A move by the Sacramento Kings (NBA) to Anaheim is closer to reality, as the Anaheim City Council will consider a plan to issue $75 million in bonds to help the team move; meanwhile, the Maloofs rejected the latest plan to renovate Arco Arena.
The plan before the council tomorrow would devote $25 million toward improvements to Honda Center (presumably for new basketball clubhouses and practice facilities) and $50 million in working capital for the Kings, presumably to cover relocation costs. The bonds are backed by private investors; increased revenues from Honda Center would repay them, but the investors would be on the hook should they not provide enough money for repayment.
“It is no secret that Anaheim is one of Southern California’s most exciting sports and entertainment destinations,” Mayor Tom Tait said in a statement. “With more than three million people in Orange County, the addition of an NBA team is a great move that promises to be a successful venture.”
The presumption is that the team will be known as the Anaheim Royals, bringing back the original name of the franchise from the team’s first days in Rochester, N.Y. Part of the deal specifies that the Anaheim portion of the name must be first, avoiding a situation where the team could follow the path of the Angels and come up with something unwieldy, like the Southern California Royals of Anaheim.
The move does most definitely make the Kings/Royals a secondary tenant at the arena. The management of the arena lies with Anaheim Arena Management and the Anaheim Ducks (NHL), whose management contract will be extended to 2033 as part of the deal.
Meanwhile, the city of Sacramento is rapidly running out of options to keep the Kings. The latest plan to renovate Arco Arena from architect Rann Haight and executive Greg Van Dusen has been rejected by the Maloofs, who have consistently argued against any renovations of the aging facility.
RELATED STORIES: Kings: From boom to bust; With Kings eying Anaheim, Johnson vows to continue arena quest; Maloofs sell naming rights to arena; admit to looking at moving NBA’s Kings; Johnson: We’ll take another run at new Kings arena; NBA: We’re done with Sacramento arena efforts; Consultant: It makes no sense to move Cal Expo as part of arena project; Maloof: We’re not looking at move to Seattle; Size of Arco Arena site threatens Kings arena deal
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