Like us to subscribe
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.
After the death of a deal that would have gotten the Sacramento Kings a new arena in Sacramento, the team-owning Maloof brothers got an acidic statement from Sacramento mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson. And now, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, the Maloofs' NBA owner brethren are incensed.
The Maloofs reportedly pulled out of a deal that would have included $255 million in public money toward a $400 million new arena over pre-development costs, game-day obligations, and the length of their lease. Unsurprisingly, that has peeved some owners.
Commissioner David Stern backed the Maloofs' decision to pull out of the deal, calling it "their prerogative." But the Maloofs' fellow owners are at their wit's end with the family's bungling of the arena deal, according to a person familiar with the Board of Governors' stance.
"We can complain, we can jawbone them, but there's nothing we can do," the person said. "We can't force them to sell."
A local coalition of Sacramento leaders is looking into the possibility of proposing an alternative ownership group to the NBA.
For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.
The situation surrounding the Sacramento Kings and their potential new arena/potential relocation from Sacramento continues to be ugly and unenjoyable: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson gave a press conference in New York that was live-tweeted by CBS' Ken Berger, while J. Michael Falgoust from USA Today had a statement from the Maloofs.
What Johnson had to say was pretty brutal:
KJ: "Is a deal dead, as we know it? Absolutely."
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) April 13, 2012
Here's the entirety of Johnson's statement, as tweeted by Berger:
Wish I had better news. I came to New York to see if the Maloof family would honor their commitment. They are now saying they don't want to do the deal, which is essentially saying they don't want to be in Sacramento. I think Sacramento deserves a partner that would honor the commitment. I am still baffled to say the least how we got here. Whether the Maloofs have the financial resources or not, I don't know. We set out on a journey a year ago where we said as a city that we would put together a viable financial plan to keep the team. Any owner would jump or do backflips for what we were able to do in a brief period of time. They said they wanted a brand new facility. They said they want to be the talk of the town. We as a city are not interested in doing that. We had a win-win-win. If someone doesn't want to honor that agreement and partnership, we as a community have to say "No, thank you." For us, a deal's a deal. This is about trust and accountability from my standpoint. I want Sacramento to remain an NBA city... but I don't want our city to lose leverage and I don't want our city to be held hostage...the only ones who questioned the viability of the project was the Kings. It felt like they were coming up with reason not to do the deal. That's what it felt like to me... I think we should support our team for the next couple of weeks... but we need to think about what our options might be... Is a deal dead, as we know it? Absolutely.
The Maloofs were more concise:
We are committed to remaining the Sacramento Kings. At the conclusion of a meeting this afternoon with Mayor Johnson he advised us there was nothing to be gained by continued discussions at this time.
Hopefully the sides can sort their differences out for the fans in Sacramento.
For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.
David Stern expressed disappointment in the Maloof family's decision to go back on a handshake agreement between the league, the city and the Maloofs to finance a new arena that would keep the Kings in Sacramento. Stern will not force them to abide by the deal, though, saying it was always "non-binding."
"We had an agreement in principle, a framework, a deal. Call whatever you want," Stern said in a press conference following the Board of Governors meeting. "In my view, it was subject to any party who said didn't want to do it. It was always non-binding."
"I think it's fair for Maloofs to say they didn't want to do it," Stern said, adding that "If they did it a little earlier, a little simpler and a little more directly, it could have saved some angst."
The three sides reached an agreement in principle in early March to finance a new arena that would open in 2015, but the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, has expressed concern about a number of factors, including a call to provide $3.2 million in pre-development fees. George Maloof, the brother of co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof, discussed the family's objections in a tense press conference on Friday morning. The press conference followed a stern letter by Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson telling the family that it would not re-negotiate the deal.
Stern said that while he is disappointed in the outcome, the league will not alter the money they are contributing from the handshake agreement. He revealed that the league was going to contribute $67 million up front and another $7 million in addition later on in the process.
"I am extremely disappointed, on behalf of Maloofs and city of Sacramento, but I think that there's nothing further to be done," Stern said. "This is a situation that the Maloofs will make judgments on and city will have to make judgments on. I think we've done as much as we can do."
Stern said the Kings would remain in Sacramento through next season, but did not want to commit beyond that. Besides admonishing the Maloofs' economist for his "ill grace" in opining about the Maloofs' financial burden in the deal, Stern did not attack the family's strategy. When asked about George Maloof's tense press conference, Stern said he was "entitled to do it."
However, Stern did try to explain why the three sides were rushing to make a deal, a reality George Maloof said the family now doesn't like.
"We were moving quickly because the Maloofs, us and city wanted this arena to be opened as soon as possible and the construction costs to be kept as low as possible to take advantage of the current conditions," Stern said. "Letting this drag would have been a problem."
As for relocation, Stern would only say that he takes the Maloofs' public commitment to Sacramento at face value.
"I take them at their word. I always have"
For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.
George Maloof, the brother of Sacramento Kings co-owners Gavin and Joe Maloof, held a tense press conference on Friday to attempt to explain why the Maloof family has asked to re-negotiate a handshake agreement for a new arena that would keep the team in Sacramento. During the press conference, George Maloof declared that the deal between the Maloof family, the NBA and the city of Sacramento would die if the city did not return to the table.
