The Hampton Roads area doesn’t have a big league team.
There are three proposals to redevelop Norfolk, Virginia’s Military Circle Mall property and two of the plans feature a 15,000-seat arena that could house a professional sports team. There is no indication from the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League that they would be interested in placing a team in the Hampton Roads area which is the largest United States market without a Major League Baseball, a National Football League, a National Basketball Association, a National Hockey League or a Major League Soccer team. In 2013, the then owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, the Maloof brothers, visited the market and made some announcement that they were interested in moving to Virginia. Nothing ever materialized. In 1997, the then NBA Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn applied for a National Hockey League expansion franchise somewhere in the Hampton Roads market but the NHL was not interested. The market is too small with little corporate cash.
The Hampton Roads area had a team in the American Basketball Association between 1970 and 1976. The Virginia Squires franchise played home games in Norfolk, Hampton, Richmond and Roanoke. The Squires franchise had some big-name players including Julius Erving and George Gervin. Squires’ ownership had money problems and shut down before the National Basketball Association took in four ABA teams in June, 1976, charging the franchises $3.2 million each which then was a large sum of money then to enter the league. The NBA is not looking to expand although somewhere down the road that might happen. Seattle is getting a renovated building as the SuperSonics old arena, the Seattle Center Coliseum. has been rebuilt and will be a state-of-the-art structure. Louisville backers also want an NBA team. The Hampton Roads, Virginia market has nothing that the NBA or NHL needs.
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