Entertainment Weekend: Montreal Mayoral Candidate Wants An NBA Franchise In The City

The NBA is not expanding anytime soon.

A former Canadian Football League player who is running for mayor in Montreal, Balarama Holness, wants to get a National Basketball Association franchise for the city and that has become one of his campaign pledges. The 38-year-old Holness played for Winnipeg and Montreal in the CFL between 2008 and 2011. He appears to not be very supportive of getting a Major League Baseball team in town. Major League Baseball has an interest in returning to Montreal. The National Basketball Association will not consider expansion until there is a new television deal in place and there is a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players. The NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at some point the league may consider expansion. If that does happen, Seattle would be the first in line for a team. Montreal doesn’t seem to be on the NBA’s radar except for a few pre-season games. The NBA has also been kicking the tires in Mexico City, Mexico to find out if there is a possibility that Mexico City has the financial wherewithal to house an NBA franchise sometime in the future. There are investors in other cities that might want a crack at the NBA including Louisville, Kentucky and Kansas City, Missouri.

In 2018, a Montreal banker, Michael Fortier, said there might be some Montreal-based investors who might be interested in getting an NBA franchise. Holness claims getting a Montreal NBA franchise “is a sports economy, business and tourism initiative. It’s a smart business decision.” But there are some building blocks that Montreal investors need to think about getting an NBA franchise. Is there government support? Is there a large local cable TV-video streaming deal available? Would there be corporate support? In Montreal, most of the corporate loonies go to the National Hockey League’s Canadiens. Before anything happens, the NBA has to want to expand.

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