Could Phoenix Suns’ arena dispute lead to an NBA Seattle return?
The Phoenix Suns are playing in an 26-year-old arena and asking for a more modern home to play their games in. Seattle has been without an NBA franchise for 10 years and will have a new arena at Seattle Center open for business in 2021.
You can probably figure out where this is going.
— Laurie Roberts (@LaurieRoberts) December 12, 2018
As was case before with the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings, an arena dispute has reportedly led an NBA team owner to bring up the possibility of moving to Seattle to help persuade their home city to update their digs.
Per Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic, Suns owner Robert Sarver is reportedly telling members of the Phoenix City Council that he will move the team to Seattle or Las Vegas if its current home in downtown Phoenix, Talking Stick Resort Arena (previously known as America West Arena and US Airways Center), doesn’t get a $230 million upgrade. Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams and two council members are asking for a continuance on a vote for that renovation because the belief is that it wouldn’t pass if it did go to a vote now.
Seattle is already preparing for two new pro sports teams after being granted an expansion NHL team to begin in the 2021-22 season last Tuesday, then the next day was announced as one of eight cities that will have a team in the XFL football league’s relaunch in 2020. Now there’s a chance that the Suns, the team that was the Sonics’ chief Pacific Division rival in the early- and mid-1990s, could bring the NBA back to town.
The Suns aren’t the only former rival team rumored at the moment to be a possibility to call Seattle home soon. The NFL’s Raiders have a stadium dispute of their own in Oakland and may need a stopgap before moving Las Vegas in 2020, and Seattle could be an option, even if it is a longshot.
High ranking Raiders official said today there is “no way” the team plays in Oakland in the 2019 season after the city filed suit today. Source said there are 5 or 6 cities the team will consider, including some that already have NFL teams.
— Jason Cole (@JasonCole62) December 12, 2018