At one time the Sacramento Kings (NBA) was a high-flying franchise, with a large payroll and crammed crowds at Arco Arena. Today, the team is on the verge of a move after suffering through troubled times in a small market. What happened? The recession and a league with very limited revenue sharing.
There are plenty of financial issues with the NBA, as a potential lockout illustrates. But one of the biggest issues is how the league has transformed into a two-tier system, with the line between haves and have-nots clearly demarcated. Large-market teams with new arenas rule the roost; small-market teams with older arenas are suffering.
This gap is clearly on display in Sacramento, where the Kings have gone from a flagship NBA franchise to a team on the verge of leaving the small market for the larger market of Anaheim. The recession has hit small-market NBA teams hard, especially considering the league’s limited revenue-sharing — the most limited of any major league. With the loss of local revenues and the relative lack of revenue sharing, there’s no way the Kings can survive at Arco Arena, and it’s arguable whether a new arena would solve the problem.
In any case, the NBA is in sore need of a financial overhaul; a league made up of haves and have-nots is a recipe for disaster.
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