Kings, Virginia Beach Discussing Plan To Relocate Franchise, According To Report

The Kings are planning a meeting with Comcast-Spectacor and Virginia Beach officials to discuss a possible relocation to that area, according to a report.

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Virginia Beach arena not funded yet

Kings fans in Sacramento received some good news on Saturday when Virginia governor's proposed budget failed to include funds for the construction of an arena.


Kevin Johnson Steadfast In Refusal To Renegotiate Sacramento Arena Deal With Kings' Owners

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has flown to New York to meet with top NBA officials and the Maloofs, who own the Kings. But in a letter to the Maloofs released to the media Thursday night, Johnson, a former All-NBA point guard, reaffirmed the city's refusal to renegotiate approved terms of the arena deal passed by the city council in March.

That deal was brokered in all-hands negotiations in Orlando during All-Star Weekend.

"Under no circumstances will the City make material adjustments to the current terms of the deal," Johnson said in the letter. "Put simply, we have done our part."

In filings with the city, the Maloofs have raised several issues, including a disputed payment of $3.2 million toward pre-development fees and the likelihood of the new facility being ready to open for the 2015-16 season. The city has pushed back against the tenor of the Maloofs' filings, suggesting they indicate a lack of support for Sacramento.

For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty or SB Nation Bay Area.


Kings' Owners Want To Renegotiate Sacramento Arena Deal

Just six weeks after crying for the cameras and going on the record to say that they could make money under a negotiated arena deal that would keep the Kings in Sacramento, the Maloofs are apparently prepared to ask the NBA to begin renegotiating that deal with city officials. The Maloofs have balked at paying $3 million in pre-development fees to get the project rolling, and have used the media and a high-powered lawyer to question the city's ability to deliver an arena by 2015. The NBA stepped in last week to front a portion of the disputed money, but according to the Sacramento Bee the Maloofs have additional concerns about the deal and will ask NBA commissioner David Stern, who helped negotiate the deal, to go back into talks before they sign anything.

The deal announced at the end of All-Star Weekend in Orlando was a handshake deal on a term sheet. The city has claimed that the Maloofs didn't raise hackles about anything in the deal until March 20, almost a month after agreeing to the term sheet and three weeks after the Sacramento City Council approved it.

The Bee quotes experts who believe Stern will be unwilling to re-open talks, and may be affronted at the Maloofs' intransigence. Stern and the NBA took over the arena issue on behalf of the Maloofs in 2006 primarily because the owners' reputation had become so toxic in Sacramento. The path is familiar.

For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty or SB Nation Bay Area.


Sacramento Kings Arena Approved By City, Slated To Open In 2015

The Sacramento City Council voted to approve a financing plan for a new arena in the city's downtown, ensuring that the Kings will remain in town for at least 30 more years. The arena is slated to open in time for the 2015-16 season, with construction targeted to begin in the spring of 2013.

Just a year ago, the Maloof family, owners of the Kings, appeared ready to move the club to Anaheim, even going so far as to put together a lease agreement to play in the Honda Center. But Kevin Johnson, Sacramento's mayor and a former All-Star point guard, convinced NBA commissioner David Stern to hear his city's case. After several extensions on the Maloofs' deadline to file for relocation while the league office and relocation committee investigated Sacramento's potential and blueprint for a new facility, the team announced it would remain in Sacramento for the 2011-12 season, assuming that a lockout didn't kill it.

The city announced a deal with the Kings and the NBA last week, and presented that agreement to the City Council for approval. On Tuesday, the council voted 7-2 in favor.

For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty, which is in the mood to celebrate.


Kings Arena Appears To Have Necessary Sacramento City Council Votes, According To Report

The Sacramento Bee reports that the five votes needed to approve a deal to build a new arena in downtown Sacramento with funding from the city's parking assets and the Kings are in hand. The nine-member Sacramento City Council will weigh a term sheet reached by city staff, the Kings, the NBA and arena operator AEG at its meeting on Tuesday.

