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Anaheim Comes Up in NBA Conversation

TIMES STAFF WRITER

NBA Commissioner David Stern has mentioned Anaheim among 12 cities the league might consider for expansion by the year 2000.

Stern said several cities had contacted the league about expansion, including Anaheim, St. Louis, Memphis, Mexico City, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Tampa, Fla., as possible sites for the 29-team league.

“It was no great announcement,” said Brian McIntyre, NBA vice president of communications. “The commissioner wasn’t inviting cities to send in applications. He just said that Mexico City was a logical choice.”

Stern listed the cities during a news conference Monday, a day after watching the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies play their first home game.

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The league, which added the Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors this season, has set no timetable for further expansion.

No investment groups have publicly expressed interest in an expansion team for Anaheim.

And there is doubt the Los Angeles market could provide enough advertising and TV revenue to support the Lakers, Clippers and Anaheim.

The Clippers, who had the league’s worst record (17-65) last season, averaged 17,821 in seven games at The Pond, almost 10,000 a game more than they averaged at the Sports Arena.

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The NBA looks favorably on The Pond, a $120-million, state-of-the-art arena. It has 84 luxury suites on two levels, 1,700 club seats, spacious locker rooms and a large video scoreboard.

Investors would have to raise at least $125 million to land an expansion team--the amount the Toronto and Vancouver owners paid.


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