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Could Pittsburgh get an NBA or WNBA team? A consulting firm is "evaluating" the city as potential home

Do Pittsburghers support NBA or WNBA team coming to city?
Do Pittsburghers support NBA or WNBA team coming to city? 01:53

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County has hired a consulting firm to evaluate Pittsburgh as a potential home for an NBA or WNBA team. 

State Sen. Wayne Fontana, who is on the board of the Sports & Exhibition Authority, told KDKA-TV on Wednesday that it has hired CAA ICON to "assist in the evaluation of Pittsburgh as a potential home for an NBA and/or WNBA team." 

Members of the Sports and Exhibition Authority said now is the time to see if the city is viable for another professional sports team. 

"I would love to see it, but I don't know if it will get the support here," basketball fan Ryan Austin told KDKA-TV on Thursday.

Feedback like this is what a new survey floating around town is looking to find. The survey is being sent out by the PPG Paints Arena. It asks about interests in sports in the area and if you would support an NBA or WNBA team with each league looking to expand into new markets. 

That's why the Sports & Exhibition Authority spent $90,000 on a consulting firm to do this survey now.

"If we can bring a team here, it's expanding on what we already have here," Fontana said. 

While the city has had professional teams in the past with Pipers and Condors of the American Basketball Association in the late 1960s and 1970s, the sport didn't stick around. This survey will help to determine if the city should put together a bid for a team in either league. 

The belief is that if there is a will for a team, it will generate far beyond what the survey costs.

"It's right because people are looking for a quality of life that's bigger and better today," Fontana said on Thursday.

Fans are excited about the potential of a professional basketball team in the Steel City, but their concerns are the costs of sporting events and the team competing against hockey, which happens at the same time.

"I do a lot of fantasy basketball and it would be nice to have more of a rooting interest," Jack Workman from the West End said on Thursday.

The survey is expected to only last for a few weeks.

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