Who will own Mastrov/Burkle downtown arena?

One detail that I am unclear on after this week’s announcement by Mayor Johnson: who will own the arena?

If Burkle’s involvement is centered on the downtown arena portion, does that mean he will operate the arena or own it? If the city is still planning to put up the $255m it had pledged as the lions share of the arena costs under the rejected 2012 deal, shouldn’t the city own the arena, as it would have under that plan?

Johnson seemed to indicate that he supports protecting taxpayers from subsidizing the arena and team. But mortgaging the city’s parking revenue for a limited stake in the resulting ESC would be a downgrade.

I suppose we’ll have to wait to find out when Preliminary Terms Sheet Part III: Return of The Returnening is released.

Sacramento makes Seattle’s dreams come true

Photo of  the Seattle SuperSonics logo
I had the brew, she had the chronic.

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This is a time to reflect; a time to think about dreams. It is also a time to prepare to say goodbye (reportedly, er, sources say, by the time you read this) to the Sacramento Kings. We may want to ease our sorrows by putting ourselves in Seattle’s shoes. That is, let’s hop over to their side of the internet and check out what they have to say.

You can believe it now: NBA is coming back. This time the deal is done. The Sonics are coming back in the form of the Sacramento Kings. No this isn’t a dream. And it isn’t another one of those here-come-the-Kings teases. This time the deal is done. The Sonics are coming back in the form of the Sacramento Kings…And remember, the Maloofs, who have tried their best to run this team into the ground, no longer are running this show…I just have the feeling, judging by the smart and understated way Hansen and his colleagues have gone about the arena proposal and the acquisition of this team, they will be equally good at finding the right people to make the right personnel decisions. These guys are winners…We may never open our arms to commissioner David Stern, but he wanted this deal to work. He told me four years ago he wanted Ballmer in the league. The league is better with Hansen and Ballmer in it.

Fascinating. Now, back to the 916Continue reading “Sacramento makes Seattle’s dreams come true”

Giants World Championship trophies will be appearing in Sacramento

"The Beard & The Trophy" from flickr user Nick.Fisher
“The Beard & The Trophy” from flickr user Nick.Fisher

Nicknamed “The Twins,” the Giants 2010 and 2012 World Series trophies are making another tour of Northern California, and their first stop is none other than Sacramento.

This will be the second public trophy tour held in the past three years and will feature both the 2012 and 2010 trophies. The focus of the San Francisco World Championship Trophy Tour presented by Bank of America is to share the trophies with Giants fans in Junior Giants communities throughout northern California.

The trophies will be available for viewing (“The trophies will NOT BE ALLOWED to be touched by anyone”) in the lobby of City Hall from 2:30-5:00 PM on Tuesday. Viewing is free but fans will be given the opportunity to donate to the Junior Giants program, and have their donations matched by B of A.

Sacramento is one of the strongest soccer regions in the country

Mayor Kevin Johnson at USL Pro Press Conference

In the wake of the Sacramento City Council’s decision to disband the Sacramento Sports Commission (Mayor Kevin Johnson was absent from the vote), the United Soccer League (USL PRO) announced that an expansion franchise in Sacramento will join the league for the 2014 season.

“I welcome USL PRO to Sacramento,” Sacramento’s Mayor Kevin Johnson said. “Attracting more jobs and civic amenities to our community is an essential part of elevating our profile as a vibrant and emerging region.”

I guess that’s all well and good, but I’m locking in on this statement from the article.

The Sacramento area contains one of the strongest regional soccer scenes in the United States, with some of the highest youth soccer participation rates in the country, as well as successful high school and collegiate programs. Numerous professional players from Sacramento currently play in Major League Soccer and USL PRO. During the 2010 World Cup, Univision had higher viewership in Sacramento than ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations combined for the game between Mexico and Costa Rica. Sacramento was also consistently in the top 10 for ESPN/ABC Neilsen ratings during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Wow. I need to get out more, I had no idea. But, then again, I had no idea we still had a professional football team, and that said team plays at Raley Field. Or do they?

And in related news, how do we feel about this Kevin Johnson ethics violation story? I’m not sure I’m buying the “Oops, our bad” response. Do you?

