This is a little different than the typical "sky is falling" thread regarding the state of the Pacer franchise and a possible relocation.
What I want to consider is that Mel and Herb won't own the team forever, and that apparently none of the other family members want to take over the responsiblity. Therefore, it is a near certainty that the team will be sold "at some point".
I won't even ask you to identify potential buyers, that doesn't matter. What I will challenge you to do is to name a possible city for relocation that can support an NBA team. I contend that it is much more difficult to come up with a viable relocation city than what you might think.
Among NBA owners, it is common that the owner or group of owners have substantial business interests in the city where their teams are located, or are residents of the city themselves.
So, in order for the team to be relocated, that may require that a pairing of a willing buyer and his city be found to assume ownership. And, in my opinion, there simply aren't very many viable city/metropolitan areas that can support an NBA franchise.
To relocate an NBA team to a city with the expectation of long-term success, I believe it would require either a very substantial population base, or at the very least, a city with lesser population that does not already have an NFL team and/or a major league baseball team.
Oklahoma City has 2/3 the population as the Indy area. Even without other pro teams, just how long do you expect them to hold a fan base of nearly 19,000? Once the novelty and the "honeymoon" are over, give them a couple of losing seasons and let's see how many fans are still attending and how viable the franchise is. If they can continue to connect with the city and establish some traditions, then maybe they have a chance. Otherwise, probably not.
Anyway, many are fearful of a relocation. All I'm asking is if you really think that is likely, where do you think the Pacers could be relocated? Hopefully, in going through this exercise, perhaps we can all be a little calmer about the current news regarding renegotiation between the Simons and CIB.
I've listed the 50 largest municipal areas by population to help in your selection. Municipal areas (or near by areas) with NBA teams appear in bold print.
Rank Municipality State 2000.07 1 New York city New York 8,104,079 2 Los Angeles city California 3,845,541 3 Chicago city Illinois 2,862,244 4 Houston city Texas 2,012,626 5 Philadelphia city Pennsylvania 1,470,151 6 Phoenix city Arizona 1,418,041 7 San Diego city California 1,263,756 8 San Antonio city Texas 1,236,249 9 Dallas city Texas 1,210,393 10 San Jose city California 904,522 11 Detroit city Michigan 900,198 12 Indianapolis city (balance) Indiana 784,242 13 Jacksonville city Florida 777,704 14 San Francisco city California 744,230 15 Columbus city Ohio 730,008 16 Austin city Texas 681,804 17 Memphis city Tennessee 671,929 18 Baltimore city Maryland 636,251 19 Fort Worth city Texas 603,337 20 Charlotte city North Carolina 594,359 21 El Paso city Texas 592,099 22 Milwaukee city Wisconsin 583,624 23 Seattle city Washington 571,480 24 Boston city Massachusetts 569,165 25 Denver city Colorado 556,835 26 Louisville-Jefferson County city Kentucky 556,332 27 Washington city District of Columbia 553,523 28 Nashville-Davidson (balance) Tennessee 546,719 29 Las Vegas city Nevada 534,847 30 Portland city Oregon 533,492 31 Oklahoma City city Oklahoma 528,042 32 Tucson city Arizona 512,023 33 Albuquerque city New Mexico 484,246 34 Long Beach city California 476,564 35 New Orleans city Louisiana 462,269 36 Cleveland city Ohio 458,684 37 Fresno city California 457,719 38 Sacramento city California 454,330 39 Kansas City city Missouri 444,387 40 Virginia Beach city Virginia 440,098 41 Mesa city Arizona 437,454 42 Atlanta city Georgia 419,122 43 Omaha city Nebraska 409,416 44 Oakland city California 397,976 45 Tulsa city Oklahoma 383,764 46 Miami city Florida 379,724 47 Honolulu CDP Hawaii 377,260 48 Minneapolis city Minnesota 373,943 49 Colorado Springs city Colorado 369,363 50 Arlington city Texas 359,467