NBA & AEG Near China Pact

BEIJING (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — AEG and the NBA are nearing a deal with China to develop 12 new arenas in the Asian nation, Smith's Sports Business Journal reported.

Citing unnamed sources, the deal would open up an avenue of expansion for both the NBA, which may be eyeing an Asian league, and AEG, who would reportedly operate the arenas.

The two firms have already partnered in the operation of the 18,000 capacity Wukesong Indoor Stadium. AEG and the NBA will continue to manage the facility, which was built for the Olympics, after the games are over, splitting revenue with the Chinese Government.

According to Smith's Sports, the cities being eyed for new arenas include Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou. Expect a formal announcement of a deal within a few weeks.

Expansion minded, the NBA founded NBA China last year, with hopes of creating a viable Asian league. Similar expansion efforts in Europe have been slow to move forward with NBA commissioner David Stern citing a lack of suitable arenas as a major hurdle. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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