Why is City Council in such a hurry to build an arena?
Well, City Council won’t tell us, so I consulted my spirit guide.
This week my spirit guide was a bottle of Flor de Caña four-year-old Nicaraguan rum.
And my spirit guide had the answer: D-League Baseketball.
In March 2005, NBA commissioner David Stern announced a plan to expand the NBA D-League to fifteen teams and develop it into a true minor league farm system, with each NBA D-League team affiliated with one or more NBA teams. At the conclusion of the 2013–14 NBA season, 33% of NBA players had spent time in the NBA D-League, up from 23% in 2011. Beginning in the 2016–17 NBA Development League season, the league will consist of 22 teams; all of whom will be either single-affiliated or owned by an NBA team.
Of course. District 8 City Representative Cortney Niland even said so at the Council meeting to announce the site selection. “D-League basketball,” she said, when a concerned citizen raised a question during public comment.
And lookie there. The NBA D-League is expanding to 22 teams for the 2016-17 season.
My spirit guide says MountainStar Sports Group is already in negotiations with the NBA to secure a D-League franchise. Hell, they may have already signed the deal.
If the arena isn’t built yet, an El Paso team could play the 2016-17 season at the Coliseum, or the Don.
What’s in it for El Pasoans? Exposure.
ESPNU will televise 11 NBA Development League (D-League) regular-season games in 2016. The slate will begin on Friday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. ET when the Maine Red Claws host the Canton Charge. All NBA D-League telecasts on ESPNU will also be streamed via WatchESPN.
ESPNU! Can you imagine? Dozens, maybe hundreds, of viewers!
But that’s not all.
There’s also an All Star game. And a Showcase! From Wikipedia:
The league stages an annual NBA D-League Showcase in which all of the league’s teams play each other in a “carnival” format. The showcase was first played in 2005 was originally intended solely as a scouting event for NBA general managers and scouts, but has evolved into a fan-friendly four-day event in which each team plays two games apiece.
Whaddya bet MountainStar can get us the Showcase if we just build them an arena?
We can get all that exposure for the low, low, price of $180 million. But really it’s not costing the City a dime, because the taxpayers are covering it. For the next forty years.
We’d be better off investing in Super Bowl ads.
Better get yourself some spirit guides. You’re going to need them.