“Although the NBA and its commissioner have made it clear to us that they currently have no plans to expand the league, we have taken the decision to prepare for when expansion does take place, because we believe it will take place,” Fortier said.
The group has been meeting with potential Canadian and foreign investors to arrange financing. Fortier estimated the cost at between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in U.S. dollars, but said no public funding would be required.
According to Fortier, Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson is open to the idea of an NBA team playing at the Bell Centre.
The NBA currently has 30 teams, 15 teams in the Eastern and Western conferences. The league last expanded in 2004, when the Charlotte Bobcats (now the Hornets) joined.
Seattle, which saw its SuperSonics move to Oklahoma City in 2008, has long been considered the favorite for future expansion. Other cities expressing interest include Louisville, Mexico City, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, San Diego and Kansas City.
–Field Level Media