The Red Bull Group is reportedly looking to expand into basketball, with media reports suggesting the company is considering a bid for an NBA expansion team likely to be based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Bloomberg revealed that there have been internal deliberations within the Red Bull Group and talks are in early stages. One crucial element to any decision would be the NBA’s asking price for the expansion team. 

It is widely believed that once the NBA officially announces the next media rights deal, reportedly worth up to $76bn in a multi-year agreement, the league will then start exploring expanding the NBA by adding two new franchises. 

The one market that has been heavily rumoured to be gaining an NBA team is Las Vegas, as the league has been active in the city in recent years, annually holding the NBA Summer League and more recently making it the home of the new NBA In-Season Tournament finals. 

An entertainment capital that brings in mass tourism every year, Las Vegas would be a commercially viable market for many owners interested, in particular Red Bull, which has embedded its brand across football, Formula One and many more sports. 

It is dependent however on the price of the expansion team. Many NBA insiders suggest that this figure could be as large as $4bn after a flurry of team sales over the last several years boosting this asking price. 

Last year, the Phoenix Suns were sold to Mat Ishbia for $4.2bn, making it one of the most lucrative NBA sales of all time. Also last year saw NBA legend Michael Jordan sell his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets for around $3bn to a consortium led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall

However, if Red Bull’s interest progresses to the point of open discussions with the NBA, the firm may face stiff competition from Fenway Sports Group (FSG) for the acquisition of any potential Las Vegas team. 

Long-time NBA reporter Bill Simmons also revealed in late 2022 that LeBron James may also be a part of FSG’s bid to help it bolster its position to acquire a Las Vegas franchise. 

If Red Bull are unsuccessful to stave off FSG’s attempts in Las Vegas, it may not necessarily mean its interest in owning an NBA expansion team is over. 

As previously mentioned, the league is looking to add two expansion teams to take the total number of NBA franchises to 32, with Seattle also in the pipeline for a returning franchise. 

The Seattle Supersonics were a storied NBA team from 1967 to 2008. The team was ultimately moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City and rebranded as the Oklahoma City Thunder after the team was sold to a consortium headed by Clay Bennett

Since the city lost its NBA team, fans of the league have been calling for a franchise to return to the city. If Red Bull would be able to have a bid accepted to return a team to Seattle, it would prove to be a majorly popular move with fans across the league.

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