Kings season starts tonight at Chicago

“Teamwork makes the dream work” via Twitter/@Isaiah_Thomas2

Your Sacramento Kings tip off in a few hours in Chicago. Jonathan Santiago at Cowbell Kingdom has a great roundup of the national media predictions for the 2012-13 Kings. Folks predicting the team to be a sleeper playoff team are out there, but most are non-believers. The Sactown Royalty preview by Greg Wissinger urges caution but acknowledges some improvements in Robinson, James Johnson and Chuck Hayes’s health.

Last year a .545 winning percentage was the cutoff on the Western Conference playoffs. I think that is a more realistic goal for 13-14, but I don’t think an improvement of 100 percentage points and a 35 win season is out of reach this year. Go Kings!

News 10 to broadcast Kings games

I’m really excited to learn that News 10 will broadcast some Sacramento Kings games this season. As a cable cord-cutter, the biggest issue that I run into is a lack of live sports. I’m not an avid TV sports viewer so it’s not a big deal, but I do miss being able to tune in and check out the Kings. Hopefully this helps expose more people to this squad which I think is going to be pretty exciting.

Before you get too excited, it’s actually just 10 games that will be aired on News 10. Here is the list:

  • Sunday, Nov. 18 vs. Brooklyn Nets (3 pm)
  • Sunday, Dec. 16 vs. Denver Nuggets (3 pm)
  • Friday, Dec. 28 vs. New York Knicks (7 pm)
  • Saturday, Jan. 12 vs. Miami Heat (7 pm)
  • Friday, Jan. 25 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (7 pm)
  • Saturday, Feb. 2 at New York Knicks (4:30 pm)
  • Saturday, Feb. 9 vs. Utah Jazz (7 pm)
  • Friday, Mar. 1 at San Antonio Spurs (5:30 pm)
  • Saturday, Mar. 23 at Denver Nuggets (6 pm)
  • Saturday, Mar. 30 at Los Angeles Lakers (7 pm)

Source: Local ABC station to broadcast select Sacramento Kings games this year [Cowbell Kingdom]

It’s official: Kings home court will be “Sleep Train Arena”

The Kings made the announcement a short while ago:

The Sacramento Kings have just announced a new naming rights deal for the building formerly known as Arco Arena turned Power Balance Pavilion. While negotiations with local mattress retailer Sleep Train collapsed last month when the Maloof family refused to guarantee the Kings would stay in Sacramento past this season, the two sides returned to the table and hammered out today’s announced deal.

It’s a multi-year agreement, and apparently the new signage will be up in November. Personally I will have no trouble calling it Sleep Train Arena. Lots of “sleep” related jokes can be made as well. Let’s just hope they are more along the lines of “The exciting Kings put a sleeper hold on the Memphis Grizzlies tonight” and not like “The woeful Kings looked like they were sleepwalking tonight”…

(hat tip: Cowbell Kingdom)

BREAKING: Kings may move to Virginia Beach, Virginia UPDATED

Virginia Beach has the largest “pleasure beach” in the world, if you’re into that sort of thing. From Wikipedia

UPDATED: Cowbell Kingdom.com outlines the update to this, which is that the Kings say it is not a real thing. WTMalooF?

I heard it first from RansackedMedia.com.

A report out of the Hampton Roads Business Journal says that the Sacramento Kings will relocate to Virginia Beach and play in a new arena to be built by Comcast.

The Biz Journal report is here. I almost want this to happen by tomorrow just to get this topic put to bed for good. I am 100% ready to root for my first NBA love, the Golden State Warriors, who I think have an exciting roster and are poised for good things. And I don’t even care if I’m jinxing things by jumping ship at this point. It seems pretty clear that between the Maloofs being checked out and Kevin Johnson and the city’s inept attempt at keeping the Kings, we should just prepare for the inevitable.

Bleacher Report-er: Kings will make 2013 Playoffs

Thomas Robinson, courtesy of nba.com

Matthew Schmidt, checking in for Bleacher Report, makes the case that the Kings will be able to contend for the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference in 2013. His ambitious claim is based on a prediction that Cousins will continue his rise and give us a 20 and 12 season, and that the backcourt of Evans/Thornton/Thomas will also improve their play. He barely takes Thomas Robinson into account.

Personally I don’t think he’s that far off. Cousins and Thomas are really exciting, and adding Evans and Thornton almost makes up for the lack of a true small forward.

What do you think, is the future looking bright for the Kings? More importantly: would it only serve to make them a better investment for another city?