Will KC ever get an NBA or NHL team?

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Tony asks an interesting question.

As a fan of Kansas City sports, I’ve always wanted the city to add more sports teams. I’d love to go to the Sprint Center and watch a Kansas City basketball team get crushed by LeBron.

But will this dream ever be a reality? There are many factors involved.


No matter what sport it is, the most important factor in where teams choose to play is the stadium or arena.

You know why the Rams move from the second largest market to a smaller Midwestern one in the 1990’s? Because St. Louis built a new stadium, and Los Angeles wouldn’t. You know why they moved back? Kroenke figured out a way to make a private stadium work in Los Angeles and St. Louis’s new stadium proposal was tied up in the courts.

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Luckily for Kansas City we have an arena ready for a team to move, having built the Sprint Center just 12 years ago. This alone will put Kansas City near the top of any relocation or expansion list for the NBA or NHL.

Entertainment Dollars

An arena is the most important factor, but it’s not enough by itself. The owner has to believe that there are enough entertainment dollars to go around to support them.

In a city like New York or Los Angeles this is no problem. They have a virtually unlimited amount of entertainment dollars to go around. But in a smaller city like Kansas City it’s a much bigger concern.

If you including Sporting Kansas City, the city has 3 major professional sports teams, a pretty large number for a city our size. That’s more than St. Louis, which is bigger, who only has 2 now that the Rams left.

But more than the number, the biggest problem is the leagues we have. In particular the Royals.

In addition to the stadium issues and trying to compete against Los Angeles, the biggest problem St. Louis had in keeping the Rams was how much of their entertainment dollars the Cardinals soak up. Because baseball plays so many games, and plays in such large stadiums, it soaks up far more entertainment dollars than any other sports league.

This is a big reason why you don’t see MLB teams in markets smaller than Kansas City. Cities like New Orleans, Jacksonville, and Oklahoma City are half the size of Kansas City, and simply wouldn’t be able to support an MLB team.

While the Royals aren’t as popular as the Cardinals (and thus don’t consume the same amount of our entertainment dollars), the sad reality for those of us who don’t care much for baseball is that if the Royals didn’t exist we would likely be able to have both an NBA and NHL team.


The other big hurdle for Kansas City is that we don’t have many of those ultra wealthy guys who can buy billion dollar sports franchises. If it wasn’t for the fact that some rich guys lived in Oklahoma City the Thunder would likely be playing in Kansas City right now (this is a big part of why they’re my least favorite NBA team).

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If we can find enough of those Monopoly Guys who want to move a team here it would clear the biggest hurdle we’re currently facing.

Fan Support

Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t factor much into these sorts of decisions. The assumption owners have is that the fanbase will be similar no matter what city they move to (factoring in market size of course).

This was shown in the NFL choosing the Chargers over the Raiders to move to Los Angeles. Everybody knows the Raiders have a much bigger fanbase in Los Angeles than the Chargers do, but the owners believed that this didn’t matter. If the Chargers move there, they will build a fanbase.


So will Kansas City get another sports team in the near future? It’s hard to predict, but my gut says no. When the NHL expanded to Las Vegas, Kansas City was never seriously considered. Same for when the Sacramento Kings almost move to Los Angeles.

That being said, these things often materialize out of nowhere. Nobody had Las Vegas as a contender to get an NFL team in 2015, yet within a year they got the commitment from the Raiders to move there. So there is certainly a realistic chance that we get one.

We just have to root for a team to struggle and look to relocate. The Thunder would be a good choice.

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The one thing about Kansas City, they don’t support losers. If a team is doing bad, the fans won’t go to the games. That is why the Royals can’t have a high payroll.

If you put a good product on the field, the fans will come, look at the 2014 and 2015 Royals, it is crazy how the whole town supported the Royals, with the exception of Tony the Science guy. Tony would let the Royals move, if it meant the Kings would come back to K.C. I’m shaking my head at Tony right now!