If it receives five or more votes, the city would proceed on finalizing specific elements, including either a lease of publicly-owned parking facilities or the creation of a public parking authority that would then borrow against future expected parking revenues to help fund the construction of a new arena.

If approved, the arena is on track to open for the 2015-16 season. The Kings would commit to Sacramento for 30 years. They have been in town since 1985, with the Maloof family taking over ownership in 1999.

The Kings nearly moved to Anaheim a year ago, but Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA All-Star point guard who grew up in the city, convinced the league to pressure the team to stay one more season as one final attempt for an arena was pursued.

Approval on Tuesday would be an incredible culmination of the city's comeback.

For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty and SB Nation Bay Area.


Kings Likely To Stay In Sacramento After Plan Approved For Construction Of New Arena

Hold the moving vans, the Sacramento Kings appear to be staying put, after all. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson said on Monday that the city had approved the framework for a deal that would put a new entertainment and sports facility in downtown and keep the Kings right where they are. Sactown Royalty definitely sounded optimistic:

This was a crucial step ... but just a step. Next up: approval for parking funding from the county on Tuesday, approval on the deal from the City Council on March 6. This isn't over.

The Maloofs, who own the Kings, would be kicking in about $73 million of the total of $387 million. The involved parties were sounding as if this was all essentially a done deal and that city council approval was more of a formality (via Sacramento Bee).

This has to be seen as a massive step forward as the Kings have, seemingly, had at least one foot out the door for quite some time. In recent weeks, that has heated up as Seattle announced its own plans to build a new arena in an attempt to lure an NBA and NHL team to town. It had been widely speculated that the Kings and Phoenix Coyotes were the most likely teams to make the move.


Sacramento, Kings Continue Negotiations On Arena Deal As Deadline Looms

The city of Sacramento needs to have a deal with the Maloofs, who own the Kings, to fund the construction of a $400-million arena by Thursday in order to meet the NBA's relocation deadline. The parties met with the NBA over All-Star Weekend in Orlando and will continue those talks on Monday, as the Maloofs have yet to sign off on the deal as presented.

The deal would reportedly ask the Maloofs for $85 million up front, with $15 million of that being freed up in a refinancing of an existing city loan to the family, $25 million coming from the sale of land around the Kings' current arena, Power Balance Pavilion, and the rest constituting advance lease payments. At least one brother, George Maloof, who runs The Palms in Las Vegas -- a casino the Maloofs built but recently lost controlling interest of due to massive debt obligations -- is unconvinced the deal is a good one.

For comparison's sake, the Magic-owning DeVos family contributed $100 million toward the construction of Orlando's new Amway Center, a building that was cheaper to build than Sacramento's would be. That would appear to eliminate the question of whether the city's requested contribution is fair. It's more a matter of whether the Maloofs can pay.

For more on the Kings' arena situation, visit Sactown Royalty and SB Nation Bay Area.


City, NBA To Continue Negotiations On Sacramento Kings Arena Deal Sunday

David Stern said during his annual NBA All-Star Weekend press conference on Saturday that league officials will continue negotiations with Sacramento leaders and the Maloofs, who own the Kings, on a funding plan for a new arena in that city. Stern met with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson briefly Saturday after city and league staff spent several hours negotiating the Maloofs' contribution to the construction of a new facility.

Stern said that gaps still exist, and the March 1 deadline for a deal remains. The Sacramento City Council is expected to vote on a potential deal March 6.

Earlier on Saturday, multiple reports cited sources who said the city of Sacramento is seeking a contribution from $70-$90 million from the Maloofs. The family losts the majority of its stake in The Palms Casino and Resort last year due to reported debts in the hundreds of millions. The Maloofs have also shuttered the WNBA Monarchs and sold the family's lucrative New Mexican beer distributorship in recent years to get some liquidity. Joe and Gavin Maloof infamously switched from first-class to coach travel in the painful 2008-09 season. It is unclear whether they have returned to the luxury of the front of the plane.

