Montreal group discusses plan to pursue NBA team

A group in Montreal on Wednesday outlined its plan to pursue an NBA franchise, even though the league currently has no plans to expand.

League currently has no plans to expand

The NBA does not currently wish to expand, but a group in Montreal hopes that will change sometime soon. (Getty Images)

A group of Quebec businesspeople has taken another small step toward bringing a National Basketball Association franchise to Montreal — even though there are currently no plans for an expansion of the league.

Representatives of the group held a news conference Wednesday to announce that they have been preparing a financial package and talking to potential Canadian and foreign investors.

'We don't mind being Plan B': 

Michael Fortier discusses his group's plan to bring an NBA franchise to Montreal at a press conference on Wednesday. 0:48

'Adding another team would engage the fan base':

Kevin Gilmore talks about the benefits Montreal holds for the NBA. 1:20

Former federal cabinet minister Michael Fortier, a key member of the group, acknowledges that in the short term the NBA is not considering adding a team to the 30 already in place. But the goal is to be ready when the opportunity arrives.

Fortier estimates an NBA franchise would cost between $US1.5 billion and US$2 billion, but no public funding would be required.

It was also announced that Stephan Cretier, the CEO of the security firm GardaWorld, has agreed to contribute up to 10 per cent of the value of the new team.

Michel Leblanc, head of the Montreal Board of Trade, says his organization will support the group in its efforts to attract investors.

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