The inevitable move of the Sacramento Kings (NBA) to Anaheim became a little less inevitable over the weekend when the NBA allowed a delay of the deadline for the Maloofs to submit a relocation application after Ron Burkle offered to buy the team and keep it in a new Sacramento arena.
It’s certainly a last gasp, to be sure: Mayor Kevin Johnson has managed to deflect some attention away from the arena issue by pushing billionaire Burkle and a local lobbyist as potential buyers of the team. That the Maloofs don’t particularly want to sell the Kings clouds the issue, of course; but the other part of this equation is what else Johnson is asking: give us time to put together a new-arena plan, complete with heavy participation from the private sector in the form of Burkle. It’s actually the old IKOM arena plan with some new sources of revenue. But the arena issue in Sacramento has been studied to death.
Of course, this delay might also be due to some vagueness on the part of the Maloofs as to the sort of deal they’re getting from Honda Arena, the city of Anaheim and Anaheim Mighty Ducks owner Henry Samueli. The team owes Sacramento $77 million and is borrowing another $50 million from Samueli for relocation expenses. And the Maloofs will need to find funds to cover the NBA’s relocation fees. Details about revenues and a potential TV deal still need to be disclosed as well.
Photo: The last fans hit the arena floor for the last Sacramento Kings game of 2011. Photo by John Moist.
RELATED STORIES: Anaheim to discuss aid for Kings; Maloofs shoot down Arco refurb; 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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