What is the largest city without an NBA team?

The NBA is known for its competitive basketball games and has become an integral part of American sports culture. Over the years, numerous cities have proudly hosted NBA team, bringing excitement and a sense of community to their residents. However, there are still some sizable cities without an NBA presence.

Exploring the NBA Expansion

The NBA has seen expansion throughout its history, with new teams being added to accommodate growing fan bases and capitalize on emerging markets. While many cities have enjoyed this expansion, there are some notable exceptions.

Identifying the Largest City without an NBA Team

When discussing the largest city without an NBA team, one name that frequently comes up is Seattle. Seattle, Washington, with its vibrant sports culture, is a glaring omission from the NBA map. The city was once home to the Seattle Super Sonics, but they relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder in 2008, leaving a basketball void in Seattle.

Factors Contributing to the Lack of an NBA Team

Several factors can contribute to a city not having an NBA team. This can include market size, competition with other major sports teams, and the availability of a suitable arena.

Cities in the Running

While Seattle is a prominent example, there are other cities in the running for an NBA team. Las Vegas, for instance, has been a hotbed for sports in recent years, attracting major events and franchises. Other cities, like Vancouver and Louisville, have also expressed interest in bringing an NBA team to their respective areas.

Challenges in Bringing an NBA Team to a New City

Expanding the NBA to a new city comes with its own set of challenges. This includes finding a suitable arena, securing investors, and ensuring there is enough fan interest to sustain a team.

The Impact of an NBA Team on a City

Having an NBA team in a city can bring numerous benefits. It not only provides entertainment and community pride but can also stimulate the local economy, create jobs, and increase tourism.

Historical Examples of NBA Expansion

Throughout NBA history, there have been several instances of expansion. From the Toronto Raptors to the more recent addition of the Oklahoma City Thunder, these expansions have shaped the league’s landscape.

Why the NBA is Hesitant to Expand

While expansion can be exciting, the NBA is cautious about diluting the talent pool and affecting the quality of the game. This cautious approach is one reason why the league hasn’t rushed into adding new teams.

Potential Future NBA Expansion

The NBA’s expansion plans are always a topic of discussion among fans and basketball enthusiasts. As the league continues to grow, there is a possibility of seeing new teams in cities that have long awaited their return to the NBA stage.


In conclusion, the question of the largest city without an NBA team is one that intrigues many. While Seattle is a significant contender, there are other cities vying for the opportunity to host an NBA franchise. The future of NBA expansion is an exciting prospect, and the league’s decisions will shape the landscape of professional basketball.

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