Seriously. If you don’t want to try to win, dont bring a professional sports team to Kansas City. You can talk smack about my man Clark, and say he doesn’t even live in K C., but he tries to win !


Tony, have you been to NBA games?


Sacramento Kings – were in KC — many many moons ago.

Since KC has no NBA team, I’ve adopted the Denver Nuggets.
Going back to when, Nuggets won like 11 games – all year
This year, they’ll be in the running


Interesting times ahead for the Thunder. They’ve got an opportunity to draft another triumvirate with Durant-Westbrook-Harden level talent. Hopefully they don’t get stuck with another talented bitch.

The team I’d like to see move to KC, would be the Buccaneers.


You arent taking the Thunder! I think theyll get one or the other eventually but its going to be a long wait especially in the NBA because Seattle is first in line for an NBA team but even thats probably a wait for relocation because Im not sure the league wants to expand when they already dont have enough talent to keep a majority of the teams relevant


Yeah, but what would we have them?
NBA: KC Splash – after the fountains/ 3 pointers
NHL: the Kansas City Roar – after how loud KC fans are


I loved going to minor league KC Blades games back in the ’90s and would love to see the NHL return to town. I abhor the current NBA product and could care less where they locate there teams


The Thunder are going to be a dumpster fire shortly. They’ll end up back in Seattle before KC now that Seattle is getting an NHL franchise. Other NHL markets to consider are Arizona (hockey doesnt work in the heat) and Florida (ice in Miami, REALLY? WHO THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA?) But Id bet Quebec City gets a team back or Toronto gets a 2nd before the thought of KC.


I’d be very excited for KC to get a hockey team.


That’s where you’re mistaken: Gary fuckin Bettman is more likely to put a NHL franchise in KC than Quebec City, Hamilton, Regina, Halifax or Toronto #2 because while those markets are far more deserving GeffingB is all about US exposure and media $$$.


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Good post, I’ll bite. I love the Royals. Would I want them to leave KC for an NBA or NHL team, of course not. Now I am not a native of the K.C. Metro, but naturally gravitated towards the Chiefs first, then the Royals. I tried to garner an interest in the NBA again this year and man it was seriously tough. Watching the drama and clown-shoe mentality of it all, (looking at you Drake) I was put off and won’t entertain it again. As the name implies I am a hockey fan also. If by some chance KC got a hockey team, I’d ditch the Sabres in favor of the local team.
All told, I think Hockey would be easier to get established in KC. Look at some of the smaller markets across the US and Canada that support Professional Hockey teams. Also, and i’ll close with this. The Thunder are widely popular in OKC and the state. Tons of oilfield money and big time big buck businesses in the OKC metro. Now they are obviously going to rebuild, and if there is any slackening of the production in the oilfield where they layoff vast amounts of their leadership, expect the Thunder to be on the move.


the Thunder have 5 years in my opinion to be rebuilt or risk moving after that span. They are supremely popular here in OKC because its really the only game in town and having never not been a contending team minus the first year has built up a ton of fan support. That said Oklahoma is also notoriously fairweather as well so if they get rebuilt inside of 5 years theyll be here for a good while longer but if it takes longer than that or the Thunder become just another small market team with nobody going to the games then they very well could move, in which case Id love for them to go to KC just so I could stay a fan. Ironically Seattle is first in line but with how theyve acted for the last 11 years fuck ’em, I hope they never get a team even though I liked the Payton Kemp era Sonics


Yeah OKC has only known decent teams. I lived in MWC for a couple years, and I know they are popular, but I don’t know how the fans are gunna handle extended losing. 5 years seems a good gauge. Is the arena still named Chesapeake or did that oilfield company sell out already?


still named Chesapeake but with the owner Of Chesapeake who was a minority owner of the Thunder dying a few years ago under mysterious circumstances and his ownership share now up for sale, who knows. As long as they dont do another Myriad -> Cox BS Center I dont think anybody will really care what they call it as its Loud City, Thunderdome, or the Peake already