Louisville is not capable of supporting an NBA team
, according to a PriceWaterhouseCooper report addressing the potential viability of a Louisville-based NBA franchise. Why? A lack of corporate support. The report, which explores Louisville's strengths and weaknesses as a potential NBA city, says that a lack of corporate depth could be the city's Achilles' Heel
, as there are only around 10 publicly traded companies large enough to buy enough suites and boxes (by comparison, InsiderLouisville.com points out that nearby Cincinnati has 25 corporations that size):
"Limited corporate base — a local NBA team would likely need a disproportionately higher level of support per company given the relative lack of corporate depth available in the Louisville market. Feedback from a sample of the corporate market, however, suggests that despite a common desire for a NBA team to serve as a catalyst for community development, there is a general lack of available support for a NBA team, including those local companies who have demonstrated a propensity for such investments; current private suite and premium box holders at the KFC Yum! Center."
Not helping matters is the UofL's situation with the Yum Center. Because the program has a stronghold over the Yum Center lease, corporate sponsorships would be split between the NBA team and Louisville athletics:
"A NBA franchise in Louisville would likely shift existing corporate funds rather than expand the base of support available within the community for sport and entertainment in at least the short-term."
It isn't all bad news. PriceWaterhouseCooper also mentions Louisville's strengths as a potential NBA city: a modern arena, a well-established basketball fan base, above average support of existing sport and entertainment in the market, the absence of other major professional sports, and the availability of a proximate resident base available outside the immediate market.
While many argue that an NBA team would bring more corporations to Louisville, right now, the city doesn't have a corporate base capable of supporting the team, which may prevent it from ever happening.
[PriceWaterhouseCooper report: NBA would likely take support from U of L in a market lacking sufficient corporate depth]