, making it the second-largest population in Canada. That also means that there should be enough support on the island to ensure an NBA team is profitable.

In contrast to Memphis, which has an approximate population of just over 650,000 people, Montreal would be a much larger market with no shortage of wealthy people who could help spearhead a bid to get an NBA team.

One of the better landing spots for an expansion team in America would be Seattle. The city has been booming economically and has incredible growth over the last decade. After the city lost its basketball team, the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City, they have been primed to support a pro sports team. That’s why the NHL chose to lay down new roots there.

Seattle could be disqualified for the same reason a team in Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg may be passed over. The NBA may feel as though competing with the NHL for the aforementioned cities residents’ entertainment dollars could lead financial losses instead of gains. However if a team was given to Seattle, it would be a member of the Western Conference. That expansion would certainly be accompanied by a team being added to the Eastern Conference.

In the east, Montreal might be the perfect spot for a new team. However, there might also be potential for space in an already established NBA market. Another team in Toronto would not just balance the league, but also create an instant rival for the Raps.