Alexandria, Va., businessman Melvin Coles said yesterday that he will bring an American Basketball Association franchise to Baltimore for the 2005-06 season, and he expects to name the team's first player today.
An official announcement of the ABA team coming here will be made in the near future, said Coles, who owns Electrolite02 - the official drinking water of the ABA.
Coles, who would not say how much the team cost, will be running one of a possible 34 expansion franchises for next season.
The 34 new teams - according to Coles - will bring the league's total to 69 franchises, as 35 teams are currently competing in three divisions.
According to Coles, the team will attempt to play its home games at the 1st Mariner Arena, even though he is aware the franchise may have to average around 4,000 fans to break even financially.
A name for the ABA team will be chosen by the Baltimore fans, Coles said.
"I want to get the whole city involved in the name," he said. "We're going to start developing players around the second and third month of the new year."
One of the teams now in the league is the Maryland NightHawks, who play their home games at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.
The new ABA is beginning its third season.