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"Mexico City is a legit contender when the NBA talks expansion" — Marc J. Spears has some news for Seattle and Las Vegas

NBA is still reeling in from the losses incurred during the 2020 pandemic season and are in need for some capital influx. Mexico City is increasingly becoming a viable solution to their problems.
A general view of Mexico City Arena

Mexico City Arena

NBA is in advanced talks to expand the league and add a couple of teams to the 30 playing in the NBA. Seattle and Las Vegas have been under consideration for a while, but now senior management in the NBA is considering an outsourced team in a different region altogether.

Marc Spears commented that Mexico City is in the running to be selected as a new NBA city on the pretext of the league's expansion in the coming years. Most recently, the NBA extended its G-League to Mexico City by creating the Capitanes de Ciudad de México, which will play at the full-fledged CDMX Arena.

Major hurdles of choosing Mexico City.

A culturally rich city in Mexico with a staggering population of 8.5 million, the capital city promises a healthy amount of capital to furnish and sustain an NBA team in the major league. And it has a newly constructed NBA dome in the name of the CDMX Arena. So, considering these two factors, they should be an easy choice for the management. But that isn't the case.

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Mexico City has an altitude of 2,240m/7200ft above sea level. Add to that the thin layer of atmosphere present might make it for some players to breathe normally. If players feel their lungs while playing in Denver, you can imagine the challenge Mexico City would present.

Safety is also a concern. As in all large metropolitan areas, there are affluent parts of town where you can go around freely. But whenever you need an armed escort for players to and from the arena, as is the case in Mexico, that is a problem.

It's all about the benjamins

The name of the game is simple. The NBA wants to increase its revenue and profits, and the best way to do that is to expand the league by adding other franchises.

As with any other business, the NBA needs money to operate, and the era of low interest rates is behind us. Adding two more teams would mean a fresh injection of cash into the Association via the buy-in fee. Another motivator for the owners is that this money isn't counted as basketball-related income, meaning the owners don't need to share it with the players. To make the math simple - if you pay $3 billion for a team in Mexico, Seattle, or Las Vegas, each owner of the existing 30 teams would get a $100 million check. 

At this point, it seems like expansion isn't an "if" but a "when." What remains to be seen is whether Mexico City is just the NBA's way of putting pressure on Seattle and Las Vegas to put their best foot forward, or is there a realistic chance for the league to have a team in Mexico. In the end, money talks, and that makes Mexico City a very real candidate. 

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