This season the Columbus Blue Jackets got some nice security in respect to their place in Columbus for years to come. A new arena deal reached with the city allowed them to ensure they’ll be staying in Ohio for a long time to come.
But with that city involvement also comes the other interests. Such as a desire for another tenant in the building, mainly an NBA team.
Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman has let the NBA know the city is interested in being the next new NBA market.
“Up until recently, our arena situation was not stable,” Coleman spokesman Dan Williamson said Wednesday. “Now that that changed, the mayor felt it was time to position ourselves to be on the NBA’s radar. The NBA needs to know more about us, so he has had conversations with NBA officials.”
Now there are multiple markets with both a hockey team and an NBA team. Most of them share their arenas. So the logistics of working that would wouldn’t be too difficult if Columbus ever had to deal with it.
That’s not the concern for the Blue Jackets. Instead it would probably just be the competition, as Jackets beat writer Aaron Portzline points out.
Portzline also suggested that the mayor always wanted an NBA team instead of an NHL squad.
That’s not exactly comforting for the Jackets. They already struggle with attendance figures — mostly because they have stunk pretty much since their inception — so the potential of adding another major sport isn’t inspiring.
Remember, the city of Columbus already has a few other sports teams too. There are the Columbus Crew of the MLS and, oh yea, there is that university a couple of miles across town that’s kind of big in the state of college athletics.
Now just because the mayor wants an NBA team doesn’t mean he’ll get one. That’s the obvious part here. The NBA isn’t looking to expand according to league officials, and there only seems to be one team in danger of relocating. Columbus is hardly the first city that has expressed an interest in being the new home for a nomadic franchise like the Sacramento Kings.
Plus, there’s an NBA team a couple of hours away in Cleveland that might not be thrilled with another franchise in the state.
I’m no NBA expert by anybody’s definition of the word, but I would think Columbus’ chances of getting an NBA team are as good as the Jackets’ odds of getting an NBC national telecast next season.