"If [Mayor Kevin Johnson] says he's not negotiating, then he killed the deal," Maloof said. "It's over."
Johnson, in a sternly-worded letter that was leaked, informed the Maloof family that the city had no interest in adjusting the terms of a handshake deal approved by all parties six weeks ago. The Maloof family is objecting to several aspects of that deal, including the call to provide $3.2 million in pre-development fees towards the new arena.
George Maloof did affirm his commitment to keeping the franchise in Sacramento and characterized the objections as the family doing their "due diligence" on the terms of the deal. George Maloof even proposed that the city could renovate Arco Arena, where the team currently plays, as an alternative. However, given that the family did publicly support the handshake agreement before, even thanking the city for their support, it raises questions about their true intentions.
For more on the Kings' relocation situation, visit Sactown Royalty.
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.
The Sacramento Kings are a focal point at this week's NBA Board of Governors meeting in New York. It was reported Thursday afternoon that Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof were asking their fellow owners to support their opposition to the current deal for a new sports and entertainment complex that is in place with the city of Sacramento, in addition to support for a potential move to Anaheim if the Maloofs do not get further concessions. It's a mess that will require additional discussions between Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the Maloofs. And according to Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee, NBA Commissioner David Stern has set up a "surprise meeting" between the parties for Friday.
NY update: Sources say Stern set up the surprise NY meeting tomorrow between Mayor KJ and Maloofs to get warring sides together #nbakings— Tony Bizjak (@TonyBizjak) April 12, 2012
Bizjak reports that the meeting is currently set to take place at the popular and infamous "undisclosed location." Both sides announced a deal less than two months ago during the NBA's All-Star break, but now the Maloofs want to renegotiate and are questioning the city's ability to build a new arena by 2015.
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.
The Sacramento Kings are, once again, in a critical stretch as the city and team ownership work to figure out a way to piece together a new arena deal. The All-Star weekend agreement was nice, but by no means the end of the road as Sacramento fights to keep its team. And now, with the Maloof brothers apparently balking, the deal is once again up in the air.
How critical are things right now? On Wednesday, David Stern had this to say when speaking to reporters in Salt Lake City (from Brian Smith of the Salt Lake City Tribune):
You know, I'm more hopeful than I am confident right now. I'm hopeful because the city of Sacramento has between last meeting and this, has been responsible for responding on a sponsorship basis, on a ticket basis and on allocating $250 million or so for a new arena. In basically a week - what's today? Wednesday - in a week, our owners will be coming in for meetings next Thursday and next Friday, and we'll be having the Maloofs in to talk with some group of them and we'll see where it's going. Very, very hopeful that it gets on track, because the owners have a respect for the Maloofs.
By no means is a deal dead, and this doesn't mean the Kings will shuttle off to wherever. But this is a critical phase for the team, and it all falls into the lap of the Maloofs.
As Tom Ziller wrote Wednesday, it's time for the Maloofs to "Pony Up or GTFO," in the eyes of Kings fans.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Sacramento Kings have been working toward securing a new arena so that they're able to continue playing in California, but nothing has been worked out as of yet. They're apparently coming closer to reaching an agreement, however, with further meeting scheduled during the NBA's All-Star weekend.
NBA Commissioner David Stern recently did an interview with TNT's David Aldridge, saying that the team will contribute heavily as they attempt to pay the $387 million needed for a new arena. The city is reported to have asked for about $85 million, according to a report from the Sacramento Bee, but Stern wouldn't disclose any precise numbers.
He did say they might be getting creative to help with their portion of financing for the arena, though.
"The team has agreed to a substantial contribution, both directly from itself, but also by catalyzing AEG to be interested. In effect, whatever money AEG puts in is because of give-backs by the team ... so we see that as a team contribution," Stern said. "Whether it ultimately closes all the gaps, we'll know as we negotiate continuously and I fully expect that we will be negotiating in Orlando (this weekend when team and city representatives meet for the All-Star game)."
With a deadline looming on March 1 -- though it's possible an extension could happen -- hopefully everything is sorted out at the meetings Stern discussed in the interview.
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.
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.
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.
David Stern announced Monday that he will send some of the NBA top staff to Sacramento to help the city plan, fund and build a new arena for the Kings after the franchise-owning Maloof family committed to playing in California's capital next season. Stern said that the NBA's executive vice president of marketing Chris Granger and senior PR adviser Brian McIntyre will be among nine NBA staffers on the ground in Sacramento to help the Maloofs, the city and businesses get an arena built.
Stern said an outpouring of support and forward movement in Sacramento over the past few months convinced the NBA the city was worth one more shot.
"If it turns out that we're wrong, we're wrong," he said.
The Maloofs announced their intentions to forego a relocation application to move the team to Anaheim on Monday after a grueling three-month flirtation. The Maloofs began talking to Anaheim in earnest when the NBA's last arena plan went down in flames in the fall of 2010. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson is working on a feasibility study with local developer of note David Taylor and the ICON Group, who have been involved in several successful arena projects in the past.
Unless the NBA fixes its grand revenue gap, messes like the one the Maloofs have gotten the Sacramento Kings into will multiply.