For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty and SB Nation Bay Area.


Sacramento Vote On Kings' Arena Funding Moved To March 6 As Negotiations Continue

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson announced on Wednesday that a critical City Council vote on a funding plan to build a new arena downtown partially using revenue gained by leasing out the operation of Sacramento's parking structures would be delayed until March 6. The city continues to negotiate the terms of an arena deal with the NBA, the Kings and operator AEG. The nine-member City Council would then vote on whether to accept those terms.

No public vote is expected to be necessary.

Johnson said Wednesday that he aims to have a deal with the league in place by March 1 so that the city can give the public and the Council ample time to review the details. Johnson will be in Orlando for All-Star Weekend to negotiate directly with NBA commissioner David Stern and the Maloofs, who own the Kings and last year attempted to move the club to Anaheim. Stern blocked that attempt, more or less.

For all things Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.


Sacramento Seeking $60 Million In Cash From Strapped Kings' Owners, According To Report

The city of Sacramento is looking for the Kings and NBA to contribute $85 million to a new arena, with $60 million of that an upfront cash payment to cover a 30-year lease, according to a report by the Sacramento Bee. The Kings, who are owned by the Maloofs, are not exactly flush with cash. The Maloofs sold their family's beer distributorship in New Mexico in recent years to pay down debt on The Palms casino in Las Vegas; nonetheless, the family's stake in The Palms shrank to 2 percent last year as the Maloofs' debt was taken over.

The Maloofs already owe the city roughly $70 million for a loan executed in the late 1990s when the Kings had threatened to leave Sacramento under previous ownership. The Maloofs are also believed to owe at least $100 million to the league's credit facility. For the second consecutive season, the Kings have the NBA's smallest payroll. Sacramento barely exceeded the league's minimum payroll level last year.

The city is working with arena developer AEG and the NBA on a term sheet that would be presented to the Sacramento City Council on Feb. 28, two days before the league's March 1 relocation deadline. That term sheet will include a large chunk of the capital coming from the leasing out of the city's downtown parking facilities to a private contractor, an issue that has met with some controversy in Sacramento. That piece of the deal is expected to contribute roughly half of the capital needed to build the $400 million arena at The Railyards, Sacramento's massive infill space just off of downtown.

For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty and SB Nation Bay Area.


NBA, Not Maloofs, To Negotiate New Sacramento Kings Arena Deal With City, AEG

Representatives of the city of Sacramento, the NBA and major arena operator AEG will meet in Dallas on Wednesday, according to Rob McAllister of KFBK Radio, to work on a deal to build a new facility to host the Kings in California's capital. Notably absent from that meeting: anyone from the Kings' management or ownership group.

The NBA will be represented by a different owner, Clay Bennett of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bennett, interestingly enough, chaired the relocation committee that, after visits to Sacramento and talks with Anaheim in April, recommended to commissioner David Stern that the Kings' relocation bid to Orange County be denied. Bennett also, of course, has the most recent experience of all NBA owners in relocation and arena deals, having taken the SuperSonics out of Seattle in 2008.

The Maloofs have not been in New York City participating in NBA lockout talks, and have not attended any public meetings at which the arena was discussed in Sacramento. Gavin Maloof, the more well-known member of the family, was in Sacramento for much of June as the Kings prepared for the 2011 NBA Draft.

The city has until March 1, 2012, to put an arena plan in place; otherwise, the Maloofs have indicated that the NBA will approve a relocation application.


AEG 'Seriously Considering' Deal To Run New Kings Arena In Sacramento

In a press conference Tuesday, Sacramento mayor and former All-NBA point guard Kevin Johnson said that the city is in serious talks with renowned arena operator AEG regarding a new arena to host the Sacramento Kings. Later on Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council approved two resolutions aimed at moving the project forward. One approved David Taylor and the ICON Group -- the latter of which has strong ties to AEG -- as the project developers. The other allocated $550,000 to consultants investigating specific funding and financing options for the new entertainment and sports complex.

