What Are the Chances for an NBA Team in St. Louis?

General overall view of a Nike basketball on the court during an NCAA basketball  game.
Photo credit (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- Billionaire Richard Chaifetz thinks St. Louis is NBA material.

That's what he tells the Business Journal in an interview posted this morning.

"I'd love to be involved with a team in St. Louis in the NBA. It'd be great for the city," Chaifetz said.

KMOX's Michael Calhoun talks with Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at Washington University. Listen:

Some highlights:
  • Is there a team for sale?  Rishe says "probably one of the weakest performing markets would be Memphis, but do I see a transaction where he's buying the Grizzlies and moving them to St. Louis? No, I really don't."
  • So what cities does he look to for either relocation or expansion?  Las Vegas, which just added two sports and has a new arena, and Seattle, which is renovating its arena and has a more recent legacy with professional basketball.
  • Rishe adds that St. Louis, as about the 20th ranked media market, is pretty full with baseball, hockey, potentially Major League Soccer, and the XFL.
  • He thinks the NBA's "G League," or developmental level, is more appropriate for St. Louis. He notes that the size of G-League crowds would be a perfect fit for Chaifetz Arena.

With the Business Journal, Chaifetz reaffirms his earlier tweet that "St. Louis would be a great city for an NBA team."