The Maloof family has confirmed through a written statement that the Kings will remain in Sacramento for the 2011-12 NBA season. Monday was the Maloofs' deadline to file for relocation; the family had been in discussions with Anaheim's Honda Center for several months after the latest arena plan in Sacramento -- spearheaded by the NBA -- fell apart.
But Sacramento fought for the Kings, with Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former All-NBA guard, drumming up $10 million in new corporate sponsorships to convince the league to give the city another chance. The mayor now waits for a feasibility study on a downtown arena, due in late May.
In the Maloofs' statement, the ball is put in Johnson's court to come up with an arena plan.
"If an arena plan cannot be finalized in a timely fashion, the NBA¹s relocation committee has assured Maloof Sports and Entertainment that it will support an application to move the franchise to another market starting in 2012-13," the statement read.
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.
The Maloof family will announce whether they will press forward on their plan to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim at 1 p.m. ET on Monday, according to the Sacramento Bee. The deadline for the Maloofs to file a relocation application with the NBA is 5 p.m. ET. The Maloofs have been talking to Anaheim officials for months, and the NBA has twice moved the relocation deadline as it has investigated Sacramento's assurances of new public support for the team.
If the Maloofs do decide to file, they still must receive majority approval from the NBA Board of Governors. That could be a problem, as the seven-member relocation panel has already told NBA commissioner David Stern and the Maloofs that they will not recommend approval of a relocation application. Reports have suggested the Maloofs could sue on antitrust violation charges if the other NBA owners blocked a move.
To that effect, a Maloof-hired lawyer visited the house of an Orange County Register last week, requesting a tape of Phil Jackson's comments in which he compared the Maloofs to Frank McCourt, the embattled owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The saga could drag in, though the Maloofs risk damaging their reputation in Secaucus enough that Stern could push for the family to sell to billionaire Ron Burkle, who has said publicly he's interested in buying the Kings and keeping them in Sacramento.
For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.
In a saga with no shortage of bombshells, Randy Youngman of the Orange County Register reported late Thursday that Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli, who has been trying to get an NBA team to play at the Honda Center, an arena he operates, has upped the ante in his bid to draw the Sacramento Kings. Samueli reportedly increased his personal loan to the Maloof family, owners of the Kings, from $50 million to $75 million, and will fund $70 million in arena renovations as opposed to the $25 million previously ordered.
Youngman also boasts of a six-year TV deal worth $24 million annually -- more than double the Kings' current deal in Sacramento -- and substantial corporate sponsorship revenue. But despite all of that, the NBA's relocation committee, headed by Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, told the Maloofs on Wednesday that they will be recommending the full NBA Board of Governors reject a move to Anaheim, should the Maloofs file by the May 2 deadline.
Sacramento's desperation move two weeks ago paid off. Will Anaheim's? Stay tuned to Sactown Royalty for all of the latest.
The NBA has been active in Sacramento over the past week, meeting with city officials and business leaders in an effort to gauge the viability of the Kings in the market the team has called home for 26 years both next year and into the future. The Maloof family, owners of the Kings franchise, have expressed interest to the NBA in moving the team to Anaheim this summer, but have been completely left out of the Sacramento discussion.
Today, according to Randy Youngman of the Orange County Register, the NBA will update the Maloofs and Anaheim officials on Sacramento's viability and the likelihood the league's relocation committee, headed by Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, would recommend approval of the Maloofs' potential relocation application.
The Maloofs have until Monday to apply for relocation. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, a former All-NBA point guard, threw a wrench in the Maloofs' plan by knocking the socks off David Stern and the NBA's Board of Governors two weeks ago in a presentation on Sacramento's viability. The NBA spent two days in Sacramento meeting with Johnson and potential arena developers last week, and returned Tuesday to receive deposits from 30 businesses that pledged a combined $10 million in new corporate sponsorships for the team.
Sacramento businesses made good on their pledge of $10 million in new sponsorship money for the Kings on Tuesday, telling NBA representatives that they would make 20-percent deposits on the deal this week to convince the league and the Maloof family from relocating the team to Anaheim. The Sacramento Bee reports that the NBA's relocation committee, headed by Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, will likely confer this week on whether to recommend approval of a still-unfiled relocation request.
The Maloofs have until May 2 to file such a request.
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, a former All-NBA point guard, drummed up the corporate support as a part of his push to sell the NBA on the city's viability as a market for the league. He gave a presentation at a mid-April league owners' meeting that apparently knocked the NBA's socks off; what was seen as a foregone conclusion regarding the Kings' relocation as turned into an apparent victory for Sacramento.
The Maloofs haven't tipped their hand, despite the new income. It's unclear whether they have any shot of being granted relocation this year, or if they plan to push for a move despite obvious NBA qualms.
In the ongoing saga of the potential Sacramento Kings' relocation to Anaheim, the NBA is again visiting the current home of the team to gauge local corporate support for the franchise. The Sacramento Bee reports that mayor Kevin Johnson has worked to set up meetings between NBA officials and corporate leaders who have pledged a collective $10 million in new sponsorships for the Kings, should the team stay next season.
It's an odd creation, with the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, seemingly out of the loop. The NBA wants to ensure that Johnson's $10 million pledge adds up, which means arranging for the businesses to make deposits. But with the Kings cut out of the equation, businesses are unsure exactly what they are getting for their money, The Bee reports.
