Over the past few years there’s been talk of the Kings leaving Sacramento for Las Vegas, Anaheim and most recently, Virginia Beach. Perhaps fashioning fonder memories for Bryant “Big Country” Reeves’ NBA tenure than any sane person should allow, a published report from the Conference Board Of Canada proposes Vancouver, B.C. as a prime spot for an NBA franchise-on-the-move (link swiped from Canada.com’s Hasan Alanam :
Vancouver, like Montréal, is projected to see a population increase of over 1 million over the next 25 years, and it should attract more corporate headquarters. Most of the population increase will be due to immigration, much of which will come from Asia, where the popularity of basketball has grown rapidly. Vancouver demonstrated its appetite for basketball with the Grizzlies, and that appetite should continue to grow. Although the Grizzlies left Vancouver following the 2000–01 season, the population of the Vancouver CMA at that time was barely 2 million and the Canadian dollar was sinking. Those conditions have now changed. The NBA could return to Vancouver one day and be successful there, especially if the Canadian dollar remains strong. With a population of 3.5 million in 2035, the Vancouver market will be large enough to sustain franchises in the NHL, Canadian Football League (CFL), Major League Soccer, and the NBA—but not MLB.
The professional sports scene in Canada will continue to expand over the next 25 years. The conditions for growth are right—the Canadian dollar will likely remain strong and the taxation gap with the U.S. is expected to continue to narrow. This will allow existing franchises to prosper, and offer a better chance for new franchises to succeed. Canada could be home to 10 NHL teams, with new franchises in Québec City and Hamilton, and a second team in the Toronto CMA. If the league conditions are right and the city gets a new stadium, Montréal could once again be home to a Major League Baseball team. And with its continuing rise in population, Vancouver should be in a position to get a second chance at a National Basketball Association franchise.