Cincinnati Group Working To Bring G League Franchise To City
A group of Cincinnati entrepreneurs have "spent a year working on a plan" to bring a G League team to the city, and they are now "hoping to get the NBA's attention," according to Jason Williams of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. The group's "ultimate goal" is for a local team dubbed the Queen City Royals to become the G League affiliate of the Nuggets -- one of only two NBA franchises without a G League partner along with the Trail Blazers. Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber membership rep Nick Schroth, who is looking to draw the team to the city, said, "I'm confident the NBA would consider Cincinnati as the next G League team if we can commit to renovating our (downtown) arena and get a commitment from the business community." Williams noted there are "lots of hurdles," with the city's downtown arena issue "tops among them." Many minor league teams have "come and gone" since the city's NBA franchise, the Royals (now the Kings), left for K.C. in '72, which raises questions on "whether Cincinnati can sustain another pro team." Most G League affiliates are "geographically close to their NBA partners," but "market size and proximity to the parent franchise may not be a deal-breaker." The Cincinnati group "believes it would need to average at least 3,000 fans per game to be profitable" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/15).