St. Louis: Lukewarm on an NBA Franchise?

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All photos by Jon Gitchoff for the Riverfront Times
Last night, the Chicago Bulls hosted the Memphis Grizzlies at the Scottrade Center in an NBA preseason game with the Bulls dominating the Grizzlies 106-87, giving the throngs of red-clad fans what they came to see: Derrick Rose (pictured above) and a Bulls win.

In a highly unscientific survey conducted by the RFT last night, we asked a few dozen fans what they would do for an NBA team in St. Louis. Many stuck with the "buy tickets" response, but the not-great attendance --13,497-- for the game, and all the out-of-town visitors we spoke to could indicate St. Louis isn't ready for an NBA franchise again. (The St. Louis Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968.)

Are we wrong, though? Cast your vote below.


Photos and questions by Jon Gitchoff for the Riverfront Times.

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What Would You Do for an NBA Team in St. Louis?

Gabi of Bloomington, Illinois, who says she's in the process of moving to St. Louis: "I'd give up the Rams."

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What Would You Do for an NBA Team in St. Louis?

Ben of Owensville (pictured right): "I'd do anything. I'd give up the Rams."

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What Would You Do for an NBA Team in St. Louis?

Miracle of Tamms, Illinois: "I'd go to every game."

See also: Photos: The Bulls-Grizzlies 2013 Pre-Season Game in St. Louis

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What Would You Do for an NBA Team in St. Louis?

Faith of Belleville, Illinois: "I'd give up the Blues."

See more photos on the next page.


Location Info

Map

Scottrade Center

1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: General

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69 comments
sparkey1968
sparkey1968

Sorry, but I don't go to see the Rams or Blues. Just not into football or Hockey.  I would LOVE to see an NBA team in St. Louis and would go often.  Probably season tickets which I don't buy for Rams or Blues.  Also, I know some people here like soccer, to me Who cares.  Bring me the NBA.  I would spend my dollars on basketball and I don't on the rams and blues.  I do support the Cards.  Duh.  but I would watch an NBA team way more if we had one here.  Hell bring us the Bucks or Pistons. I will support them.  They wont have the lowest attendance here in St. Louis

abqblue
abqblue

I couldn't care less if the NBA folded much less put a Team in St. Louis. They can stay away.

Stop_Pontificating
Stop_Pontificating

Correction : Kiel Arena* - and @KITTY who comes to the comment section of riverfronttimes to troll? 

KITTY
KITTY

St. Louis will not support a professional basketball team to make a go of it.. Yes, the team would draw crowds at the beginning. But as soon as the newness wears off, the only people supporting such a team would be black and there is not enough of them willing to keep the team afloat. We went down this road before with the same results.

Jason Maltzman
Jason Maltzman

It's fine if we had one but I'm not giving up the Note!!!

Taylor Lewis
Taylor Lewis

Keep all 4.. NBA here would be way more popular than people estimate.. We had all 4.. ABA then NBA.. Spirits and Hawks.. Stl would support it

Jay Vines
Jay Vines

Shut them all down until they can pay for their own stadiums and infrastructure! Millionaire Moochers!!!!

Keith McNees
Keith McNees

As long as the Silnas keep getting their money in perpetuity, St. Louis will never see an NBA franchise.

Journalism_Try_It
Journalism_Try_It

Preseason Hockey @ Scottrade

Lightening @ Blues 13,246

I guess Blues fans aren't excited about their team? - 


Journalism_Try_It
Journalism_Try_It

And another thing, if Denver, a population relative to ours, can support NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS why can't St. Louis?

I'm tired of the "this or that" scenario, we're a great sports town.

Journalism_Try_It
Journalism_Try_It

The 13,497 is above average for an NBA preseason game and that's on a monday night with little to no promotion. There wasn't a basketball history article in the St. Louis Beacon, STL On the Air didn't interview Earl Austin Jr. 

The turnout was about as expected. 

Thunder @ Sixers 13,472

Brooklyn @ Washington 9,743

Milwaukee @ Cleveland 9,022

Atlanta @ Charlotte 4,457

Maccabi Haifa @ Detroit 7,513

Warriors @ Jazz 19,025

Nuggets Lakers @ Ontario, CA 6,023

Like I said 13,497 for preseason basketball is a good solid crowd,.A VERY diverse crowd, and that diversity is something St. Louis says it wants.

It was a good night for NBA Basketball in St. Louis. Your poll sucks.


