netwolf wrote:The only way an NBA team would have a chance here is if they were perennial contenders (because people will go see a winner), but even then it's questionable.
Minor league pro basketball has failed here before, and the Pittsburgh Xplosion routinely play in front of crowds less than 100 people.
People here aren't going to support an NBA team solely because it's a major sport. This is a proven hockey market - people are still buying tickets despite the on-ice ineptitude the past few years. That tells you you have a good core of fans here. When the winning comes back, so will Joe Average Burgh Sports Fan and with him, max crowds.
As you rightly said, Pittsburgh is no basketball city. It's a hockey city.
With the tradition and heritage involved with hockey in the city, it would be a major disappointment to see the team leave. As an outsider I can't really comment on the politics within the city (I'll leave that to you guys), but I can tell you it will be an extremely sad day for ice hockey and Pittsburgh if the Penguins were to leave. That is why I would back any proposal to keep the team in Pittsburgh. It would also stick in the throat if the team were to move and pick up the Stanley Cup in the first season post relocation.