Business people want to bring a new NBA team to Montreal

A group of Quebec businessmen has taken another small step forward bringing a NBA franchise to Montreal – even though there are currently no plans for an expansion of the league.

Head of the Montreal Board of Trade Michel Leblanc, former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Canadian Kevin Gilmore, and former Minister Michael Fortier revealed on Wednesday the identity a first investor associated with the project.

Founding President and CEO of GardaWorld, Stephan Cretier, has pledged to provide up to 10% of the value of a team that would come to Montreal. According to the most optimistic scenario sketched out by the group led by Mr. Fortier, the realisation of the project would require a minimum total investment of $ 1.5 billion.

Speaking to media, Leblanc, says his organisation will support the group in its efforts to attract investors. But the goal is to be ready when the opportunity arrives.

“So we have someone in our community who wants to get involved at this level. It is an announcement that is very promising to then pick up the few other investors with whom we will be able to work. Our approach is to bring together a small group of investors. It’s probably a few fingers in the handle.” Leblanc said.

Michael Fortier on the other hand, acknowledges that in the short term the NBA is not considering adding a team to the 30 already in place.

“Although the NBA and its commissioner have made it clear to us that they currently have no plans to expand the league, we have taken the decision to prepare for when expansion does take place, because we believe it will take place,” Fortier said.

“We would not be surprised if there were only two investors. We would not be disappointed if there were four, but if there were two, that is to say Mr. Cretier and another company, we would not be surprised.” Fortier added.

The NBA currently has 30 teams. (Source:www.herosports.com)

In 2015, during the Raptors’ previous visit to Montreal, Fortier tells that he had meetings and made calls with potential investors. He had also recognised the importance of seducing foreign allies.

The NBA currently has 30 teams, 15 in each of the Eastern and Western Conference. If it decides to expand and wants to maintain a geographical balance, it would have to add a team in each conference.

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