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."