If businesses do come through with actual sponsorships, it's expected that the NBA will direct the Maloofs to remain in Sacramento for the 2011-12 while the city works on a proposal to build a new entertainment and sports complex. A notable arena builder ICON and local developer David Taylor expect to present a feasibility study on a new arena by the end of May.
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.
Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee reports that the NBA will send staffers back to Sacramento next week to dig into some $9.2 million in sponsorship commitments the city claims it has pursued in an effort to dissaude the league from allowing the Kings to relocate to Anaheim. NBA counsel Harvey Benjamin and Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, the chair of the league's relocation committee, visited Sacramento Thursday to meet with Kevin Johnson, the city's mayor and a former All-Star point guard, and other local leaders.
The seemingly successful visit follows reports from SI.com's Sam Amick that NBA owners were far from impressed by Anaheim's bid for the Kings. The Maloof family, which has owned the Kings franchise for 11 years, is interested in moving to Anaheim before the 2011-12 season. But Sacramento has pulled the scales hard in recent weeks, as Johnson reportedly wowed the league's Board of Governors by coming up with the $9 million in sponsorships and bringing billionaire Ron Burkle into the conversation.
Lillis of The Bee also reports, citing anonymous sources, that should the NBA direct the Maloofs to keep the Kings in Sacramento next season, it would be under the understanding that the city has until March 2012 to come up with a concrete plan for a new arena. The Maloofs have described 23-year-old Power Balance Pavilion -- formerly known as ARCO Arena -- is untenable. Few disagree.
Sam Amick of SI.com 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.
Clay Bennett, who owns the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, will lead the NBA's relocation committee through consideration of a potential Sacramento Kings move should the Maloofs file an application by the league's new May 2 deadline.
The NBA confirmed the six other members of the committee:
SBNation.com reported four of those names earlier this week. The league recently replaced Lakers owner Jerry Buss, a staunch opponent of the Kings' relocation, with Bennett, one of the league's newest small-market owners and the man who took the Sonics out of Seattle in 2008.
During this week's owners meetings in New York City, the Board of Governors made Bennett the committee's chairman.
Five of the seven committee members represent small markets, like the Maloofs.
Disclosure: the author is a Kings fan, Sacramento resident and the editor of SactownRoyalty.com.
NBA commissioner David Stern announced on Friday a second extension to the deadline for the Sacramento Kings to file for relocation to Anaheim before next season. The original deadline was March 1, but days before the deadline the league granted an extension to April 18. As the Maloofs have had trouble convincing their fellow franchise owners that they should be allowed to move to Anaheim, the NBA Board of Governors granted a second extension, to May 2.
Stern said that the relocation committee headed by -- no joke -- Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, who essentially robbed Seattle blind in moving the Sonics after giving minimal effort to find a local arena solution, will further investigate Anaheim's proposal to host the Kings at the Honda Center. There are also reports that the NBA could unveil a new revenue sharing plan in upcoming days that could make Sacramento more viable as a market.
Looming in the background is Ron Burkle, who announced Thursday (with the help of Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson) he was interested in helping keep the NBA in Sacramento, whether by buying the Kings (who are not for sale) or bringing another team to the city.
Stern indicated that the extra time before the Maloofs file for relocation will be used to further understand what each market offers. He stopped short of calling Anaheim's pitch incomplete, instead saying the league needed to better understand the proposed revenue streams.
A new hope has emerged for Kings fans still trying to find a way to keep their team in Sacramento instead of it following through on a long-rumored move to Anaheim. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson announced that Ron Burkle, the co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the owner of Ralph's supermarket chain, is interested in purchasing the team and keeping it in Sacramento.
New news Today is that billionaire Ron Burkle is very interested in buying the kings and keeping them in sac #kings
The Maloof brothers, who currently own the team, have insisted that they are not interested in selling. But they are somewhere between $100 and $200 million in debt, and are also facing increased opposition to the move from many other NBA owners. Burkle is ranked 98th on Forbes' Top 400 list, with a net worth of $3.2 billion. He certainly seems to have the amount of money needed to buy the team and take on the Maloof brothers' debt.
The new development may have come too late, though. If the Maloofs have no plans to sell the team, it won't matter. A team source who was in the owner's executive committee meeting told CBS Sports' Ken Berger that the news is likely "too little, too late."
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, SBNation.com 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.
SBNation.com 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 SBNation.com 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.
Phil Jackson continues to lament the Sacramento Kings' apparent plan to relocate to Anaheim. Sam Amick reports for SI.com that the Los Angeles Lakers, owned by Jerry Buss, whose daughter Jeanie Buss is both a Lakers executive and Jackson's longtime girlfriend, continue to press other owners to reject the Maloofs' expected relocation bid. Jackson is serving as a sort of spokesman for the cause.
Most interesting in Amick's report are new details about the Lakers' new television deal with Time Warner Cable. The deal had previously been reported to be worth $3 billion over 20 years; the Lakers will get two regional sports networks, one presented completely in Spanish, beginning in the 2012-13 season. Time Warner has disputed the reported terms; Amick now reports via sources that the deal is worth $5 billion over 25 years, a mammoth $200 million per season. (For comparison's sake, the NBA's deal with ESPN, ABC and Turner for national games is worth $400 million per season.)
