NBA officials were in attendance for the recent Gonzaga-Alabama game at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, and many insiders think it was for purposes other than to just take in a college basketball game, per John Hollinger of The Athletic.
Those from the NBA who visited came away thinking that Climate Pledge Arena is ready to host pro basketball, Hollinger added.
The Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder in 2008, leaving behind one of the league’s most fervent fan bases and lots of history, including a championship in 1979.
Those in the NBA believe that if and when the league expands, the Sonics will return. It appears now that the NBA believes Seattle’s arena is ready — which was a problem before.
“There are several groups interested in bringing a team back to Seattle, and the expectation is that club would retain the Sonics moniker,” RealGM wrote.
It’s hard to say what may inspire the NBA to expand. The league currently has several franchises that are losing gobs of money.
Then again, the Sonics were always a hit, so bringing them back may serve the league well from a financial (and great p.r.) standpoint.
If the NBA did add Seattle, most around the league believe it would add another city at the same time, to keep the league from fielding an uneven number of franchises.
Seattle currently has pro football (Seahawks), baseball (Mariners) and hockey (Kraken). Pro basketball was loved as much as any of them, so the NBA would serve itself well to bring back the Sonics sooner rather than later.
“Formerly known as Key Arena, Climate Pledge Arena underwent a massive refurbishment. Part of those efforts were to get the building ready to host the expansion Seattle Kraken of the NHL.” RealGM noted. “The construction added more seats, upgraded the concourses and brought the building up to standards for the current time.”