While the league will have to officially approve this idea, likely in the summer of 2022, the wheels are in motion to bring two new expansion teams into the NBA. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said not only suggested expansion is on the table but also has discussed a possible $2.5 billion per team expansion fee for the two clubs. That massive fee will more than offset the losses owners took during the pandemic with empty buildings.
Seattle is considered a lock to get one of those expansion teams (unless some team moves into the market before then).
Las Vegas is considered a frontrunner for the other club, although other cities will be in the mix. The question was only which Las Vegas billionaire would line up some of his friends to form an ownership group.
Las Vegas’s Jay Bloom is leading an ownership group that is now reported to have completed circling the funds to purchase the NBA’s Las Vegas expansion franchise under consideration, putting his group as the favorite to come up with the new NBA team in Las Vegas…
Bloom’s partners include such big names as famed motivational speaker Tony Robbins and former NBA 14-year veteran, and Las Vegas local Marcus Banks III, among other major powerhouse individuals and notable persons.
Jay Bloom also has the political relationships with the State Legislature, County Commissioners, and Governor’s mansion to make this happen, especially given that no public funds are expected to be needed for the project, as it will be entirely privately funded.
Bloom made his money in the real estate market in Las Vegas with First 100, as well as with Pegasus Group Holdings (which owns and operates data center ecosystems that use renewable energy), and other investments in Nevada.
The NBA has an established relationship with Las Vegas, which hosts the Summer League every year and events such as the G-League Showcase. The city has an NBA-ready arena with the T Moblie Center just off The Strip, and the city has shown it will rally around a team the way it did the NHL’s Golden Knights. There is also a very good WNBA franchise, the Aces, in the city and drawing crowds.
Nothing is official, but with an ownership group lined up, it is even more likely that the second NBA expansion team will be granted to Las Vegas. There is still a year of billionaires jockeying for position to give the NBA billions for a team, a lot can change, but Bloom apparently has Las Vegas in a strong position right now.