That means that according to an ESPN report from March that the Lakers would stand to lose $500 million in a Kings relocation to Anaheim. ESPN's Arash Markazi reported that the Lakers' deal with Time Warner called for a 10 percent reduction in value if L.A. received a third NBA team. It's just a huge amount of money that the Lakers would lose, and the Busses are reported hearing some sympathetic ears around the NBA Board of Governors.
The league's franchise owners will discuss the Maloofs' plans during normal meetings April 14-15. The Maloofs' relocation application is due April 18.
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson -- a retired All-NBA guard who starred for the Phoenix Suns in the 1990s -- will address NBA franchise owners about the Kings' likely relocation to Anaheim before a decision is made, reports the Sacramento Bee. Johnson has made keeping the Kings a priority since winning office, but efforts haven't come quickly enough for the Maloof family, owners of the franchise. The Maloofs are expected to file for relocation before the NBA's April 18 deadline. Sacramento isn't expected to hear the results of a downtown arena feasibility study until May.
Details of the Kings' potential lease agreement at Anaheim's Honda Center were released late last week. NBA owners typically approve relocation applications overwhelmingly, but Lakers' owner Jerry Buss is said to be seriously opposed to such a move. Reports surfaced earlier this week suggesting that the Lakers could lose as much as $300 million from a recently inked cable TV deal if the L.A. region adds a third team.
Johnson told the Bee he'd use his time with the NBA owners to promote Sacramento's vision for a new arena and ask that even if the Kings' relocation goes through, that the city become first in line for a new team, whether it be via expansion (unlikely) or the relocation of another franchise.
NBA owners meet April 14-15. For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.
Disclosure: The author is a longtime Kings fan and the editor of Sactown Royalty.
For Sacramento Kings' fans, the news isn't good: Anaheim approved $75 million in bonds for the Kings in an effort to put a cherry on top of relocation efforts. The Maloof family, owners of the Kings, have long been targeting Anaheim as a potential new home for the Sacramento-based team, but efforts have picked up in recent months.
Tom Ziller broke down what the $75 million means over at SB Nation's Sactown Royalty.
* The Maloof family has $50 million in transition funds to make the move. This money could go toward paying the Kings' $77 million debt to the city of Sacramento, the NBA's as-yet-undetermined relocation fee or Samuel Dalembert's next contract. It's loan to be paid back to Henry Samueli, owner of the Anaheim Ducks and operator of the Honda Center.
* The Honda Center will get $25 million in renovations, including a practice facility and locker rooms.
More importantly for Sacramento fans, the roadblocks for relocation are diminishing with each passing day. The NBA still must approve a move and money could still be an issue, but a Kings move to Anaheim looks to be all but a done deal as of now.
Joe Maloof commented on the rumored relocation of the Sacramento Kings for the first time on Monday. Unfortunately, he did so only to express anger at Sacramento city officials, who on Monday sent a letter to Anaheim's city manager, officially requesting that he end negotiations with the Maloof family and withhold a planned $75 million bond issuance until the Kings' franchise owners had repaid their $77 million debt to Sacramento.
Maloof talked to the Orange County Register, expressing outrage that Sacramento would appeal directly to Anaheim.
"It's not for the mayor or anybody (in the City of Sacramento) to interfere with our business. That's what I think they're doing, and it's not right," Maloof told The Orange County Register. "We would appreciate that they not interfere with our business."
There's certainly an element of interference, though the letter is grounded in Sacramento's fear -- valid or not -- that the Maloofs will skip town without repaying a loan made to the team in 1997. If the Maloofs do not repay the loan upon relocation, the agreement calls for Power Balance Pavilion (called ARCO Arena, until recently) to become city property, and for Sacramento to take a $25 million stake in the Kings franchise.
Like most California cities, Sacramento is facing budget deficits and has been forced to consider cuts to public services. That $77 million would be of far greater use than a 23-year-old gym and a small stake in an NBA team playing elsewhere. If city officials fear the Maloofs will make a calculated move to default on the loan, they are right to try to ensure that $77 million is repaid before Anaheim lubricates a new loan in Southern California.
A Sacramento city official sent a letter Monday directly requesting that Anaheim end its support for the relocation of the Kings, reports the Sacramento Bee. The Anaheim City Council is scheduled to vote on a bond issuance on Tuesday that would free up $25 million for Honda Center renovations and a $50 million loan to the Maloof family, owners of the Kings franchise. An Anaheim city staff report recommended the approval of the measure, and Anaheim's mayor has called the addition of an NBA team to Orange County "close."
But Sacramento has begun rattling its sabres in recent days, with the letter to Anaheim's city manager the most brash attempt to derail the seemingly inevitable move. Sacramento's stated basis for officially requesting that Anaheim back off is that the Maloofs owe Sacramento $77 million. The $50 million loan from Anaheim wouldn't cover that, let alone untold millions in relocation fees assessed by the NBA. The Maloofs are seen as having cashflow issues; their Palms hotel in Las Vegas has been the focus of several unflattering financial reports, and the Kings have the league's lowest payroll.