Gordon Gengler
Gordon Gengler

Basketball is a dead sport. 7ft. players dunking a 10 ft. basket no challenge there

Brian Weidler
Brian Weidler

Anyone who says that STL should give up the Blues, is a complete idiot. For that matter, anyone who says that STL should give up ANY other pro team for an NBA franchise, is a complete idiot. Why should STL have to give up anything? N othin' B ut A ssholes

Brian Boeser
Brian Boeser

unfortunately, st. louis doesn't have near enough support for a an NBA team. Aren't the Rams losing money? Blues are the cubs of hockey... beloved for hopelessness

JoJo Prapaisilapa
JoJo Prapaisilapa

I would be on board with adding a basketball team, but with two high grossing exhibition games (soon to be three), the Gateway City should aim for a Major League Soccer team and a soccer specific venue a la Sporting KC.

Alex Williams
Alex Williams

No, the NBA is terrible. As for the Rams... I hope they stay but STL hasn't really proven themselves to be a football town. The browns are terrible but even Cleveland still loves em.

Matt Higgins
Matt Higgins

You can take the Lambs-I mean Scams and keep NBA too!

Donald Creswell
Donald Creswell

No, but I would give up the Cardinals. Baseball=snorefest

Jake Woodworth
Jake Woodworth

So the survey was conducted at the Scottrade Center with a bunch of basketball fans with the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs going into game 5 tomorrow...I wonder why the Rams are first in the voting on your poll of teams to get rid of. I myself am not a Rams or football fan but look at the facts people, they tell you in the article how they conducted the survey.

Darrell Ford
Darrell Ford

FUCK NO!!! Don't need these Thugs in St. Louis.

Bobby Conn
Bobby Conn

100% Give up the Rams for an NBA team!

Colin Feeney
Colin Feeney

Don't think you've been to Detroit either Steve. Neither have I.

Nikki Fields
Nikki Fields

The NBA is fixed. Championships are up for sale to the highest bidding owner, and refs are instructed to make their calls in favor of certain teams. It's a bullshit league and I don't want it in my city unless they stop with the corrupt stuff. Nobody should support that crap, support college basketball if you like the sport. Also, the Blues have been here since 1967, have a huge following and good attendance numbers, not to mention an owner with tons of money. They're not going anywhere, ever.

Todd Williams
Todd Williams

Football for really any other sport is stupid - so much more money in Football and I'm a much bigger hockey and baseball fan - $ better for the city. Terrible Rams franchise though. NBA is terrible to watch - big ego's just going back and forth seeing who can dunk the best and pump their chest the hardest.

Terry Blastenbrei
Terry Blastenbrei

We should have gotten the Grizzlies back in the day...for whatever reasons, the NBA wouldn't let the team move to STL at the time. I think there is enough of a fanbase to support an NBA team, but wouldn't give up any other franchise in town.

Brian Blood
Brian Blood

They are spending all if not more than they have on those teams and stadiums.

Brian Blood
Brian Blood

No F'n way !! I would never go to a basketball game.

Corey Kallmbah
Corey Kallmbah

Detroit has the worst economy in the country and they have 4 pro sport teams .I don't see why St Louis couldn't support 4

Stop_Pontificating
Stop_Pontificating

@KITTY @KITTY If you give it time, you can build an NBA fanbase in St. Louis. I already pointed to the diverse crowd. The Spirits were here for 2 years, the Hawks were here for a little longer for 13 years. 2 Years isn't enough time to build a fanbase, not even 13 years. The Hawks (Ben Kerner) couldn't get a new arena. The Hawks had great fans during their time here, they won a championship here. The St. Louis Arena was old and Kiel Opera House was small, during a time of expansion and new big arenas. It wasn't about the fans. The Spirits played in an even older St. Louis Arena and for only 2 years and in a dying ABA league.

The Blues themselves have been on the ropes so many times in this city but they had the good fortune of having time to build a fanbase, through the good fortune of having time to get a new arena. 

It's about getting season ticket holders, corporate support (which only helps the Blues if they shared Scottrade). Given time, (say a Generation i.e. 25 years) a solid NBA fanbase can be built here. The Cardinals have been here since 1892, it's not about newness it's about longevity. Given time a lasting fanbase can be built.

A diverse solid NBA fanbase that mirrors the diverse crowd at Scottrade monday. Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians you name it.. You probably weren't there, you probably didn't see it but people of all backgrounds showed up.

In summation you're dead wrong, and probably a jerk. 

abrewer314
abrewer314

@Nikki Fields Stop smoking sherm.

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