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Opinion: League should rotate NBA Finals locations like the NFL does

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In addition to the playoff seeding reform currently being considered by the NBA, commissioner Adam Silver should also consider this proposal.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL's Super Bowl is not necessarily played on the conference winner's home field. The NBA could follow suit, as it currently does with the All-Star game, and stage the NBA Finals in cities that bid for the privilege.

This suggestion is not new, since "stadium hopping" was mentioned three years ago. As another writer pointed out five NBA cities never had the privilege of witnessing NBA Finals on their home court. Previous suggestions about following the NCAA format were met with ridicule.

This concept has been adopted by the NCAA Division I basketball tournament (March Madness), where the semi-final and championship games will be played on April 2 and 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas - regardless of which teams play. This allows advance planning and an enjoyable experience for both media personnel and basketball fans visiting from the entire country or world for that matter.

Another advantage is that large-market cities cities, such as New York, would sponsor the NBA Finals contests for the first time in decades. That alone would reap a huge financial windfall for the NBA, since in recent years the Finals have been played in a limited number of markets, namely homes of the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder or Golden State Warriors.

In today's ESPN and internet era the location where games are played does not matter anymore, since the audiences are national, or even international ones, as witnessed by the contest in Africa. The rise of Fantasy Basketball is beginning to make physical teams as quaint as Walmart stores.

Consumers are flocking to virtual marketplaces like Amazon, who offer same-day delivery services directly to the home and reach every connected household in the United States. Eventually mini-theaters could broadcast NBA playoff games in untapped markets, complete with concessions, state-of-the-art visual and audio effects, and real-time interactive features such as polls or audience feedback.

The NBA regular-season games are currently limited to 30 physical locations. It could easily expand having some games being played in "approved" locations in places such as Seattle, Louisville, Tampa, Las Vegas, that are starved for NBA action. Incidentally, Wilt Chamberlain's historic 100-point game took place in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This is reminiscent of teams a hundred years ago "barnstorming" cities that never had a chance to witness top-flight teams in person.

By having the NBA Finals in one location the players would not have to travel coast-to-coast between games, which would keep them in much better shape for the series. Even their entire entourage could find accommodations in one place without spending most of their time in airports and planes.

The NBA itself would benefit monetarily since visitors to the sponsoring city need to pay for hotels, restaurants, souvenirs, and assorted merchandise during their stay there. Locals already have lodging and food, but going to another city supporters of both teams need to spend money they otherwise won't. The NBA Finals would a financial windfall to the entire region that hosts the games.

The sponsoring city and their partners should reward the NBA Finalists handsomely for their participation. The rights to NBA's marque event need not be given away cheaply.

The media would love the idea since they could set up their broadcast facilities well in advance of the contests, instead of finding out a few days ahead of time where to send all their equipment and lodge their personnel. That's a logistical nightmare as events already booked need to be moved around by the host arenas. All but two contending teams would not have waste money on useless tickets, programs, personnel, etc.

The dissenters would be the two cities that host the NBA Finals. In a democracy, they would be out-voted 28-2 by cities that have empty venues during the Finals. To make matters interesting, the conference champions could have drawings for lucky fans of the home teams to visit the host city, with all expenses paid by the NBA. It would heighten excitement and interest by fans nationwide to see who would be the lucky winners.

NBA teams already play some contests in neutral locations, and as mentioned before, the NFL is not locked into hosting the Super Bowl in the American or National League winner's home field. Time for the NBA to follow the NFL's lead and become June's marque sporting event. The NFL has been doing this for decades with such great success that a Super Bowl commercial is the priciest minute in television.