COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 7: An exterior view of Nationwide Arena before the home opener between the Nashville Predators and the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on October 7, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Columbus mayor Michael Coleman has sent a letter to David Stern informing him of the cities interest in getting an NBA team in the future.
The state of Ohio has plenty of basketball to go around. At the NBA level, there's the young and growing Cleveland Cavaliers, who should have even more young stars on the team come this time next season as they push for playoff contention, the Lebron James era far past them. Going down to the College Ranks, there's the ever present dominance of Ohio State basketball along with a slew of other great stories to be had yearly like Cincinnati, Ohio and others.
All that is not enough for Columbus mayor Michael Coleman. He has reportedly sent a letter to NBA commissioner David Stern informing the league of the cities interest in getting their own NBA team to pair with the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena in the future if the league were to expand or a team were to move.
In his letter to the NBA, which The Dispatch obtained through a public-records request, Coleman makes a case for the city by saying the arena is "on sound financial footing" and that Columbus has a growing population, the lowest unemployment rate in the state and is home to 15 Fortune 1,000 and five Fortune 500 companies.
He ends the two-page letter with: "Columbus has demonstrated it has the fan and corporate support to make an NBA franchise successful. I hope to continue to engage you and your office about bringing an NBA team to Columbus, and I look forward to our continued dialogue."
Since Stern has said that the league has no plans to expand, the best chance for a team to come to Columbus would be if the Sacramento Kings move away from California, a distinct possibility in the near future.
One big blow to their chances might be the attendances of their other teams in the city showing a lack of enthusiasm. The Blue Jackets have not had great attendance historically and it's only gotten worse as the team has dwindled in the standings the past several years after their lone playoff appearance, and the Columbus Crew soccer team have gone up and down in attendance as the team has gotten better and worse, bottoming out at a mediocre 12,185 average last season despite decent results.
If they inherited a mediocre team like the Kings, it's hard to say that past some initial interest they would be able to hold a good draw for fans especially with the Cavs looking like they have a bright future ahead of them.
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