It looks to be a PR move by Sacramento city officials, as the Bee had posted its story on the letter within minutes of the letter's transmission. At the end of the letter, a reference is made to potential California Environmental Quality Act violations the Honda Center's renovations could cause, though it seems more like grandstanding and/or snark than anything. The violations that renovations of the Honda Center would cause? "Blight impacts on the city of Sacramento due to the relocation of the Kings." Interestingly enough, Sacramento's interim city manager resigned for unstated reasons just last week.
If the Maloofs don't pay back the loan to Sacramento, the city would take control of the 23-year-old Power Balance Pavilion and a $25 million stake in the Kings.
The city of Sacramento is planning to spend $150,000 to hire a law firm to ensure that the Maloof family repays an outstanding $68 million loan should the franchise owners move the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim, reports the Sacramento Bee. The Maloofs will determine whether to file for relocation by April 18; many consider it a done deal, barring effective prevention by the Los Angeles Lakers, the biggest opponents to the move in a position of power.
Sacramento loaned the Kings the money in 1997, before the Maloofs had taken over majority control of the franchise. Under reported terms of the loan agreement, should the Maloofs fail to immediately pay the city the balance of the loan upon relocation, the city would take over ARCO Arena (now called Power Balance Pavilion) and a $25 million stake in the Kings franchise. It's unclear whether that stake would be based on the team's 1997 value or a current assessment. The arena would assessed at more than $80 million in 1994; it is certainly worth much, much less today.
That could have city officials, including mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA all-pro, nervous about the Maloofs' repayment intentions. Johnson has taken an increasingly hardline stance as an Anaheim move looks more inevitable. Over the weekend, Johnson's top aide R.E. Graswich (a former Kings beat writer) drew the ire of many fans by telling a Chicago-based sportswriter that the mood in Sacramento with regards to the Kings was "good riddance."
If the Sacramento Kings do indeed relocate to Anaheim before next season, the Los Angeles Lakers' TV deal -- reported to be worth $3 billion over 20 years -- will shrink by 10 percent, reports ESPNLosAngeles.com's Arash Markazi. The Lakers announced a long-term deal with Time Warner Cable earlier this season to create two new regional sports networks (one tailored to Spanish-language fans); Time Warner disputed the $3-billion figure, but it's certainly a huge moneymaker for the Lakers. But a move by the Kings to Anaheim would potentially scratch away some of the Lakers' Orange County fan base, and Markazi reports a clause in the Lakers' TV deal shrinks the pay-out by 10 percent.
That gives Lakers' franchise owner Jerry Buss extra incentive to oppose a Kings move. Buss, Clippers' franchisee and the Golden State Warriors' ownership are all reported to be opposed to an Anaheim relocation for the Kings. Warriors' franchise owner Joe Lacob is said to be worried a move to the L.A. area would give precedent for another team looking to move to San Jose, about an hour south of Golden State's Oakland home.
It remains to be seen whether those three will get any other support from league ownership; the Kings' eventual relocation application would need majority approval, and the NBA has confirmed to SBNation.com that the Kings and Hornets would each get a vote. The Hornets are owned collectively by the other 29 franchise owners, but Jac Sperling has been designated as the presiding officer of the team, and will cast his vote based on the interests of the New Orleans franchise.
The Maloof family has rejected an 11th-hour plan to keep the Sacramento Kings from relocating to Anaheim, reports the Sacramento Bee. A plan to renovate Power Balance Pavilion (formerly known as ARCO Arena) while a new facility was built unfolded over the past five days. But the agents behind the idea -- several of which were involved in bringing the Kings to Sacramento in the 1980s -- failed to convince George Maloof, Jr. on Friday that the plan was feasible.
As it stands, only finalization of the Maloofs' deal with Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli, Anaheim city approval of a $75 million bond package that includes a $50 million loan to the Maloofs, and NBA approval stand in the way of seemingly inevitable relocation. Anaheim city staff recommended approval of the bond package on Friday, and said taxpayers bore no risk; the city council will vote on Tuesday. The NBA's franchise owners will vote on the Kings' likely relocation application by June. The Maloofs have until April 18 to submit that application, and will discuss their plan with fellow franchisees April 14-15 at the pre-playoffs owners' meetings.
One hurdle could be a push by the Lakers and Clippers to exact painful compensation for market encroachment; the Maloofs are seen as being cash-poor (relatively speaking), and if other NBA owners agree with Jerry Buss and Donald Sterling, the Maloofs might not have even money to handle the payments. That's seen as unlikely, though; there's no such thing as territorial rights in the NBA in terms of relocation (just marketing), and a majority vote by owners would determine any encroachment payments and whether the Kings would be allowed to relocate.
Stay tuned for the next few twists and turns in this story.
Anaheim city officials released documents relating to the potential relocation of the Sacramento Kings on Friday, included the current incarnation of a lease agreement between the Kings and Henry Samueli, who operates the Honda Center and runs the Anaheim Ducks.
The centerpiece of the agreement is an upfront $50 million loan to the Maloofs, who own the Kings franchise. The loan would actually be made by Samueli, but paid for immediately by bonds issued by the city of Anaheim. Samueli would be on the hook to repay bondholders, and the lease agreement includes a process for the Maloofs to pay Samueli back. A city staff report recommending approval of the bond issuance says that taxpayers would not be put at risk.