AEG getting involved would be a huge deal. AEG recently helped Kansas City build the Sprint Center without a major league tenant; a Sacramento arena would be similar since the city has just one major league team and no major college programs. AEG has also developed the Staples Center and L.A. Live and is the lead on a new NFL stadium in Los Angeles.

Sacramento has until March 1, 2012, to have an arena plan in place. The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, has made it clear that if an arena plan is not set in stone, the team will file for relocation. The NBA, which has staff stationed in Sacramento to help the team and city this year, has indicated it will grant the Maloofs' request if it comes to that. That supposes, however, that the struggling Maloofs are able to hang on to the franchise.


Kings Will Remain In Sacramento With Anaheim Relocation Bid's End, According To Report

The Sacramento Kings will remain in California's capital next season, according to Randy Youngman of the Orange County Register. Youngman reports that operators of Anaheim's Honda Center -- where the Kings would have played if the team relocated to Orange County -- were notified by the Maloof family that the team's relocation bid had ended. Monday was the NBA's deadline for the Maloofs to file for relocation.

The NBA and Maloofs are expected to release statements on the decision on Monday. The Maloofs had become disenchanted with attempts to get a new arena built in Sacramento, and in February NBA commissioner David Stern told media the team was in discussions with Henry Samueli, owner of the Anaheim Ducks and operator of the Honda Center. Despite a major push from Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson to scrape together $10 million in new corporate sponsorships, the Maloofs continued to consider Anaheim, until the NBA's relocation committee told them it would not recommend the NBA Board of Governors approve a move.

Visit Sactown Royalty for more on the decision and what happens next.


Kings Expected To Remain In Sacramento For At Least One More Year, According To Reports

The Kings are expected to remain in Sacramento for at least one more year, reports Mark Heisler and Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. The tide against a planned relocation to Anaheim had stumbled over the past week, as Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson made a pitch to the NBA to keep the team in its home of 26 years while the city works on an ongoing effort to build a new arena and entertainment complex. Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett and NBA attorny Harvey Benjamin visited Sacramento on Thursday and Friday to meet with Johnson and business and other political leaders.

The Maloofs have not addressed Sacramento's new push to keep the Kings, but NBA commissioner David Stern has made clear in the last week that he is interested in fully fleshing out both the condition and viability of Sacramento and the prospects of the Anaheim market.

In a Friday afternoon press conference after the Times' story broke, Johnson said that he will not be sure the Kings are staying in Sacramento until he hears it from Stern or Bennett. The NBA demured on official questions about a decision from the Times.

Recent reports have suggested the city will have one year to have a new arena under development. Power Balance Pavilion, formerly known as ARCO Arena, was built in 1988, and is considered the worst arena in the NBA by no small margin.

For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.


Sacramento Kings' Anaheim Relocation Bid Reportedly Falling Apart

Sam Amick of reports that there are increasingly strong indications that the Sacramento Kings' bid to relocate to Anaheim ahead of the 2011-12 NBA season is falling apart. Amick reports that the NBA has within the past week directed Kings' ticket sales officials to begin to prepare to send out season ticket renewal materials -- something usually done in March but put off indefinitely given the Maloof family's aim to move -- and that the NBA is not pleased with the lack of a lucrative T.V. contract in Anaheim.

Local television revenue was seen as the golden chalice of an L.A. move, but Amick reports the Maloofs were only able to secure $20 million from an independent channel run by Henry Samueli, the operator of the Honda Center where the Kings would have played and the man leading the financing of the planned move. Given that the Kings make $11 million per year in the much smaller Sacramento, that apparently raised red flags for the league.

Meanwhile, the NBA is visiting Sacramento on Thursday to scope out progress on a new arena and verify mayor Kevin Johnson's claims that local businesses are ready to commit more than $7 million toward new sponsorships for the Kings. Looming in the background is the specter that the struggling Maloof family could, if forced to remain in Sacramento another year, be convinced to sell the team. Billionaire and Pittsburgh Penguins owners Ron Burkle has expressed a public interest in buying the Kings and keeping them in Sacramento.

