So how has this affected the Canucks?
The Vancouver Canucks saw their estimated value increase from $239 million in 2009 to $735 million in 2018.
The increase in the population has also played a huge roll in the estimated value of the Canucks. The City of Vancouver accounts for $305 million, 41.6%, of the Canucks value. The more-and-more the population increases, the more the Canucks will see an increase in value.
Vancouver is the third largest sports market in North America to only have one major professional sports team (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB). They come behind San Diego, who previously had the Chargers in 2017 and Montreal, who had the Expos back in 2004.
Vancouver sits as the 22nd most populated market out of the four major North American sports (Baseball, Basketball, Hockey and American Football). Compare that to the likes of Cleveland, a city that sits 30th in market size, and has three professional sports teams.
For the Grizzlies, the big change in the population is the increase in people of Chinese heritage taking up residence in Metro Vancouver. In 2001, people of Chinese origin made up 18% of all Vancouver residents. In 2016, that number had climbed to 19.6, accounting for 474,655 people.
Stats from the Sports Business Journal, going off of deals that are publicly known, says that NBA revenue from China impacts the salary cap and how much money is available to players on an annual basis. In July, China’s Tencent reached a five-year, $1.5 billion deal to remain the NBA’s exclusive digital partner in China, and it is the NBA’s largest partnership outside of the U.S. China Central Television, CCTV for short, has a lucrative financial partnership with the NBA televising multiple games live each week, including coverage of the playoffs. NBA’s arm in China, labeled “NBA China” has been valued at $5 billion.
Having the city change so much over the span of two decades, it begs the question, is the NBA ready to return to the Lower Mainland?
There are certainly a lot of hurdles to overcome and the biggest one is the current price of an NBA team. In February, Forbes released their evaluations of all 32 NBA teams and their estimated price tag if they were to be purchased. With the New York Kicks taking the top spot with an estimated $4 billion price tag, it was the Memphis Grizzlies who rounded the bottom of the list with a $1.2 billion estimation.