The bond issuance also includes $25 million for Honda Center renovations, including a practice facility and locker rooms. The Maloofs are expected to face hefty relocation fees due to encroachment on the Lakers' and Clippers' Los Angeles market. The Maloofs also have an outstanding $70 million loan from the city of Sacramento to pay immediately upon relocation.
Other details of the lease agreement include:
The Maloofs are expected to announce their intentions by April 18. A plan to build a new arena in Sacramento surfaced this week, though the Maloofs have not yet been in contact with those proposing the deal.
A mysterious plan to build a new arena for the Sacramento Kings in Northern California continued to unfold on Friday, as the reporter who first broke the story followed up with an indication that the group pushing the idea hopes to soon present a final proposal to the Maloof family, owners of the Kings' franchise.
The group includes two figures from the Kings' arrival in Sacramento 26 years ago, reported the Sacramento Bee on Friday. Jim Crandell of Sacramento's FOX 40 news confirmed that the men, Greg Van Dusen and Rann Haight, have been working with investors and public officials to come up with a funding source and cost analysis on a new arena.
The Bee also reported Friday that the Maloofs had not spoken to the Van Dusen-Haight group recently; Crandell reports that the team wants to finalize its plan, which Crandell claims has a solid funding source, before meeting with the Maloof family. The Maloofs are negotiating a potential relocation to Anaheim in advance of next season.
For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.
Disclosure: the author is a Sacramento resident, longtime Kings fan and terrible pianist.
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.
Anaheim mayor Tom Tait said Tuesday that his city is "closer than ever" to bringing NBA basketball to the Honda Center. The team in question is the Sacramento Kings; while the Anaheim City Council delayed its decision on floating bonds to cover costs of Honda Center improvements needed to host the Kings, the Orange County Register reports that Tait said negotiations are ongoing, and promising.
That's bad news for Sacramento, where mayor and former All-NBA point guard Kevin Johnson blogged about his continued and growing pessimism about the Kings' future in California's capital. The city has commissioned a feasibility study on a potential downtown arena; Johnson maintains that the city will press forward on building a sports and entertainment complex, provided there's a suitable funding plan, even if (or when) the Kings leave.
Assuming Anaheim approves its bond issuance next week, the next critical date comes on April 14, when the Maloof family will meet with other NBA franchise owners to discuss their plans. Lakers franchisee Jerry Buss is expected to pressure his fellow team owners to either reject the encroaching relocation, or at least exact a substantial fee from the Maloof family for moving to Southern California. The Maloofs' formal application for relocation is due April 18.
Disclosure: The author is a Sacramento resident. longtime Kings fan and the editor of SactownRoyalty.com, SB Nation's Kings blog.
Anaheim city officials continue to stonewall reporters inquiring as to the nature of a vague item up for discussion at Tuesday's city council meeting that could allow the city to issue bonds to fund upgrades for the Honda Center needed to pave the way for a southerly relocation of the Sacramento Kings. Eric Carpenter of the Orange County Register reports that city officials refuse to acknowledge that the matter, which apparently won't be voted on until April 12, is even related to a potential Kings relocation.
Meanwhile, confused Anaheim residents wonder why the city would consider issuing bonds on behalf of billionaire Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli given the city's annual $10 million budget deficit.
All told, the Kings' relocation could run into public roadblocks in Anaheim, just as the franchise's attempts to have an arena built in Sacramento ran into trouble every time a municipal body got involved. Much of that was due to some rather stubborn positioning by the owning Maloof family and the NBA, but it illustrates what hurdles public money presents.
The NBA's franchise owners are scheduled to discuss the Maloof family's options on April 14. The Maloofs must apply for relocation by April 18.
The Anaheim City Council will soon consider issuing bonds in order to fund upgrades to the Honda Center, reports the Sacramento Bee, as the Sacramento Kings continue to negotiate a relocation to Orange County. The Bee reports that the council will soon consider issuing bonds that would allow the city and its operator, Anaheim Ducks' owner Henry Samueli, to upgrade locker rooms and build a practice facility apparently intended to house an NBA team. The Maloof family, owners of the Kings' franchise, were recently granted an extension that calls for a relocation decision by April 18.
The Anaheim council is expected to take up the bond issue on April 12. The NBA regular season ends April 13, and the NBA's team owners are scheduled to meet that week to discuss, among other things, the Maloofs' plans.
The Maloofs have all but abandoned arena plans in Sacramento, as mayor Kevin Johnson and developer David Taylor work on a feasibility study to assess what sort of funding mechanism is needed to build a new arena and entertainment complex in the downtown area. Maloof backers maintain that the family has little option after working on an arena solution to no avail for a decade; in reality, the Maloofs haven't been directly involved in an effort to get a new gym built in Sacramento for the last four years and several months. The NBA stepped in to help in 2007, but the league's plan went sour and commissioner David Stern all but gave the Maloofs a public green light to find a new home.
It's unclear how Anaheim will go on the bond issue. Should the Maloofs move to Anaheim but fail financially, city taxpayers or Samueli could be on the hook to repay the bonds. The Kings have the lowest payroll in the NBA and the Maloofs will need to come up with at least $100 million to relocate, given a $70-million loan to the city of Sacramento and a prospective relocation fee.
