The NBA will not be expanding to Europe anytime soon … if ever.
After years and years of promoting and researching the idea, commissioner David Stern has come to the conclusion that it would be unrealistic to expand with a European Division that would have placed teams in London, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
_ Not enough NBA-style arenas.
_ Too much financial uncertainty related to the Euro.
_ Not enough fan support … especially among customers willing to pay the prices that Americans pay to attend games.
“It’s safe to say that there aren’t enough buildings, there aren’t adequate TV arrangements, we don’t have owners, and I’m not sure we could charge the prices that would be necessary. I don’t think our fans are that avid yet,” Stern told reporters in Milan, Italy, according to a report by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
“I don’t think having a single team in Europe is practical,” Stern said before watching the Celtics take on Emporio Armani Milano. “I never have. What I’ve said is if we’re going to have an NBA presence here in terms of the league, it should be five teams.”
European fans are accustomed to paying top
dollar Euro for soccer matches, but basketball prices are at a much lower level. According to colleague and friend Antonis Kalkavouras of MEGA-TV in Athens, the prices of tickets in Olympiacos Arena (home of the defending Euroleague champions) range from 10 Euros (about $13) to 110 Euros ($142) for courtside seats. About 60 percent of the tickets cost 20 Euros, and 20 percent of the tickets cost just 10 Euros.