For more on the Kings' saga, visit Sactown Royalty.

Disclosure: the author is a Kings fan, Sacramento resident and the author of Sactown Royalty.


Lakers' Jerry Buss Sits On NBA's Kings Relocation Panel, Source Tells

Los Angeles Lakers franchise owner Jerry Buss -- a critic of the Sacramento Kings' planned relocation to Anaheim -- sits on the NBA's seven-member committee considering the move, has learned.

The league's standing relocation and arena committee has been directed to begin considering the Maloof family's forthcoming request for relocation to Anaheim, according to a source. The Maloofs' relocation application is due April 18. The NBA's committee will have up to 120 days to make a recommendation to the full Board of Governors, which is made up of the 30 franchise owners.

The Maloofs need majority approval to move the Kings to Southern California. The Maloofs themselves do have a vote, and league-appointed governor Jac Sperling will vote on behalf of the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets.

Buss is understandably opposed to the Kings' relocation. Not only would an NBA team in Anaheim potentially slice into the Lakers' fan base in Orange County, but Buss' new cable contract with Time Warner (worth a reported $5 billion over 25 years) could shrink if the L.A. area adds a third team. Reports indicate the value of that deal could shrink 10 percent if L.A. gets a third team, meaning a Kings relocation to Anaheim would cost the Lakers' $500 million. has also learned the identity of four other members of the relocation committee: Mickey Arison (Miami Heat), Herb Simon (Indiana Pacers), Peter Holt (San Antonio Spurs) and Ed Snider (Philadelphia 76ers). There are two other members of the committee, but has not been able to confirm their identities.

The full Board of Governors not only votes on whether to allow relocation, but also on what fee the Kings would have to pay the league as a whole and to the Lakers and Clippers separately. When the Sonics were moved to Oklahoma City, the franchise had to pay a $30 million relocation fee, which was then split evenly among the other 29 teams. Buss is but one vote, but he is expected to press hard for a sizable "territorial" fee if he can't first derail the move. Such fees are not governed by the NBA bylaws, and are completely subject to majority rule by the Board of Governors.

NBA franchise owners will meet Thursday and Friday to discuss the Kings' relocation and other league items. The Maloofs and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, who has fought the relocation, will make presentations to the league on Thursday.


Sacramento Kings Arena Plan Emerges, But Is It Too Late?

Sacramento has buzzed this week on a shadowy, vague plan to keep the Kings in the city they have called home for 26 years, even as relocation to Anaheim looks inevitable. T.V. sports anchor Jim Crandell (a Sacramento institution) reported only the slightest details on the plan Wednesday; Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee divulged more on Friday. The jist is that two men who were heavily involved in the Kings' move to Sacramento from Kansas City a quarter-century ago are working on a plan to keep the team in town.

Two members of the Sacramento Kings' original management group - architect Rann Haight and executive Greg Van Dusen - are heading the latest efforts for a sports-and-entertainment facility that would keep the franchise in town. [...]

Sources on Thursday characterized the effort as a "below-the-radar, grass-roots effort" that has gone on for more than a year. It would involve both the city and county of Sacramento, perhaps extending to several counties within the Kings' season-ticket base.

But is it too late? The Maloof family, which owns the Kings franchise, has been in negotiations with Honda Center operator Henry Samueli for at least two months, and the situation has progressed to the point where the Anaheim City Council is expected to approve a bond issuance to fund Honda Center upgrades -- including an NBA practice facility -- as soon as next week.

Voisin reports that the Maloofs are being updated on the Haight-Van Dusen plan regularly, but does not reveal how inclined the family is to canceling the Anaheim plan should the Sacramento plan continue to take shape.

The Maloofs are expected to decide whether to relocate by April 18. The decision must receive majority approval from the other NBA franchise owners.

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