Maloofs Reject Sacramento Kings Arena Plan, Anaheim Relocation Seems Imminent

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.

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