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.
The big news yesterday was the latest snag in the arena deal, which came when the Maloofs suddenly read the non-binding term sheet we all had already stopped talking about weeks ago, and realized they were on the hook for some development funds. Today Tony Bizjak and Dale Kasler report that David Stern is planning to pick up part of the tab to make sure initial work can get done.
A pessimistic person would say that this is just the first line in the sand drawn by the Maloofs, and that if they resolve this issue it’ll just be something else down the road. I am trying not to be that guy. For instance, who says that one of the tenants of a building that will be owned by someone else should have to pay for infrastructure? Maybe there is a better deal that takes away some of those costs and puts a corresponding amount in profits back into the city’s bank account.
So I guess today is do-or-die for keeping the Kings franchise in town. What I’m wondering is whether anyone has talked about whether Ron Burkle couldn’t just make a big commitment toward the cost of an arena instead of making overtures about buying a team, which is just a contingency plan and would put him in the unfavorable position of stealing something from New Orleans, namely the NBA’s best player.
I have been trying to look at all the angles of this story but has that been discussed? If an arena is a good bet for a business and not necessarily for a tax base, wouldn’t it make sense for our billionaire benefactor to own a major stake in the arena?
Regarding what to do with the Kings, dumping them on Anaheim or Vegas is now an option. I can’t really see Anaheimians attending Kings games, but maybe an underwhelming last place basketball team that is currently showing it can waste even a rookie of the year is just what that area needs. It doesn’t sound like the Maloofs are as secure in Vegas as they once were, so if they move there it won’t be for the same reasons it would have been a few years ago. I also can’t see the NBA going for contraction but it would fit the storyline of the day and age we’re in.
It would probably take at least 2 years to move the franchise to Vegas. At this point the grieving process, once the other shoe drops, will only take about 2 days…