For more on the Kings' relocation saga, visit Sactown Royalty.
If the Sacramento Kings do indeed relocate to Orange County for the next NBA season, don't be surprised if the team changes its name to the Anaheim Royals. The Sacramento Bee reports that a lawyer with ties to the Maloof brothers, who own the Kings, recently filed for trademarks on four names, including "Anaheim Royals" and "Los Angeles Royals."
Adding a level of intrigue -- or indigestion, if you're a Kings fan -- is that the team recently wore Rochester Royals jerseys for five home games in Sacramento as a part of the NBA's throwback program. The news broke after the Kings had worn the white, red and blue Royals jerseys for the last time. The Kings were originally scheduled to wear the jerseys four times in late February and early March, but extended it to a fifth game as the jerseys proved popular. The franchise also ran a promotion in one of the game in which replica t-shirt with "Royals" scrawled across the front were gifted to fans.
Should the Kings move to Anaheim and become the Royals, nothing good will happen to many of those t-shirts.
The Maloofs received an extension on the NBA's deadline to file for relocation, and now must decide whether to file by April 18. They plan to discuss the matter with other owners April 14-15; it remains unclear whether those talks will include honest assessment, or a play for financial considerations by L.A.'s two current NBA owners, Jerry Buss of the Lakers and Donald Sterling of the Clippers.
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson held a press conference on Thursday afternoon and the tone wasn't good for the town. Johnson all but declared the Kings gone to Anaheim during the meeting with the media, with Sacramento powerless to stop relocation, it appears. The Maloof brothers received an extension on Tuesday, giving them until April 18 to decide whether the Kings will leave Sacramento.
According to SB Nation and Sactown Royalty's Tom Ziller, it seems like just a matter of time before the Kings make the move, with Johnson's press conference especially disheartening.
While he stopped just short of declaring the Sacramento Kings gone gone gone, Mayor Kevin Johnson in a Thursday press conference said it's more likely that the Kings will relocate to Anaheim. He actually started to say at the start of his speech that it was "extremely" likely, but stopped himself mid-sentence and ended up saying that Sacramento probably can't affect the outcome of the Maloofs' decision. In other words: the Kings are gone unless Anaheim screws up at the last minute.
For Kings fans, it's a difficult situation. The city, and its fans, are powerless to put a halt to relocation, with the Maloof brothers holding all the cards as a move to Anaheim beckons. With no arena deal in sight, the lure of Anaheim appears to be too much at this point. Anything can happen in the next month and a half, but Kings fans are already preparing for the worst.
For the latest, check out the rest of our Sacramento Kings relocation StoryStream. For more on the Kings, check out SB Nation's Sactown Royalty.
The Kings may be leaving Sacramento as soon as the 2011/12 season, but we will not know for sure just yet. The NBA has granted the Kings an extension on its initial March 1 relocation request deadline, allowing the Kings to wait until April 18 before deciding whether they want to move, likely to Anaheim if they do.
The Maloofs will have until April 18 to decide whether to file for relocation to move the Sacramento Kings before next season, the NBA announced Tuesday. The Maloof family requested an extension of the March 1 deadline in order to discuss the franchise's options with fellow franchise owners at league meetings scheduled for April 14-15.
Co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof would like to get a new arena approved in Sacramento, but essentially gave up on the plan a couple years ago. The NBA stepped in, but its plan was rejected by the Cal Expo board a while back. The Maloofs have not made any public statements either way, but commissioner David Stern told reporters at the All-Star Game that they were talking to officials in Anaheim. Part of the appeal, as our own Tom Ziller notes, is the Anaheim market offers the potential for much more television money.
Kings fans packed Arco Arena last night for the team's game against the Clippers to pledge their support for the team and their hope that it stays in Sacramento.
The Sacramento Kings have been trying for a few years now, and today, they're further away from a new arena than when they began. After the California Expo board ejected a plan that would have built arena in downtown Sacramento, the NBA has announced that they'll no longer be supporting the Kings efforts in Sacramento.
It's a departure from the previous stand taken by the NBA -- when David Stern pledged to personally lead the charge for a new arena -- and it's hard not to take it as an ominous sign for the future. The NBA once pledged support for Seattle, too. Then the league pulled out over frustrations with the state legislature. And then ...
From the Sacramento Bee:
"On the heels of the disappointing – but not surprising – action (or inaction) of the state and Cal Expo board, it is fair to say that the NBA has ceased its activities on the Sacramento arena front," league representative John Moag said in an email to The Bee. "However, we will continue to monitor and respond to the activities and options of others that might reasonably ensure the competitiveness and viability of the Kings' franchise."
The NBA wants a new arena in Sacramento, but with no solution in sight, it seems this is the league throwing up its hands. The threat of "other options" hasn't been mentioned yet, but rest assured, it's implicit. When the NBA doesn't get what it wants ... Well, look at the city of Seattle.
That's a doomsday scenario that's still a ways off, of course. But with the rejection latest proposal and the NBA's sudden refusal to continue this battle, the Kings are a step closer to relocation than they were yesterday. Here's to hoping they don't get any closer.
Read more at Sactown Royalty, and stay tuned for updates as the process continues.
We'll email you a reset link.
If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.
You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.
You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.
Choose an available username to complete sign up.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.