Tue December 18, 2012
WFPL Discusses: Should Louisville Try to Land an NBA Team?
Louisville Metro Councilman David Tandy says he’s open to the idea of luring a National Basketball Association team to town.
Tandy was among the guests who spoke on a WFPL news special today on the subject.
The 4th District councilman says he believes an NBA team could co-exist with the University of Louisville basketball teams in the KFC Yum Center, where U of L is now the primary tenant. He says city officials should do everything they can to maximize the financially-plagued arena’s economic potential and raise Louisville’s profile.
"I believe that having a presence on the national or international stage that pro sports provide you would greatly benefit the city of Louisville. It’s no different than the way than an athletic program on a university campus helps promote that particular university," Tandy said.
But many University of Louisville supporters argue that sharing the arena with pro team would betoo disruptive, and violate the terms of the university’s 30-year contract with the arena authority.
Elizabeth Post of the Boxcar PR firm says it wouldn’t be feasible for U of L and a pro team to share the arena. A study facilitated by Boxcar concluded that the cost of bringing an NBA team to town and the Yum Center would outweigh the benefits.
"I think realistically, sharing the space is not going to work. I don’t think it’s going to work from U of L’s perspective or for an NBA owner that wants the absolute best for his team or his organization," Post said.
Tandy and Post were joined on the news special by Louisville attorney J. Bruce Miller, who's been active in trying to bring an NBA team to town, and Louisville businessman Tyler Allen, who supports the idea.