Kansas City officials hope they can pull off what Oklahoma City did for the New Orleans Hornets in 2005: by temporarily landing the Toronto Raptors before the 2020-21 NBA season.
In 2005, the NBA granted the Hornets to play most of their games in OKC after Hurricane Katrina destruction of the city and its arena.
In 2013, then-State Senator, now OKC Mayor, David Holt, told me that then-Mayor Mick Cornett wanted the city to land a sports team. After Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Cornett picked up the phone to talk to then-NBA Commissioner David Stern to offer his city as a landing spot for the Hornets to land.
“Who gets the opportunity to host a team temporarily and prove that you can do it for real? So, we were never impressive on paper, and very few team owners or leagues would’ve taken a risk on an unproven market [to place a professional team],” Holt said. “But for one to two years, why not? So, the Hornets came to OKC, and you can say the rest is kind of history.”
Well, now, it looks like Kansas City is drawing up a play from OKC’s playbook.
Reportedly, governmental city officials are putting on a full-court press for the 2019 NBA Champions Toronto Raptors to play temporarily in the City of Fountains in 2020.
According to Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger, city officials sent a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver by offering the T-Mobile Center a temporary home for the Raptors due to the Canadian government putting in place travel restrictions on U.S. travelers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
”Kansas City is well-suited to host the Toronto Raptors for the 2020-2021 NBA season, and our dynamic fans would be thrilled to adopt the team as our own,” city officials stated in the letter.
Never thought I’d type this but Kansas City is legit pursuing an NBA team. Here’s the latest, including three irrefutable takeaways: https://t.co/ZrkvFqUE6F— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) October 27, 2020
Even Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes lets his voice be heard by tweeting to “bring them to KC!”
Bring them to KC! https://t.co/di5r6bIAh7— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) October 26, 2020
The upcoming season is reportedly slated to begin sometime in December.