Walkers idea trounces Colemans.
Ha. Thanks, but my SimCity ideas here don't really count for anything. ;)
While I applaud Walker's idea and still think it can happen, it is more intramural in nature. Columbus is a great city with many diverse neighborhoods and grassroots efforts to improve quality of life. Those efforts though are much easier seeded on a community level. Putting Columbus on the national stage is different and maybe a much harder endeavor. It pushes the comfort zone. It takes a lot of swagger to play outside your home court. ;)
I generally disagree.
Mid-Sized american cities like Portland and Austin are big players on the national stage, and it's not because of the Trail Blazers or The Timbers in Portland. Austin doesn't have any pro sports teams at all. Those cities play well on the national stage because of their multi-faceted cultural communities made up of entrepreneurs, creatives, musicians, artisans, restaurateurs, nonprofits and various other individuals.
I'd like to say that Columbus already competes well with those cities on a one-to-one basis in terms of those assets, but we don't have the same type of culture that fully embraces it, which is what has to happen to be able to establish a similar authentic brand/image for our city on the national stage.
I think that professional sports teams are much more of a niche market than most people want to admit because of the fandom that goes along with all types of sports and a general unwillingness to look at what they offer from an objective viewpoint. The sports teams that *do* have massive followings are the ones that have cemented themselves as a long standing part of a community to the point where it becomes more of a tradition to support them. I don't think that's going to happen overnight with a relocated NBA team to Columbus in the short term. A large amount of people won't care about that team on a devoted emotional level for at least a generation out.
So... long story short... let's bring an NBA team here if it makes financial sense. But if we truly want to put Columbus on the map, we need to be thinking about something completely different.