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New Orleans Hornets Issues Bring Up NBA In Kansas City Question

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The New Orleans Hornets are being taken over by the NBA and have yet to find a future buyer bringing their future in New Orleans into question. Of course anytime you talk about an NBA team potentially moving you have to bring up Kansas City -- or Kansas City sports fans have to bring it up at least.

Kansas City has the arena which is the biggest obstacle anytime you're talking relocating a sports team. The Kansas City arena hosts concerts and other events these days -- along with the occasional Miami Heat preseason game, Kansas State (vs. Duke) or Missouri (vs. Georgetown) game. But it's well equipped to handle an NBA team, if everything else could be worked out.

Matt Moore of has an excellent look at possible destinations for the Hornets should they leave New Orleans. On his list of course is Kansas City (Moore is from Kansas City).

That said, the jewel in their crown is pretty simple. It's the building. Sprint Center, built in 2005 and opened in 2007, has a capacity of 18,555 with a considerably higher number of available luxury suites and club seating due to how the building was constructed. Specifically, the arena was built to capitalize on how current arena economics work. Tickets are valuable, to be sure, but the money is made with sponsorships, and luxury seating.

Check out his full story for more about the commitment it would take as there are obviously a million steps that would have to be taken. But could Kansas City handle an NBA team? I'm not sure there's any firm evidence for an answer to that question one way or the other.

The Chiefs are winning in Kansas City and they're not filling Arrowhead Stadium to its capacity and looking at lowering some ticket prices to get people in the seats. Of course, that's a 70,000-plus person arena versus Sprint Center, which is just over 18,000. The Royals haven't been very good so their attendance has, as expected, been low.

I think if you're going to make a move like this you have to be sure it'll work. You don't want to be New Orleans, who has a team for eight years before relocation questions arise. I'd be skeptical of this move until someone could provide some strong evidence -- one way or the other -- on how Kansas City would response to the NBA over the course of an entire season.